This paper reports on a training programme using action learning sets designed to enhance the management abilities of health-care managers. Numerous independent reports in Australia, and around the world, have related the lack of management systems and processes to substandard health-care delivery. This has suggested a need for better approaches to the education, training and ongoing development of health-care managers, and this paper reports on an action learning approach trialled over a three-year period. Participant managers reported significantly greater levels of empowerment and self-efficacy after participation in the year-long action learning sets intervention. While too early to measure the translation of these reported individual improvements into specific management practice, the literature strongly supports more effective management practice among managers who report high levels of empowerment and self-efficacy.