The Aspire Together North Regional Talent Pools

What are they?

The North Regional Talent Board has established an approach and started to populate a talent pool of ‘ready now’ aspirant Directors for the NHS in the North, in order to support Board level succession planning and deployment across the region.

At different times in the year nomination windows open for aspirant Directors, who believe they are ‘ready now’ to take up a first Board/Governing Body level Director post, to apply to join the Aspire Together North Regional Talent Pool.

In order to join the ‘ready now’ talent pool nominated individuals will undergo a readiness assessment through an assessment centre. Those nominees who are assessed as ready will join the ‘ready now’ talent pool they will be more visible to the region and will be proactively matched with Board/Governing Body vacancies and the organisations recruitment process. Although this nomination process invites nominations from aspirant Directors who believe they are ‘ready now’, through the readiness assessment 3 different talent pools will be created – ‘ready now’, ‘ready soon’ and ‘ready later’ and each pool receives a level of support appropriate to its readiness rating.

When are the nomination windows?

The North Regional Talent Board is using historic/predicted vacancy data and identification/phasing of professional groups to create pools of people that have the potential to fill future Board level posts.

The nomination window for aspirant Directors of Nursing and aspirant Directors of HR/Workforce was open during June 2019 and nominees are currently undergoing their readiness assessment through assessment centres.

Nominations are now invited for aspirant ‘ready now’ Medical and Finance Directors to join the Aspire Together North Talent Pool. This nomination is open for aspirant Medical and Finance Directors who believe they are ‘ready now’ to take up a first Board/Governing Body level Director post and the window will close on 6th January 2020.

Of special interest for aspirant Directors of Finance, Aspire Together and Future Focused Finance are pleased to announce a collaborative approach for the 2020 intake of the Finance Leaders National Talent Pool and the Aspire Together North Talent Pool. The Finance Leaders National Talent Pool is made up of Finance Leaders across England who are ready now, or in the very near future, to become Finance Directors or Chief Finance Officers in the NHS. Aspirant Finance Directors can now choose to apply to join both the Finance Leaders National Talent Pool and the Aspire Together North Talent Pool though a single streamlined process – meaning they get both profession specific and regional specific benefits.

For more information and to apply directly to join both the Finance Leaders National Talent Pool and the Aspire Together North Talent Pool though a single streamlined process please visit: www.futurefocusedfinance.nhs.uk/senior-talent-management/talent-pool

Nomination windows for other professions will open in early 2020 and focus on other professions.

What is the nomination process?

The first stage of this process requires individuals to be nominated; either by senior leaders within their organisations through a talent profiling exercise or by identifying themselves as a ‘ready now’ Director and self-nominating. If the nomination demonstrates a suitable level of readiness the individual will then be invited to an assessment centre where their readiness will be assessed in more depth by a panel of senior leaders from within the NHS.

It is important to remember the ‘ready now’ pool is aimed at those colleagues who are currently not in a director or governing body position, but who are working one below this level currently and have the necessary skills, experience and ambition to move into a director position in the next six months. You should only apply to be considered for the pool or nominate someone for the pool if they meet the criteria outlined in the nomination form and are ready now to move into a director level position. The Regional Talent Pool is not a leadership development programme or scheme, so it is important that those nominated are ‘ready now’ and have already completed the development needed to work at this level.

Who should apply/self-nominate? 

  • Anyone seeking to apply for a director or governing body post in the North West or North East and Yorkshire regions within the next 6 months.
  • Any individuals who feel they meet the criteria as outlined in the nomination form and pack.
  • Please read the full nomination pack for additional details.

Who should nominate someone to the pool?

  • Nominations are sought from line managers and other individuals working with candidates who meet the criteria as outlined in the nomination form and pack. 
  • All nominations must be approved by a Chief Executive/Accountable Officer or Senior Nominated Leader
  • Please read the full nomination pack for additional details.

Before you nominate someone or apply yourself, you should consider:

  • Will the next role you apply for be a director in a provider, commissioning, or system setting? 
  • If successful in the gateway assessment process, are you able consider director opportunities within the next six months?
  • Do you have experience of leading multiple teams or services? This may be through the direct management of multiple teams or through having oversight of a range of different, complex services areas which requires you to influence across multiple teams and groups.
  • Have you had exposure to a unitary board governing body (either within or outside of the NHS)?

How to nominate

Full details of the application/nomination process and the documents you need to apply or nominate someone for the Aspire Together North Regional Talent Pool:


North RTB Nomination Pack


North RTB Nomination Form


North RTB Equal Opportunities Form

To apply directly to join both the Finance Leaders National Talent Pool and the Aspire Together North Talent Pool though a single streamlined process please visit www.futurefocusedfinance.nhs.uk/senior-talent-management/talent-pool

If you have any questions about the process, please contact [email protected]

How to access the talent pool – for organisations

The Aspire Together Talent Pool will be made up of aspirant directors who have been assessed as being ready to be shortlisted for CCG governing body and provider board roles. 

Members of the pool will initially include colleagues working in acute, mental health and community providers who are actively looking for the following posts in either of the North regions:

  • Director of Finance
  • Medical Director
  • Chief Nurse
  • Director of Workforce/HR

As we move into 2020/21 the number and role diversity within the pool will increase as we assess aspirant directors from other professional groups.

If you would like any further information or to arrange to interview these candidates for upcoming posts, please contact at [email protected]