In-situ X-ray diffraction was used to study the dynamics of the solid phase crystallisation (SPC) of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) films deposited by expanding thermal plasma technique. The Johnson-Mehl-Avrami-Kolmogorov model was used for the analysis of the dynamic data and the activation energy associated with the SPC process was 2.9 eV, which was lower than a-Si:H films deposited by other techniques. Relationships between the Avrami exponent n, the SPC process stability and the subsequent grain structure were demonstrated. Under certain conditions, the films exhibited columnar grain structure with indications of good grain quality, suggesting that these films are suitable to be further developed into solar cell devices. Structure of the grains and the SPC dynamics in this work lend support to prior work that vacancies decorated by hydrogen clusters are related to nucleation sites.