Recommendation 214

Training for managers and leaders

A leadership staff college or training system, whether centralised or regional, should be created to: provide common professional training in management and leadership to potential senior staff; promote healthcare leadership and management as a profession; administer an accreditation scheme to enhance eligibility for consideration for such roles; promote and research best leadership practice in healthcare.

The NHS Leadership Academy, supported by NHS England, fills this role. It has developed a leadership model for the NHS and a suite of development programmes, tools and interventions to support a change in culture in NHS leadership through a national network of local delivery partners. It researches and champions the professionalisation of leadership.

The Academy provides a suite of career-long, academically accredited programmes which map against a leadership career, irrespective of professional background. This establishes the need for prior training and development before applying for significant and vital senior roles, and creates an expectation of sufficient experience, knowledge and a minimum level of academic achievement for leadership roles.  The Academy works with partners and in-house experts on developing a model for leadership, based on research evidence and best practice.


The NHS Leadership Academy continues to bring together national activity supporting leadership development in health and NHS funded services. To achieve this, the Academy oversees the development of core leadership programmes and a leadership model to ensure a consistent approach to leadership development of staff at all levels in the NHS.

The Executive Fast Track programme, launched in June 2014, aims to increase the number of executive leaders in the NHS. With clinical and non-NHS backgrounds, the 49 participants are undertaking this 10-month long development programme, which includes four weeks of executive development at Harvard, Boston, USA, as well as an industrial placement and six-month long change programme under an NHS chief executive mentor.