Developed and updated from our previous Top Leaders programme, the Director programme is for all senior executive leaders who are seeking further role development and support.


The programme assumes you’ll have an existing level of complex leadership skills, and is primarily designed for people who need to be stretched and challenged and are open to thinking very differently about their leadership role.


It’s focused on developing your capacity to adapt, enhance and broaden your own leadership styles and behaviours. It’s also an opportunity for you to work in partnership with other leaders and parts of the system to make leadership in health more inclusive and representative of the communities it serves.



The participant experience:



The NHS faces a significant top leadership challenge. In his review into NHS leadership, Lord Stuart Rose said that a key answer is to support and develop better leadership.


For this to happen, investment is essential. We need powerful leadership development to create a strong pipeline of the needed outstanding candidates. We need to support and stretch Directors currently in post. We need to prepare aspirant CEOs.


The NHS Leadership Academy is playing a significant role in this process. Over the next few years, as we look to fill the most challenging and critical roles in the NHS, our aim is to unlock the talents of exceptional Directors, especially those from diverse backgrounds, who are able and willing to face in to the challenge to provide the level of NHS leadership that our communities deserve.


This programme already has a track record of facilitating a steady flow of brilliant leaders who recognise the programme as core to their ongoing professional development.


We want this programme to contribute beyond measure to our leadership community feeling supported, cared for, respected, valued and, above all, stretched in ways they had never imagined possible.


Please get in touch with our programme team for more information.



For the individual:


Here’s what previous participants had to say about the Director programme:


I cannot recommend The Director programme enough. I have experienced numerous programmes over the years but this is far superior. The combination of the impact group, the experienced and knowledgeable facilitation, and the focussed space away have given me excellent insights. I have directly applied it to my role and grown as a result. I have learnt a great deal and also enjoyed it immensely.

– Lorrayne Barrett, Director of Integrated Care



My year in The Director programme has been transformational. I was new to my role as Chair and needed both the challenge and support the programme offered. The programme design is innovative and has enabled me to develop as a leader. Our time in the Impact Groups have given me incredible opportunity to reflect on my leadership and personal resilience, with the added value of supportive feedback and excellent facilitation the group bring. Our time in the course has ended but our group have committed to continue for at least a further 12 months, meeting as the impact group with the assistance of our facilitator – I’m already looking forward to our next meeting in November.  Given my time again I would most certainly enrol onto The Director programme.

– Dan Bunstone, CCG Chair



I fully recommend this programme, it offers a combination of learning, shared leadership experience, coaching and challenge. I have been able to use the time and space this programme creates to develop my own leadership, reflect and grow in my role.

– Justine Richards, Director Strategy & Business Development


For the organisation:


The demand for talented and capable leaders in the NHS has never been higher, and the need for specific and proven leadership development continues to grow.


We’re here to help develop outstanding leaders who positively inspire others to do everything that they can to improve people’s health, care, treatment and experiences of the NHS.


The benefits to your organisation are:


  • Addressing a growing leadership gap that threatens the sustainability of the NHS.


  • A stronger pool of candidates ready to take on demanding senior roles.


  • Higher levels of staff engagement translate into better patient care.

Who is the programme for?