Identification of obstacles, solutions and indicators of progress: the PLAN, DO, CHECK, ACT process


The submission of appropriate and timely reports on measures taken to implement ratified Conventions is a process which requires that work is started in due time, that attention is paid to critical dates, that appropriately trained and motivated staff is available and that cooperation with all parties concerned is ensured. In many cases the smooth functioning of your work will depend on your capacity to overcome a series of obstacles. How can you enhance your capacity to do so? If you invest time and resources in trying to overcome these obstacles, how can you ensure that you get it right not only once but also in the future? A method, which has been proven to be effective, is the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) method.


The present tool has been developed with the PDCA method, which is based on the implementation of a cyclical learning process. It involves four phases (see figure below): you should first identify and analyze the problem (PLAN); then develop and test a solution (DO); after which you should measure how effective the solution was and improve it as appropriate (CHECK); and then implement the improved solution (ACT). The crucial stage is the checking stage, because this stage will enable you to learn from your experience and build that experience into your future actions taken. The tool is intended to assist you in setting this cyclical process in motion in your country in the context of the fulfillment of your reporting requirements. It consists of three checklists intended as a starting point for your work and which should be developed and complemented according to your particular circumstances and situation.





  • Checklist of possible obstacles. This list is based on experiences gained in ILO training seminars and surveys conducted among government officials charged with report writing responsibilities.
  • Checklist of possible solutions. Against the background of the first list, a list of suggested solutions to overcome the obstacles has been developed. The solutions proposed have been grouped around five areas for action deemed essential including: management, human and material resources, inter-ministerial cooperation, interaction with social partners.
  • Checklist of indicators of progress. The indicators of progress are of two kinds, which complement each other. The first set includes indicators, which are directly related to the issues raised in the checklists of obstacles and solutions. As progress is to be measured, it is suggested that you use a scale from 1-10 attributing a high value to good progress. However, as these indicators may be difficult to measure with precision, they can be complemented with indicators based on information on how your country is performing according to information published yearly in the General Report of the Committee of Experts. While these indicators may reflect your progress in a more indirect way, they have the advantage of being easier to measure than the previous ones.

How to use the tool

  • PLAN. Ideally you should use the checklist of obstacles as a basis for a discussion among those responsible for fulfilling the article 22 reporting requirements in your country. Preferably this should be done early in the year in an informal meeting or workshop with ample time for discussion.
  • DO. You should then proceed to examine possible solutions to the obstacles identified. Use the checklist of solutions as a starting point. Against this background you should select the areas for action, which you deem most important and possible to address, and take a decision on how to implement those solutions during the reporting year.
  • CHECK. In the course of your work you should assign someone to keep track of progress with the checklist of indicators in mind. At the end of the reporting year (October – December), you should carry out a mid-term review to assess the outcome of your efforts based on the national level indicators and take a preliminary decision on further improvements to be implemented during the subsequent reporting year. When you receive the Committee of Experts report in March you will be able to make a final assessment of your progress.
  • ACT. In order to pursue the process you should now have a new planning meeting with those responsible for the report writing during which you should: (1) assess the progress made last year; (2) take a decision on how to consolidate your progress and your targets for further improvements in the current year; and (3) draw up a plan of action on how to implement decisions taken for further improvements.

If you pursue this cyclical effort on a regular basis you will be able, in a sustainable way, to overcome many of the obstacles which may prevent you from submitting appropriate and timely reports on measures taken to implement ratified Conventions in your country.

Select each checklist and answer the questions. To print and/or download your checklist, click on “submit” at the end of it and then click on “print” on the new page that opens.

Click on this link to download the three checklists in pdf.