The SPHERE/SNAP Workshop was initially designed as an intensive two day in-person workshop that explored a systemic nonlinear approach to analyse and understand adverse events in healthcare. As a result of Covid, the workshop was transitioned to an on-line eight week workshop that combines brief presentations, case studies, exercises and active dialogue between participants and the faculty.

SPHERE refers to Shifting the Paradigm in Healthcare Event Review and Evaluation and reflects a different way of thinking about events in complex adaptive systems (CAS) – healthcare being a prime example of a CAS. The approach can be effectively applied retrospectively to better understand healthcare harm events that have occurred as well as prospectively to assess projects and processes under consideration.

SNAP refers to the Systemic Nonlinear Analysis Protocol that is at the core of this approach. Faculty include a certified patient safety investigator with years of experience and a healthcare safety scientist.
The Workshops have been received enthusiastically and the on-line version of the SPHERE/SNAP Workshop led to this comments:

“We reached out to Dr. Robson to provide a SPHERE workshop for our team of patient safety investigators. Originally planned as an in-person workshop, they were able to rapidly redesign this as a virtual training series for us so that we could continue learning during the pandemic. The virtual sessions were extremely interactive with small-group breakout sessions that lent themselves to engaging dialogue. The facilitators were experienced and incredibly knowledgeable, and we appreciated having a patient voice perspective in our discussions. Our team has gained a better understanding of systemic non-linear perspectives, along with some methods and tools, for the review of adverse events. Highly recommended.” Shari McKeown, Director Patient Safety, Interior Health Authority, British Columbia.”

The manual for the course is available on-line at no cost.

Go to Workshop

For details about either in-person or online versions of the SPHERE/SNAP workshop, including costs, scheduling, and preferred number of participants please send a description of your situation to We can tailor the course to your specific needs.