Leadership programmes

A leader or manager in social care standing alone and speaking

As a leader or manager in a social care organisation, your actions affect others around you. Good leadership and management can transform an organisation, whilst inadequate skills in these roles can destroy it.

It's important that leaders and managers are given the opportunity to develop themselves, if the highest standards of quality in social care are to be attained and maintained across the sector. 

Our leadership development programmes are designed to support you in achieving this.

Our leadership programmes are perfect for social care leaders in varying roles, from managers to directors, who want to develop their leadership skills and learn alongside their peers. 

Skills for Care is the home of the National Skills Academy for Social Care. If you're a member of the National Skills Academy, you could get a discount on the below programmes. 

The Top Leaders development programme is for those who hold the highest positions in social care and health organisations.

This programme helps senior leaders across health and social care understand the challenges of their role, form strong networks of support and explores the future direction of the care sector as a whole.

You can take part in this programme if you're a senior leader in the public, private or third sectors.

The Top Leaders programme takes place across four learning events, each lasting two days.

Please note, this programme is currently closed and we will announce new dates soon. Please email leadership@skillsforcare.org.uk for more information or to register your interest in future programmes.

"Top Leaders was one of the most personally challenging courses I have undertaken and the most productive in terms of what I learnt about myself and my approach to my work within health and social care. I returned back to my business enthused, encouraged and positively changed by the whole experience." Mandy Thorn MBE, MD, Marches Care


The New Directors development programme is for directors who are new to their role in social care and who hold statutory responsibility. It has been developed in partnership with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS).

The programme aims to shape the leadership techniques of directors of adult social services, to enhance their skills and develop new ones. It also gives new directors the opportunity to learn from and with each other in forming learning networks to support their work.

If you take part in this programme, you'll also learn from experienced directors and political leaders, as well as senior voices from business, government and social care.

"I am now constantly assessing my own practice and have the means to better myself, which in turn creates a happier, smoother workplace and, most importantly, improves the quality of service we offer." Former participant in the New Directors programme.

Please note this programme is currently closed and we will announce new dates soon. Please email leadership@skillsforcare.org.uk for more information or to register your interest in future programmes. 

The Moving Up programme was developed in response to the identified need for a more representative leadership profile for black, Asian and minority ethnic social care leaders in the sector.

The programme helps social care leaders to:

  • develop leadership potential as a social care professional
  • extend capabilities to lead in a complex and changing environment
  • increase confidence and leadership knowledge
  • develop the ability to network at all levels
  • develop and utilise networks of both formal and informal support.

This programme is perfect for leaders aspiring to progress into the most senior positions in social care. If you are from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background and are in a social care leadership role, this programme will benefit you. It is particularly relevant for service managers, registered managers, heads of service and operational managers.

The Moving Up programme provides access to learning and network development days, one-to-one coaching sessions and a professional mentor, and a workplace review session. 

Please note that this programme is currently closed and we will announce new dates soon. For more information on the Moving Up development programme or to express your interest in future programmes please email leadership@skillsforcare.org.uk.

Our Commissioning Now development programme is designed to help commissioners of care understand what excellent commissioning looks like in practice and how it can be achieved.

The programme is made up of a series of four workshops, access to online tools and resources and a 100 page handbook.

Tackling real life issues

The workshops enable you and your colleagues to compare your specific commissioning challenges with the most up to date evidence and best practice. This allows you to debate the issues you find most challenging, building your skills and confidence as a leader in the commissioning and shaping of care services.

When is the programme?

The four day programme begins on Thursday 27 April 2017.

The three other dates are Tuesday 30 May 2017, Wednesday 5 July 2017 and Wednesday 6 September 2017.

How is the programme structured?

The programme is designed around four key principles of commissioning:

  • personalisation – making sure that services meet the needs of people who need care and support
  • co-production – involving those who need care and supporting in the commissioning process
  • partnership working – working with other organisations to deliver the right services to the right people
  • leading and influencing – leading and shaping the future local care market.

Commissioning in new ways

You can expect the programme to give you:

  • new skills and increased confidence to approach commissioning in new ways
  • an invaluable opportunity to reflect and question
  • a much needed focus on commissioners and commissioning.

How do I apply?

Each place is £750 plus VAT. This includes all 4 training dates, all materials required, refreshments and lunch at each date. 

Book your place now

Dedicated programme for your organisation

We can host a dedicated programme for your organisation please contact Jim Thomas on jim.thomas@skillsforcare.org.uk.

This programme aims to help leaders and managers  explore the challenges and opportunities of a community-based approach to leadership. It's aimed at senior leaders and clinicians across health and social care who want to be part of a movement for change.

By taking part you’ll learn how to grow and nurture capacity in local communities to improve health and wellbeing and ensure better outcomes for people who need care and support.

You’ll be encouraged to think about the value of your community’s role in health and social care and the role of public service leadership in shaping the communities that citizens need and want.

What does the programme contain?

A series of one-day workshops, action learning sets, one-to-one leadership coaching sessions, a Myers-Briggs (MBTI) analysis of personality style and a specialist 360 degree feedback diagnostic.

You’ll have the opportunity to learn about best practice as well as developing the leadership skills required to embed co-production into organisations and enable strong ane empowered communities to grow and flourish. 

The next cohort kicks off in July 2017. Dates are confirmed as:

6 July 2017, 28 September 2017, 9&10 November 2017 (residential), 25 January 2018 and 14 March 2018. 

To register your interest please email Harmeet Bhatia at harmeet.bhatia@lehc.org.uk.

To find out more, including dates for webinars / virtual learning please click here.

Our partners

Leadership for Empowered and Healthy Communities is a joint venture between Skills for Care, Thames Valley and Wessex NHS Leadership Academy, the Department of Health, Think Local Act Personal, ADASS and the Local Government Association.

This major leadership programme is  for managers and leaders of adult social care services. The Skills for Care Well-led programme is grounded in the reality of social care delivery and provides the opportunity to develop your leadership skills, make valuable advances in your service and have real impact in your workplace.

You’ll find out what managers of well-led organisations do to achieve and sustain high standards of leadership and learn how to apply these examples across your own organisation to deliver high quality, person-centred care.

This development programme is made up of a series of practical workshops designed to empower leaders to deliver care in line with the expectations of a ‘Well-led’ service. This programme has been designed in partnership with registered managers familiar with the day-to-day challenges of leading a care team.

To find out more and to register your interest for our upcoming programme dates for autumn 2017, please  email leadership@skillsforcare.org.uk.

In order to provide high quality, person-centred care it’s important that the leadership workforce in adult social care reflects the diversity of the communities it supports. With only four of the 152 directors of adult social care services in the UK (and just 2.5% of NHS chief executives and chairs in London) coming from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background, there is a clear need to address the lack of diversity among those in senior positions across care services.

Skills for Care’s Moving Up programme supports and develops managers who are aspiring to work in senior leadership roles and are from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background. Its aim is to build the capacity for a more representative workforce of social care leaders that better reflects the diverse society we live in. 

This programme is £850 plus VAT for members of the National Skills Academy for Social Care and £1,000 plus VAT for non-members.

To express your interest in this programme please email leadership@skillsforcare.org.uk.

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