Regional Talent Boards


The Regional Talent Boards (RTBs) were created to understand and balance senior level ‘demand’ (vacancies) and ‘supply’ (people).

The work to establish RTBs started in the Midlands & East in March 2017. There are now six RTBs in operation covering: Midlands, East, North, South West, South East and London.

Our regional talent boards have been leading the Aspire Together talent pools to identify people with the skills, behaviours and values to be the leaders of tomorrow.
Watch our film to find out more about how the regional talent pools have been developed by local leaders to meet the needs of local organisations and systems, with a rigorous process centred on inclusion and diversity.

See what talent pool members and candidates have to say about their experiences of the process and the benefits of the talent pools.

What are regional talent boards?

There are some core principles that underpin all of the RTBs:

  • They are ‘of the region, for the region, by the region’. We wanted to make sure that each region’s organisations and the senior leaders that run them should be at the heart of the RTBs and their work, setting the agenda as much as possible and taking collective ownership for its delivery
  • The CEOs, accountable officers, chairs and HR directors from these organisations should be supported by and working hand in glove with their senior peers from the arm’s length bodies – NHS England (NHSE) and Health Education England (HEE). In effect a ‘One NHS’ approach with a shared commitment to the same ambition and speaking with one voice.
  • Inclusion, and the intent to use talent management to improve the diversity of leadership, especially at senior levels, should be at the heart of the RTBs’ work.
  • There will be a core programme of work that all RTBs will adopt and deliver (so that we have a level of consistency that supports a coherent national approach to talent management) but that alongside this each RTB will identify its own additional regional priorities. In some cases these might be to address issues specific to a single region; in others it may be that one region leads on behalf of all and then the work is rolled out and incorporated by the others.
  • This is not a ‘programme’ of work with a defined end point – this is about putting in place the resources and operating model for talent management at regional level, establishing it as part of business as usual for all organisations, STPs/ICSs and regions.

Each RTB has great representation from CEOs, AOs, chairs and HRDs (and is chaired by a CEO or chair), alongside the NHS England regional directors and their senior teams and supported by the national and local Leadership Academy teams.

There is a real sense of everyone uniting around a common cause to do their best for their regions, and a recognition that while it’s vital to embed the systems, processes and infrastructure that’s needed for talent management to be done well, perhaps more important is the work to shift the collective culture, mindset and behaviours relating to talent management.

This means everyone committing to the idea that ‘talent’ should be shared, rather than jealously guarded at organisation level. It means commitment to a clear definition of what we think ‘good’ looks like, especially when describing what knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours we want in our senior leaders. It means we need to collect and share high quality data to help us understand and balance ‘demand’ and ‘supply’ – and sign up to a level of transparency and collaboration that isn’t currently common practice. And it means that while we will look to all organisations to take action to improve their talent management approach, it’s incumbent on those of us in NHSE, HEE and the Academy to create the conditions and provide the support to enable them to do so.

Find out more about the Regional Talent Boards

Aspire Together: The Midlands Regional Talent Board

Aspire Together: The East of England Regional Talent Board

Aspire Together: The North Regional Talent Board

Aspire Together: The South West Regional Talent Board

Aspire Together: The South East Regional Talent Board

Aspire Together: The London Regional Talent Board

The Regional Talent Boards have been created with inclusivity and diversity in mind, we have therefore set out the gateway assessment process in a formal document to provide assurance to those participating.

If you have any queries at all please do get in touch with your local Aspire Together team.

Regional Talent Board: Nomination and Gateway Assessment Quality Assurance Procedure