NHS Senior Leadership Onboarding and Support

Chair and Non Executive Director development programmes and collaboration platforms

Three people engaged at an event

As well as your local induction there are opportunities to attend national induction days. Some of these will be offered by NHS Improvement and NHS England and others from organisations such as NHS Employers, for example. Induction events are a great way to meet your peers, network and engage with key senior leaders from across different parts of the system and discuss challenges and opportunities in a safe space.

In addition, listed below are platforms for collaboration and sharing where you might find special interest groups relating to your work or function. Do contact your regional professional lead for a full list of opportunities in your region.

NHS England / NHS Improvement currently support four core development initiatives

  • Aspirant Chair development programme – designed for existing non-executive directors who see their future as the chair of an NHS organisation
  • NExT Director development programme – this programme matches people who want to be NHS non-executive directors with trusts who are willing to host them so that they can learn first hand about the challenges and opportunities associated with being a non-executive director in the NHS today
  • The Seacole Group – formed by non-executive directors, the Seacole group aims to improve the representation and voice of people who identify as Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) on the Boards of NHS organisations. The group do this through networking, talent pipeline development, sharing good practice, and influencing governance structures so that public leadership is more reflective of the communities they serve
  • Disabled NHS Directors Network – A network of Non Executive and Executive leaders with disabilities. The group focus on increasing the profile of people with disabilities in senior leadership roles, influencing policy and improving the diversity of pipelines to senior leadership of people with disabilities

You can contact the NHS National Leadership Academy for further development offers.

NHS Providers Board Development Series – Non Executive Director induction – NHS Providers in partnership with NHS Improvement delivers an essential induction programme specifically designed for new non-executive directors (NEDs) of NHS trusts and foundation trusts. This two day programme aims to prepare new NEDs for their roles in the sector. It has been developed to provide a deeper understanding of their board role as part of a unitary board along with an essential overview of the current NHS environment in which the role is set.

Civil Service College course Being an effective Non-Executive Director

NHS Non-Executive Director programme by PWC

Civil Service College course on Policy Implementation: Delivering Results

The King’s Fund course on ‘Building your authority – Influencing beyond your role’

The King’s Fund course on ‘Building collaborative leadership across health and care organisations

Civil Service College course: Public Accountability for new Accounting Officers

Civil Service College course: ‘Cultivating Essential Board Behaviours’

Collaboration Platforms

There a number of membership platforms supporting collaboration across health and social care. Some have member profiles to enable new and wider collaboration:

NHS Networks supports innovation and improvement in health and care, and the role of networks in promoting learning and change. To provide a common space in which leaders, clinicians, managers and support staff and their partners beyond the NHS can explore ideas, pool experience, solve problems and share information.

FutureNHS is an online community open to anyone working in or for health and social care, with an active member base from many local, regional and national organisations. It offers a safe and secure space to share work and connect with others.

CHAIN – Contact, Help, Advice and Information Network. CHAIN is open to anyone working in health and social care who is willing to share experience and aspirations, and being prepared to respond to other members’ questions is the only criteria for joining CHAIN.

Source4networks is committed to curating and sharing the most comprehensive and best knowledge around network leadership in health, social care and charity sectors. It shares the latest academic research and reflects current practice through practical case studies. 

Fab NHS Stuff – an online resource that enables and facilitates the sharing of innovative ideas and best practice from across the NHS. It includes over 3000 examples of ‘stuff’ – improvement approaches that have improved patient experience, safety and care.

AQuA Knowledge Xchange is an online platform with resources including publications, toolkits, videos, case studies and documents around the following themes; analytics & business intelligence, communications & engagement, improvement, leadership, person centred care, safety, systems working and workforce wellbeing. The platform is regularly updated with relevant resources that are free to access.