The Knowledge-to-Action Framework was originally developed in 2006 by Dr. Ian Graham & colleagues and is based on over 30 change theories. It provides a structured approach for making change, including a seven phase action cycle that moves knowledge into practice.

Knowledge to Action Framework

The KTA framework has two main parts

1. The knowledge creation process

The knowledge creation process is what researchers and guideline developers use to create a knowledge product/tool, like an RNAO best practice guideline, a decision aid or a clinical pathway. This process is shown in the centre of the diagram. It looks like a funnel because it gathers all the knowledge available on a topic (i.e., research), summarizing the knowledge, and creating a tool that can be used to improve health care.


2. The action cycle

The action cycle includes the following phases:

  1. identifying the problem or issue that you want to change, selecting knowledge to address the problem/issue, and determining the gap between knowledge and practice
  2. adapting the knowledge to your context
  3. assessing barriers and facilitators to knowledge use
  4. selecting the right implementation strategies to make changes in your setting
  5. monitoring knowledge use
  6. evaluating outcomes
  7. sustaining the change/use of knowledge

The seven phases of  the KTA action cycle don’t necessarily need to be completed in order, but all need to be addressed. Sometimes, you can go back and forth from one phase to another or work on phases simultaneously. 


Table of Contents

falls bpg

Example of knowledge creation

To create the RNAO best practice guidelinePreventing Falls and Injury From Falls (4th ed.), the research team reviewed 40, 964 research studies. After they screened studies and assessed for relevance and quality, they ended up with a total of 125 studies. Then they worked with a panel of experts to develop a best practice guideline with recommendations for the interprofessional team. This knowledge product can now be used by a team in any health sector to reduce falls and injuries from falls.