Optimising Implementation

What is the issue?

The best health outcomes will be achieved by implementing effective programs and practices in the best possible way. Implementation is supported by understanding factors such as the effect of implementation support strategies, cost and acceptability. To achieve the best health outcomes for the greatest number of people, programs and practices should be delivered effectively at scale and be sustainable over the long term.

How will this program help?

 We are trialling the best model to support schools’ implementation of physical activity policies and programs, the Physically Active Children in Education (PACE) program. This program has been found to be effective, cost effective and scalable in pilot and optimisation trials.

How are we conducting this research?

We are conducting randomised implementation trials in schools to determine how to best implement effective programs at scale. A series of trials will be conducted allowing us to make strategic changes to how the programs are delivered, testing at each point whether implementation is improved.

Read our research overview: Implementing the Physically Active Children in Education (PACE) program optimally and sustainably.

Find more about the Physically Active Children in Education (PACE) program in this video, on the Good for Kids website and our GrowKudos page

Research lead: Dr Nicole Nathan


PACE, Lead by Dr Nicole Nathan, was winner of the 2022 NSW Health 'Keeping People Healthy' award.


Optimising a multi-strategy implementation intervention to improve the delivery of a school physical activity policy at scale: findings from a randomised noninferiority trial 2022. International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity. DOI https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-022-01345-6

Identifying essential implementation strategies: a mixed methods process evaluation of a multi-strategy policy implementation intervention for schools 2022. International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-022-01281-5

The impact of an implementation intervention that increased school’s delivery of a mandatory physical activity policy on student outcomes: A cluster-randomised controlled trial 2022. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2021.12.005

How effective are physical activity interventions when they are scaled-up: a systematic review 2021. International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-021-01080-4

Multi-strategy intervention increases school implementation and maintenance of a mandatory physical activity policy: outcomes of a cluster randomised controlled trial 2021. British Journal of Sports Medicine. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2020-103764

Exploring the effect of a school‐based cluster‐randomised controlled trial to increase the scheduling of physical activity for primary school students on teachers’ physical activity 2021. Health Promotion Journal of Australia. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/hpja.499

Implementation of a School Physical Activity Policy Improves Student Physical Activity Levels: Outcomes of a Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial 2020. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1123/jpah.2019-0595


Economic Analysis

Economic evaluation of a multi-strategy intervention that improves school-based physical activity policy implementation. 2022 Implementation Science. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13012-022-01215-6