Research Based

SML has been rigorously tested for over 40 years within organisations and education

People As Individuals

Everyone is different and how people learn and what they need to learn is different


There are at least 89 different ways people learn – find out what works for you

A Strategic Approach

A structured approach to help adults and young people tailor their learning towards achieving their goals

The Centre For Self Managed Learning

The Centre for Self Managed Learning (CSML) is a UK registered charity. The Centre was established as a non-profit organisation in 1993 and was granted charitable status in 2005

Self Managed Learning (SML) is a unique, research-based and practically proven approach to learning that delivers significant benefits over conventional methods.

Our aim is to develop and promote the wider use of Self Managed Learning for people of all ages, in all sectors of society. We are dedicated to increasing the effectiveness of learning in society by continuing the development of the methods and application of SML

  • Providing free access to information, research, news and articles about SML
  • Collaborating with universities and other bodies on new research and publications
  • Creating events, workshops and conferences to increase levels of understanding
  • Providing programmes for different sectors

The charity is governed by a Board of Trustees made up of people who have a deep commitment to SML, most of whom have personally experienced the approach. They meet at least 3 times a year to plan and review strategy and financial governance. CSML publishes annual financial reports which are lodged with both Companies House and the Charities Commission.

Programmes have been provided in a wide variety of contexts, including

For young people

For young people outside mainstream schooling through the Self Managed Learning College. The College is the Centre’s main project, led by its Chair of Governors, Ian Cunningham, providing SML to students aged 8 – 16 in Brighton since 2002.

In Schools

In schools and other educational settings around the world including Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

For Students

For students who wish to study the approach via placements in the Self Managed Learning College.

For Organisations

For organisations via our association with Strategic Developments (International) Limited (SDI), a social enterprise consultancy that provides donations directly to the charity. Working with organisations in the private, public and voluntary sectors, SDI provides SML programmes for people at all levels from CEO’s to apprentices. You can take a look at four case study examples in specific organisations. Each one outlines the programme’s context, aims, development/roll-out, evaluation and achievements.

Via Higher Level Education

Via higher level educational qualification programmes from HND through to MSc level.

Other Contexts

In other contexts for adults such as parent groups, sports coaches and people nearing retirement.

Case Studies

Sainsbury’s Personnel Development

Designed to facilitate a major shift in the way the function worked, the process was ultimately rolled out to 180 managers initially and 520 HR professionals over the following 2 years.

ST Luke’s School

St Lukes decided to pilot the process for a mixed gender group of six year 10 students. The potential participants chosen were seen as students who could achieve more and perceived as perhaps lacking in confidence.

Lifelong Learning in Ericsson

The SML approach was chosen to facilitate a change of culture to lifelong learning inline with the organisation’s strategic direction and local strategy and became an integral part of the graduate scheme.