Leadership programmes

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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. 

If you're a registered manager member of Skills for Care, you could get a discount on some of our programmes. 


Well-led is a national leadership development programme for managers of adult social care services working in the private, public or third sectors.

The programme is grounded in the reality of social care delivery and has been developed in partnership with registered managers familiar with the day-to-day challenges of leading a care team. Made up of a series of practical workshops, the programme is designed to enable leaders to deliver care in line with the expectations of a well-led service.

You’ll find out what managers of well-led organisations do to achieve and sustain high standards and how to apply these examples across your own organisation to deliver high-quality, person-centred care. Throughout the programme you will be supported to develop your leadership skills, advance your service and have a real impact in your workplace in order to secure a well-led future.

“Learning from other managers and the facilitators was a great place to reflect on plans for my service, make changes to my approach and forge new plans. The Well-led programme is relevant to both new and experienced managers, because you are talking about the same thing - striving for improvement.”

Jason Denny, Registered Manager at Old Hastings House,   Well led Cohort 1



Our four interactive workshops, over four days, explore live issues, challenges and practical examples of well-led services:

Day 1: Know yourself – looking inwards

Day 2: Leading a successful service – looking around

Day 3: Leading high performing teams – looking sideways

Day 4: Leading in and beyond the boundaries of your service – looking outwards


2017/18 programme dates and venues






Day 1  

Wednesday 4 October 

Tuesday 7 November 

 Tuesday 16 January

Day 2  

Tuesday 24 October 

Tuesday 28 November 

 Tuesday 6 February

Day 3  

Tuesday 21 November 

Wednesday 10 January 

Tuesday 27 February 

Day 4  

Tuesday 9 January 

Wednesday 14 February 

Tuesday 20 March 


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To book a place click on your preferred location above. Our last programme was oversubscribed, so please book early to avoid disappointment. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

If you're interested in Well-led but unable to attend any of our 2017/18 scheduled programmes we may look to run further programmes elsewhere, dependent on levels of interest. To express your interest in this, please email leadership@skillsforcare.org.uk stating your preferred location(s).


  • £935 +VAT for registered manager members of Skills for Care (membership costs £35. To find out more please click here)
  • £985 +VAT for non-members

A discount is available to self-funding participants.


For enquiries please email leadership@skillsforcare.org.uk

Man 2Our New Directors leadership and development programme is for new and aspiring directors of adult social care with statutory responsibility. It supports a successful transition into the role of Director of Adult Social Services within local government.

The programme has been developed in partnership with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and is designed to meet the specific needs of those undertaking the Director of Adult Social Services role. It aims to shape the leadership techniques of new directors to enhance their skills and develop new ones. It also gives new directors the opportunity to learn from each other in forming learning networks to support their work.

Excellent course overall - definitely worth attending and would recommend to all new or aspiring directors.


Former participant on the New Directors programme

The six-day programme will cover:

  • system leadership and thinking
  • public service leadership
  • risk and regulation
  • commissioning and market shaping
  • personal impact and communication
  • increasing political intelligence and influence
  • integration and the future of health and social care
  • leading change and transitions
  • innovation and new models of health and social care
  • the use of leadership diagnostic tools.



The programme is essential development for directors as it provides invaluable theoretical and practical insights into the leadership and management challenges of local government – by people who really understand the business.

Trevor Boyd, Buckingham County Council

2017/18 programme dates and venues

New Directors is delivered over six learning and development days that take place over a five-month period. The programme is supported by activities, practical tasks and leadership and management tools, which can be used to cascade and embed learning back into the workplace.

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.

15-16 November 2017 – Residential at Warwick University

12 December 2017 – Action Learning Set*

7 February 2018 – Action Learning Set*

22-23 March 2018 - Residential at Warwick University

*The action learning sets will involve the participants being placed into different groups. The locations for these will be London and Manchester, with the third to be decided based on the geographic spread of participants.

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 on the New Directors programme


£1,500 plus VAT. The programme runs over six days, over a five-month period.

Register for a place on our New Directors programme


Just to say what a great experience it was- perfectly pitched, well organised, good location, carefully selected activities and presentations, very well facilitated and a relaxed but purposeful atmosphere for learning.


Former participant in the New Directors programme

Man-1-sfcwebDeveloping the diversity of leaders in social care

Our Moving Up programme supports managers to step up and establish themselves within senior leadership management roles.

There are two entry routes, an open access route for all those seeking support in moving up and a route for those social care leaders from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

Registration for the Moving Up (BAME) programme is now open and helps social care leaders in the private, public or third sectors to:

  • develop leadership potential as a care professional
  • lead in a complex and changing environment
  • increase  confidence as a leader
  • use new networks for support and advice.

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’s particularly relevant for service managers, registered managers, heads of service and operational managers.

I've incorporated a great deal of what I have learnt into practice.  The programme has helped me to focus on my strengths as a leader and has made me more confident in my current management role.



Jamieson Davis


2017/18 programme dates and venues

The Moving Up (BAME) programme offers a package of support and development over seven days. It includes access to workshop and residential development sessions, group mentoring and coaching, action learning sets and networking opportunities.

  • 24-25 November 2017 – Residential in Warwickshire 
  • 4 December 2017 - Skills for Care, London office
  • 17 January 2018 - NHS Leadership Academy, Leeds
  • 19 February 2018 - Skills for Care, London office
  • 12-13 March 2018 - Residential in Warwickshire


  • £850 +VAT for registered manager members of Skills for Care
  • £1000 +VAT for non-members (membership costs only £35 for 12 months. To find out more please click here)

A discount is available to self-funding participants.

Register for a place on Moving Up (BAME).


Express an interest in Moving Up (Open Access)

The Moving Up (Open Access) programme, starts in January 2018, and will be available for registration in the autumn. To express an in interest in this programme, please email leadership@skillsforcare.org.uk

I found that the Moving up programme really focused and helped me to prioritise and recognise my skills and what I need to do to become a more effective leader.



The facilitators are excellent at helping me recognise and look at my weaknesses. They guided and supported me to identify what I needed to do to raise these areas of my work to a higher standard.



I also found my fellow delegates a great support throughout the course, to the extent that we stay in contact and still help each other with advice. I would highly recommend this course to other BAME candidates, without any hesitation.


Kelvin Griffith


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.


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?

This programme is tailored to your organisation. Please contact Jim Thomas on jim.thomas@skillsforcare.org.uk for more information.

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 2017/18 programme dates are as follows:  

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

Please note that the registration process for the 2017/18 programme has now closed. 

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.

Developing senior leaders in health and social care

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Our Top Leaders programme is designed for the sector’s most senior leaders who are looking to enhance their own leadership capabilities. It meets the needs of those working in service provider and commissioner roles across health and social care.

The programme focuses on the key challenges and issues facing the health and social care sector. It enables senior leaders to improve their effectiveness as a leader within, and across, organisational and system boundaries to achieve impact at multiple levels for people who need care and support.

Top Leaders supports leaders to improve their performance, increase impact on organisational culture, partnership relationships and the systems that they oversee. Senior leaders will also learn how to extend the reach and influence of their organisation by collaborating with other sector leaders, senior policy figures and thought leaders.

The programme created a space for learning that went beyond the normal/typical approach. It forced us to address our own leadership styles in a challenging way and made me think about issues at work in a different way.  Previous participant on Top Leaders programme

The Top Leaders programme includes:

  • exploring key ideas relevant to contemporary health and social care leadership 

  • input from key speakers, policy strategists and thought leaders 

  • dialogue with system partners including those from health, people who need care and support and community leaders 

  • action learning using a distinctive peer coaching approach to embed reflective practice in 
tackling work-based leadership challenges 

  • access to the Leadership Qualities Framework 360 degree assessment tool 

  • access to Skills for Care’s tools and resources designed to facilitate application and 
impact of leadership development in the workplace. 

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

2018 programme dates and venues

Our 2018 Top Leaders programme is delivered over eight days, over a four-month period and includes both residential and module-based learning. It’s supported by a package of workshops, action learning sets and the use of diagnostic tools that bring maximum impact both in terms of collaborative working and system and workforce design.

10-11 January – residential at Warwick University

20-21 February - residential at Warwick University

26-27 March – modules in London

24-25 April – residential at Warwick University


£2,500+ VAT.

Register for a place today




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