NHS Senior Leadership Onboarding and Support

NExT Director Programme- supporting tomorrow’s non-executive directors

There is emphatic evidence that diverse boards make the best decisions. We want to increase the diversity of our boards and particularly encourage interest from women, people from the local Black Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, LGBT communities, younger people and those with lived experience of disability, who we know are all under-represented in chair roles.

There are lots of talented people from diverse backgrounds who would make great candidates for non-executive roles. At NHS England and NHS Improvement we know that diverse boards make better decisions, so we’ve designed the NExT Director scheme to find and support the people from under-represented groups to be great candidates for NHS non-executive roles.

Analysis of board composition tells us that we particularly need to focus on supporting women, people from local BAME communities, and disabled people with senior level experience into board level roles in the NHS. The programme is also open to people with other protected characteristics including younger candidates with the right experience.

The programme matches people who want to be NHS non-executives 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.

What is the NExT Director programme?

The 6 to 12 month programme in one or two NHS organisations, gives a unique insight into the role and responsibilities of being an NHS non-executive director by supporting people in bridging knowledge gaps, for example:

  • Operating at board level
  • Transitioning from executive to non-executive roles
  • Board level exposure in organisations of varying sizes and complexity
  • Understanding NHS structures and accountability, how the money flows, who the key partners are, where all the regulators fit and the board’s role in quality and safety

What can I expect?

Successful candidates for the programme will be offered a placement with a range of development support offered by trusts, including:

  • The opportunity to observe different types of healthcare providers and learn about a range of organisational challenges, leadership styles and governance structures
  • The assignment of an experienced non-executive director mentor for the period to help shape the NExT Directors personal programme and provide regular feedback and advice
  • Opportunities to shadow key senior staff and meet staff and patients’ groups
  • Access to board and committee meetings and papers as appropriate, including an opportunity to review and analyse meetings to learn with board members
  • Access to training and networking opportunities available to substantive non-executive directors

How can I apply?

Please send a CV and covering statement which highlighting your:

  • Skills and experience relevant to a non-executive director role
  • Motivation and commitment for wanting to be an NHS non-executive director
  • What you hope to gain out of your time on the NExT Director programme

To [email protected], Resourcing and Appointments Development Manager.

If your CV and statement are a good fit, we will then arrange a short telephone interview to explore your potential to be a non-executive director within the next couple of years.

We will then seek to identify a suitable placement at a local NHS trust or Foundation Trust. The chair of that trust will want to continue the conversation in a second interview before making an offer of a placement and your acceptance onto the programme.

Once a placement is agreed and you are offered a place on the programme, all other arrangements will be made with your host organisation.