The aim of the programme is to prepare participants for their first chief executive role and support them in role through exceptional development. The structure and delivery of the programme will mirror the chief executive role.

The time commitment is about a day a week spread across the nine months of the programme. Some is done whilst at work (and you’ll need your own chief executives or chair’s support for this). There is a combination of online, workplace and applied activity, residential workshops, and smaller/praxis group sessions.

There’s online material for participants to engage with, plus time to apply and reflect on your learning, produce evidence of development, and review the work of your peers in the praxis group. 

100% attendance of all elements is a condition of accepting a place on the programme. 

The programme is currently undergoing a refresh for Cohort five and Cohort six. This is to ensure that the programme content and delivery model best supports aspirant chief executives prepare for the challenges of the role in the current health and care landscape whilst making the best use of technology.

  • Content and knowledge is delivered online through a virtual campus, through a mix of material including videos, interviews, articles and reports. You have the flexibility to access this at a time that suits you. 
  • Each section of online content ends with a ‘call to action’ – you’ll be asked to apply your learning either in your organisation or a fellow participant’s organisation or during the residential workshops. 
  • Up to four face-to-face residentials where you’ll work with facilitators, guests, and fellow participants to share perspectives and apply your individual study.  
  • Facilitated smaller group experiential work where you will work as part of a peer group.  
  • You will be asked to identify areas for development which are particularly relevant to you and demonstrate the progress you need to make to be an effective and transformational chief executive. 
  • We’ll ask you to identify and work closely with a patient partner and a frontline staff mentor throughout the programme. These are key to your development and will work in a reverse-mentoring role, connecting your development to the frontline and patient care. 

The cohort splits into smaller praxis groups where you set your personal curriculum and assess your own and your fellow participants’ progress. Your praxis group will work much like an action learning set – with three clear differences: 

  1. Dual facilitation – two people will co-facilitate the praxis group – a member of the Leadership Academy faculty and a serving chief executive. 
  2. The content of your discussions is driven by your development and progress. 
  3. Peer assessment – it’s the praxis group – including the participants and the two facilitators – that assess your submissions, and ultimately your readiness for the chief executive role. 


As part of the refresh for cohort five and cohort six, the assessment process is also being reviewed. However, it will be focused on assessment by peer participants and programme faculty.

You will work closely with your cohort at residential workshops.