Leadership Academy

Health and Care Leaders Scheme


Due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19, recruitment to the Health and Care Leaders Scheme has been postponed. We will publish new recruitment dates when we have further information.

Introduction Text:
The Health and Care Leaders Scheme (HCLS) was formally launched in 2015 and is jointly funded and co-produced by the Department of Health and Social Care and its 14 Arm’s Length Bodies (ALBs).

Hosted by the NHS Leadership Academy the aims of the scheme are to:

  • Work together to identify, develop and deploy future system leaders, who can lead effectively across organisational boundaries at a national level and drive the required changes to the way health and care is delivered
  • Maximise our collective resource pool through a common and shared approach to talent management for high potential individuals who see their career path in health and care at a national level
  • Develop national system leadership capacity and capability through flexible and practical development interventions that address both local and shared needs
  • Ensure diverse talent pipelines through the adoption of a diverse and inclusive approach
  • Help make our organisations a magnet for talent where great leadership is encouraged, developed and practiced

There are currently two programmes within HCLS:

  • 2025 Leaders – for aspiring Chief Executives in the ALBs and Director Generals in the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in the next three years. It is also for those from the NHS and the wider health and care sector who are already at Director level but aspire to work at a more senior Director position in a larger national level organisation in the next three years. It is open to those who work in DHSC, the 14 national health and care ALBs and staff from the NHS and the wider health and care and public sectors who have an aspiration to work in DHSC or one of the 14 health and care ALBs.
  • For Aspiring Directors – for those who aspire to be a Director at a national level, the Health and Care Leaders Talent Board took the decision in 2019 to not run the HCLS Aspiring Directors Programme separately but to subsume some of the key elements from it into the Nye Bevan Programme. Those who work for the Department of Health and Social Care and the national health and care Arms’ Length Bodies (and registered healthcare professionals) are offered additional masterclasses over and above the main Nye Bevan programme.The following link gives additional informationhttps://www.leadershipacademy.nhs.uk/programmes/nye-bevan-programme/


Building System Leadership Capabilities

The 2025 Leaders Programme will provide participants with the skills to:

  • understand and work within a systemic perspective
  • diagnose complex situations and work with others to design interventions
  • work through models of collaborative and distributed leadership
  • handle significant level of complexity and uncertainty in their decision making
  • remain resilient and adaptable under considerable pressure
  • lead transformational change

The programme is designed to create learning in four domains, helping leaders develop the specific capabilities associated with systems leadership:

Personal development

  • personal resilience – keeping your head when everyone else is losing theirs
  • adapting your style – working effectively across different contexts

Relational capability

  • negotiating through difference – finding your way through conflict
  • understanding others – drivers, motivations and triggers

Socio-political understanding

  • narrative for influence – using story to galvanise action
  • understanding groups and group dynamics – being effective ‘from any chair’

Systemic thinking

  • reading the system – diagnosing and intervening in complex situations
  • working with big data – collecting information, pattern detection and decoding weak signals
Quote / Testimonial:

“Participants on the programmes can stretch themselves in a supportive environment and explore new and different ways of leading, to drive exceptional outcomes for the people we serve."

Programme Manager, John Joyce