The integrated reflective cycle is one of the tremendous reflection models that can assist you in learning from your own experiences. This model was developed by Bassot in 2013 that draws out 4 stages of introspection that can help individuals in analyzing the different aspects of situations. This model is inspired by different ranges of models such as Gibbs’ reflective cycle and offers some similar characteristics to the model. 4 stages of the cycle are

  • Experience
  • Reflection on Action
  • Theory
  • Preparation

This model will assist you in analyzing your feelings and how these feelings impacted the outcome of your experience. Below are some questions that can assist you in drawing out the reflection of your experience using the corresponding model.

Four stages of the Integrated reflective cycle

Stage 1: Experience

The first step in this model is to frame out the experience that you need to reflect upon and some below-mentioned questions will help you in effectively analyzing and framing your experience.

  • What happened?
    In this, you will describe the situation, you will the context of the whole situation like where this situation occurred, when it occurred and so on.
  • What other factors were involved?
    In this you will highlight the other factors that were involved and contributed to the attainment of the current result.
  • How did you react and how did it make you feel then?
    Through this question, you will present information on your actions and will also highlight feelings you felt while taking the actions you took.
  • What was the result?
    In this, you will present the overall outcome of your actions in the situation you are reflecting upon.

Stage 2: Reflection on Action

Once you have underlined the whole experience you want to reflect on, the next step is “reflection on action”. In this step, you will connect all the dots and see why all the things happened in your experience. Some assisting questions that can assist you in framing the reflection of action are

  • What did you achieve from reacting in the way you reacted?
    In this, you will provide the outcome of your actions that will help you in better analysis of the situation.
  • What assumptions did you make that could have resulted in a biased reaction?
    Through this question you will highlight the assumptions you made in mind before entering the situation that could have contributed to the biased reaction.
  • How did you and the other involved elements feel at that time?
    In this, you will express your feelings and an interpretation of other people’s feelings that were involved in the situation.

Stages of integrated reflective cycle

Stage 3: Theory

In this section, you will conclude all your findings. While concluding, you can take your self-realizations and even your theoretical knowledge into consideration to make sense of everything that happened to you during the reflective experience. A few assisting questions that can assist you in underlining your experience are mentioned below

  • How has this experience added value to your theoretical knowledge?
    In this, you will present different learning that adds more value to your theoretical knowledge.
  • What have you learned from this experience in general?
    In this, you will highlight your overall learning from the experience irrespective of the fact that they add value to your theoretical knowledge or practical one.

Stage 4: Preparation

Last but not least section is for preparation, in this column, based on your learnings from your theory part, you will create an action plan for all your further situations that will assist you in the successful accomplishment of your SMART goals. Some assisting questions for this section are

  • What strategies would you adopt to react better?
    In this, you will underline the strategies that will help you in presenting better reactions in the future.
  • What things you will keep under consideration before reacting next time?
    While answering this question, you will highlight different key points that you will keep in mind throughout the next similar experience that will help you in getting better reaction in the future.

Moving forward, now that we have understood its meaning and the execution of the model very well, now it's time to look at an example. So, the next section sheds light on a well-elaborated example for a better comprehension of the integrated reflective cycle.

Integrated reflective cycle’s framework example

Case assessment - This reflective example will highlight the experience of a junior pharmacist working in a hospital pharmacy. This reflective practice will focus on his actions taken during his work tenure and the challenges he faced.

Stage 1: Experience

It's been 10 days since I have been working in the pharmacy department. It took me 2 days to understand the placement of medicines in the pharmacy. After that, I was told to observe the front desk for some days to understand the prescriptions written by doctors and how patients are attended to. Then came one day when my senior was busy and a patient came in hurry asking for some medicines. As my senior was busy, he asked me to give the medicines prescribed to the patient.Although I had a senior pharmacist with me, I was still very nervous about the fact that I had to deal with a task that I am not very familiar with yet. As I did not want to make a fool of myself, I gave the medicines that I thought were written on the prescription through an estimate. Other than that, a prescribing fault can occur from the choice of incorrect dose, drug, or incorrect route of administration (Velo & Minuz, 2009). However, when the senior pharmacist checked the prescription before I handed in in the medicines and found that I added two medicines wrong which could have actually affected the patient negatively.


Stage 2: Reflection on Action

As I was assigned this task, I did not want to make a fool of myself. That was the reason I gave the medicine without being sure of it. I assumed that my senior would scold me which made me inclined towards the decision to give medicines. I felt embarrassed at that point in time because I made a blunder that could have impacted the patient and the reputation of the pharmacy negatively.


Stage 3: Theory

This experience made me realize that it takes time to learn things and you should never be ashamed of learning at your own pace. In terms of my theoretical knowledge, I learned that it is crucial to take time and get the prescribed medicines right otherwise the consequences of wrong medicines could cost a patient’s health.


Stage 4: Preparation

If the situation comes up in the future, I would make sure that I am prepared beforehand before taking the prescription from a patient. For this, I would sit with my seniors and have sessions on how to read prescriptions correctly and where each and every medication is placed. Moreover, if any such incident occurs the next time, I would not panic and get the required time to get things right and would get help from my senior if necessary.


What are the limitations of the integrated reflective cycle?

The limitations of an integrated reflective cycle could include increased complexity and potential confusion for learners, as merging different reflective models might create a convoluted process. It may also lack universal applicability across diverse learning contexts, making it less effective for certain situations. Moreover, compared to individual, well-established reflective models, the integrated approach might lack sufficient empirical evidence to support its effectiveness. Implementation challenges and the need for clear guidance on navigating the combined elements could further limit its practicality and impact.

Can the integrated reflective cycle be used in group settings?

Yes, the cycle can be adapted for reflection in group work, encouraging collaborative learning and team development.


Ezezika, O. and Johnston, N. (2022) “Development and implementation of a reflective writing assignment for undergraduate students in a large public health biology course,” Pedagogy in Health Promotion, p. 237337992110699. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/23733799211069993.

Velo, G., & Minuz, P. (2009). Medication errors: prescribing faults and prescription errors. British Journal Of Clinical Pharmacology, 67(6), 624-628. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2009.03425.x