You can be a leader and develop leadership skills at any point in your personal life – you might volunteer for a local community group, as a sports leader, or on a board of trustees or governors. In your professional life, you can be a leader at any stage of your career, including when you are a student.
We have collated resources to support leadership development at all levels, and in all forms, based on the recommendations of RCSLT members. Each section pulls together a selection of materials that offer starting points, reflective pieces and key resources, on different aspects of leadership.
Where to start
We recommend that you use the section headings to identify the aspect of leadership that aligns with your interests and/or the identified leadership development in your personal development plan/leadership learning objectives.
How to use the resources
- To support your own leadership continuing professional development (CPD) objectives.
- As part of objective setting via a personal development review or supervision process.
- To support student learners as part of their leadership skills development.
- To support student learners on non-clinical leadership placements.
- As a resource for wider structured leadership programmes.
- As part of a new job induction pack.
- As part of a preceptorship programme.
- As a resource for in-service leadership/CPD training to advise and encourage leadership development in up-and-coming leaders and/or support project, service improvement and team working leadership skills.
We encourage you to discuss and reflect on your leadership learning in your teams and on social media. Tag your posts with @RCSLTLearn so we can follow your progress.
Please note: These resources are provided for informational purposes only. No endorsement is expressed or implied, and while we make every effort to ensure this page is up to date and relevant, we cannot take responsibility for pages maintained by external providers.
Comments and queries
If you have any general comments, queries or suggestions for resources that can be added to this page, please contact us.
You may also find the following RCSLT pages useful in supporting your leadership journey:
- Leadership mentors – find out how to access support and guidance from an RCSLT leadership mentor, or become one yourself. This service is only for members of the RCSLT.
- Lifelong learning – guidance on the CPD you are required to do.
- Using your RCSLT CPD diary
- Resources to support your CPD
- Your career – advice for every stage of your career.
- Service planning and improvement guidance
What is a leader?
A leader is someone who is able to make a difference and have a positive impact on those around them. An effective leader is often defined as someone with the confidence and capability to directly or indirectly motivate others to act towards achieving a common goal. Leadership is as much about the person as their word and actions.
Understanding the difference and relationship between leadership and management is important.
Warren Bennis, a contemporary leadership scholar and author, is famous for making the distinction between the two: “The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing” (1989).
In his 2016 article, Nine Things That Separate The Leaders From The Managers, Andy Boynton shares his experience and lists nine things he believes any leader must do to be more than a manager.
We have included a range of different leadership perspectives below to demonstrate how diverse leadership can be.
- 150 Leaders, I can’t be a leader because… blog post (October 2019) – How often do you associate being a leader with a hierarchical position? Effective leadership is about taking action on the things that are important to you, which is demonstrated through what you say and how you behave.
- Living leadership (PDF), Bulletin feature article (March 2020, p11) – Carrie Biddle looks at what makes a good leader, and discovers SLTs have the skills that it takes.
- Leading light (PDF), Bulletin feature article (March 2019, p22) – Ahead of the 2019 event at Speaker’s House to celebrate Professor Pam Enderby OBE’s contribution to the profession, Bulletin editor, Victoria Briggs, caught up with Pam to take a look back at her achievements.
- Friday FAQs, Nuffield Trust blog post (October 2020) – Owen Williams explores ethnic diversity in NHS leadership positions.
- Drew Dudley, Everyday leadership TED Talk – In this amusing talk, Drew Dudley calls on all of us to celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving each other’s lives. (Video length 06:02)
- Peter Anderton, Great leadership only comes down to two rules – Peter takes us on a tour of the history of leadership and tells us why everything you ever need to know about leadership comes down to only two rules. (Video length 17:28)
Good leaders are continuous learners
Developing leadership skills involves challenging yourself to be the best that you can be. You may be surprised to find out what you are capable of achieving!
Leaders are continuous learners – the journey has no final destination. As you grow in capabilities and confidence, you will become empowered to lead with care, while your service users, colleagues and your wider profession will all share the benefits.
- Good leadership (PDF) – Carrie Biddle and Victoria Harris on the importance of good leadership, in Bulletin‘s Spring 2021 issue.
Importance of leadership in speech and language therapy services
We need to support and develop speech and language therapists as leaders with the skills and experience to take on the challenges we face in our organisations, local communities and systems.
It is essential to recognise the benefits and impact of leadership capabilities, in their capacity to deliver safe, effective and sustainable care, with a core focus on continuous improvement for population health, workforce retention, wellbeing and value for money. The importance of leadership in speech and language therapy services is outlined in the RCSLT position statement (PDF).
The following literature searches provide information relating specifically to Allied Health Professions (AHP) leadership in the UK and a broader leadership evidence base to support the themes featured in our leadership pages.
Developing yourself as a leader
The decision to grow your leadership skills starts with getting to know yourself. This includes your strengths, characteristics, values, behaviours, personal drivers and aspirations. In this section, you will find a selection of materials that focus on what it takes to be a leader in both your personal and professional life.
- Become a school governor or trustee – Useful guidance from the National Governance Association (NGA) on the role of a governor, what to expect, what’s involved and how it differs from the role of a trustee, as well as resources to support you in the role.
- Community tool box: Learning how to be a community leader – Information on the what and how of community leadership and reasons to support the value and impact of strong community leadership.
- Wondering what might be holding you back? This short video, growth mindset vs fixed mindset, might help. (Video length 02:19)
- How to stop feeling like an imposter, blog post (May 2019) – Scott Young shares his lived experience of imposter syndrome, as well as key factors that distort your thinking about yourself.
- Values-based leadership must be about action, not just words blog post (2019) – Gerry Griffin writes for Skills for Health about value-based leadership.
- A universe of opportunities for your AHP career video (Video length 05:54) – An interactive resource from Health Education England (HEE) which explores different career development routes including leadership pathway.
- Beyond the comfort zone (PDF) – Laura Mizzi on the benefits of developing leadership skills from the Winter 2021-2022 issue of Bulletin.
- Show up Hard by Shannon Weber (2018) and associated e-learning resource.
- Unlocking leadership mindtraps: how to thrive in complexity by Jennifer Garner Berger (2019).
- 7 habits of highly effective people, Special 30th anniversary edition by Stephen Covey (2020).
- Stepping up: How to accelerate your leadership potential by Sarah Wood (2017).
- Black box thinking by Matthew Syed (2015).
- The transformational power of classical music Ted Talk – Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music and helping us all to realise our untapped love for it – and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections. (Video length 20:31)
- Skills for Health: Leadership in 2019 – A series of three podcasts that focus on leadership reflections, a value-based approach and a collaborative mindset
- Leadersplus podcasts – This website focuses on the dual nature of being a person (partner, parent, carer) and leader and shares ideas and experiences of how to make it work for you. Its offerings aim to support parents of young children who are ambitious about their career.
- 16 personalities online personalities test
Nb: There are many personality and preference tests available. Many organisations will have access to specific packages/tests which you may be able to access.
- BMJ leadership resources platform – A contemporary collection of resources on leadership in healthcare and a handy latest leadership news and research thread.
- The healthcare leadership model – This NHS tool, which is accessible to all, is a useful framework covering nine dimensions of leadership. The self-assessment tool can be useful to shape leadership development at any stage.
- Health Education England multi-professional framework for advanced clinical practice (ACP) – Includes a pillar in leadership and management as one of four pillars of practice. Download the PDF.
Courses and programmes
There are a wide range of courses and programmes available. We recommend that you connect with your organisation’s learning and development team to find out what may be offered/funded locally.
You can also take a look at the following online self-directed leadership courses and programmes:
- The Student Leaders programme – This programme aims to promote and develop leadership skills among the future nursing, midwifery and AHP workforce by working with first and second year pre-registration students and first-year postgraduate students through the Council of Deans. The programme is for individuals who aspire to lead and make a difference. Applications are encouraged from all four nations and all backgrounds and is known as the home of #150Leaders.
- NHS Scotland leadership and management zone – Resources available on the Turas digital platform to help you to be the best you can be, as a leader or manager in health and care.
- The Project Lift Leadership Profile (PDF) – A useful one page document to help you to frame the different aspects of your leadership development.
- What is leadership? – A short online course from Future Learn.
- Early Leadership AHP Network (ELAN) – ELAN is a repository and sharing platform on the NHS Learning Hub, with resources that guide planning and support delivery and evaluation of pre-registrant leadership activities, including placement design and delivery.
The following courses and programmes are directed towards people who are underrepresented in leadership positions:
- Disability Rights Leadership Academy programme
- Women in Healthcare Leadership project
- Ready Now Programme for Black, Asian and minority ethnic NHS staff
- Stonewall LGBT leadership programme
In England, a number of leadership apprenticeship standards are now available, including improvement leader, senior leader and systems thinker practitioner. Apprenticeships enable you to learn on the job. Speak to the apprenticeship lead within your organisation to find out which leadership apprenticeships may be available. Similar blended learning programmes may be available in other nations. Find out more about apprenticeships.
Fellowship programmes enable individuals to enter an environment with opportunities to translate theory into action via experiential learning. This is a combination of on-the-job experience and theory, allowing for real-time application and deeper learning. Many organisations and arm’s-length bodies offer annual fellowship opportunities. The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust offers fellowships that empower individuals ‘to travel to learn and return to inspire’. The website includes a section on learning and practice where you can access the stories and background of fellows.
RCSLT learning journeys
Two learning journeys were launched on leadership and influencing in 2019. Learning journeys guide you through a structured sequence of self-directed learning experiences. You can work through them at your own pace to improve your self-awareness, knowledge and confidence in leadership and influencing skills.
The leadership learning journey covers leadership concepts, developing leadership skills, creating positive teams, change management and improvement.
Watch our short promotional video (video length 1:07) to find out more.
You can access both learning journeys on our RCSLT CPD site.
Developing yourself as a resilient leader
In times of change there is often uncertainty. Leaders need to draw on their resilience to stay focused and strong, in order to get through challenging times and take others with them. Resilient people are better able to frame change in terms of challenge rather than threat.
Leading people with care and compassion is also key. In the 21st century, the benefits of collective leadership over hierarchical approaches are proving effective and popular.
- Eight steps to becoming more resilient, Centre for Creative Leadership blog (2018) –This blog provides useful pointers to improve your resilience as a leader.
- Build your resilience in the face of crisis blog (2020) – Strategies for looking after your own mental health during times of significant challenge in a crisis.
- The Shackleton Way by Margot Morrell and Stephanie Capparell (2003)
- Awakening Compassion at Work: The Quiet Power that Elevates People and Organizations by Monica Worline and Jane Dutton (2017)
- Intelligent Kindness: Rehabilitating the Welfare State 2nd Edition by John Ballatt, Penelope Campling and Chris Maloney (2020)
- Leading with Emotional Courage: Peter Bregman Podcast (length 37:04) – Discover the four elements of emotional courage, and why placing emphasis on success or failure won’t help you in the long run.
- RCSLT podcast: Empathy, self-care and resilience (length 21:53) – Ruth Williams, Clinical directorate lead at iCares in Sandwell and West Birmingham talks about the importance of self-care and resilience; and why it’s key to consider what’s going on under the surface for others.
- Materials and resources from the Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) leadership conference ‘Developing a Healthier Wales through a culture of Compassionate Leadership’ on 21 October 2019. Including presentations on compassionate leadership, collective leadership – the Northern Ireland journey, the NHS England approach to talent management, clinical leadership, and inclusivity in leadership.
- Q&A webinar with Michael West CBE discussing compassionate leadership from the HEIW leadership conference.
Developing yourself as an inclusive and culturally responsive leader
Feeling included and that you have a voice, can express an opinion and will be valued is important.
Inclusive leadership requires us to both understand our own views and perspectives – where they come from and what experiences that have shaped them – and to hold the space open to those with different perspectives and experiences. Inclusive leaders recognise the value of diversity in all forms.
Here are a range of resources to help you to develop your skills in inclusive leadership and consider what it takes to be culturally responsive as a leader within teams, services and organisations.
- Harvard Business Review blog by Juliet Bourhe and Andrea Titus (March 2019) – Why Inclusive Leaders Are Good for Organizations, and How to Become One
- Microaggressions are not a ‘harmless’ form of racism – they have a huge impact, Metro Blog (March 2020) – This blog post examines covert racism and microaggressions.
- Time to speak up: some necessary words about racism, The King’s Fund (July 2020) – Tracey Jolliff examines the impact of racism in the NHS and beyond, and asks if 2020 has seen a pivotal moment for transformational change, thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement.
- Changing the culture of conversations, AHP leaders podcast special edition June 2020 – This series reaches out to support and engage with Black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues.
- AHP Role Model podcast AHPs Day 2020 special on AHP role model and the LGBTQ+ Community
- This short artistic video from Emergence Lab (2015) shows what happens when you change your position and see the same thing from a different perspective (video length 1:44)
- Inclusion starts with I, June 2017 (video length 3:27) – Starring staff from Accenture, this video demonstrates that bias can appear in both expected and unexpected ways, and that each of us has the power to make a difference.
- Your privilege is showing Ted Talk, 2018 (video length 13:26) – Talking about race, sex, gender, class and privilege often gets put in the ‘too difficult’ pile for fear of saying the wrong thing and triggering feelings of personal discomfort. Lillian Medville shares helpful insights and experience.
- Audrey Murrell talks about the key aspects of inclusive leadership and why it matters. (Video length 9:24)
- Lessons in leadership from women clinical commissioners: practical guidance to support the next generation of women clinical leaders, December 2016 – Practical guidance from NHS Clinical Commissioners to support women in leadership roles.
Developing yourself as a transformational leader
As the NHS and health and social care continue to change, we require diverse leadership at all levels – leaders who are able to identify those with the creativity to work in new ways, hold space for them to test ideas and work with others so that we may deliver safe, effective, and high quality care. It takes courage to think outside the box and to lead others forward with a clear vision and a well-organised plan that will sustain change.
- Radical Help: How we can remake the relationships between us and revolutionise the welfare state by Hillary Cottam (2018). See also: Social Services Are Broken. How We Can Fix Them Ted Talk. (Video length 16:55)
- Turn The Ship Around!: A True Story of Building Leaders by Breaking the Rules by L David Marquet
- Uncharted: How to Map the Future Together by Margaret Heffernan (2020)
- Complex adaptive leadership: Embracing Paradox and Uncertainty by Nick Obolensky (2014). See also: Complex adaptive leadership video (video length 04:57).
- Engaging leadership: a better approach to leading a team (2018) – This discussion piece promotes engaging transformational leadership as an approach to leadership that is conducive to good-quality care because it nurtures staff’s confidence, motivation, ability to work with others and willingness to innovate.
- NHS Horizons School for Change Agents: The new era of thinking and practice in change and transformation (2020) – This paper describes the ‘how’ of change (mindsets, processes, relationships and methods to make it happen) and shares examples of evidence to support this stance and provides leaders with a clear call to action. Download the paper (PDF).
- A Digital Framework for Allied Health Professions (PDF) (2019) – NHS England document which recognises the importance of digital leadership skills to inspire and enable the wider workforce to utilise digital innovations in the delivery of health and social care.
- NMAHP Digital Health and Care Leadership Programme – This Community of Practice contains information and resources about the impact of the NMAHP Digital Health and Care Leadership Programme led by NHS Education for Scotland.
- Liberating Structures – An alternative way to approach and design how people work together.
- Reinventing Work – A global grassroots movement for people interested in more human-centred, purposeful and self-organised ways of working.
A key way for you to develop your leadership and resilience skills is to be part of a network. This may include networking locally within your organisation, within your local health and social care system, within professional networks and across professions via multidisciplinary and multi-agency networks.
Networks provide ideal experiential learning opportunities for people who learn best by doing.
RCSLT groups: Hubs and networks
RCSLT provides many ways for you to develop networking relationships in your region, your clinical area and with the RCSLT as part of our governance roles or our projects. Whatever level you are at and wherever you are, there is a way for you to network via the RCSLT.
- Clinical Excellence Networks (CENs) and RCSLT Hubs – Collaborate with other professionals on projects and share information on the Basecamp platform. Download a guide to using Basecamp (PDF).
- Become a clinical adviser
- RCSLT board and committee members – RCSLT is governed by its members for members.
- Giving Voice champions
- Become a learning champion
- Become a research champion
- The European Speech and Language Therapy Association (ESLA) (previously known as CPLOL) is a pan-European umbrella organisation that includes 30 member associations across 27 countries, representing over 50,000 European speech and language therapy professionals.
Wider multi-professional/agency networks
- Research champions include National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) Council for Allied Health Professions (CAHPR) Research Champion Network.
- Quality Improvement (QI) Connectors – Q Community is a connected community working together to improve health and care quality across the UK. There are a range of special interest groups to engage with including the AHPs in QI Special Interest Group launched in 2019 hosted by the Q Community.
- NHS Networks – Online networking platform for the NHS, with links to up-to-date blogs and resources.
- The Knowledge Network – National online information service for health and social care in Scotland. Under the Communities of practice (Scotland) section you will find a number of leadership offerings to engage with.
Social media networking
Twitter is the platform of choice for many networking professionally on social media.
For support on how to use Twitter, access the #WeLearnToTweet resources on the We communities website.
We.communities.org is all about connecting, driving and supporting tweeting communities. All of the chats on the website are run by healthcare professionals who believe passionately that through connecting people and sharing information, ideas and expertise we can share best practice and ultimately provide better care. SLTs can connect with wider AHPs on Twitter via @WeAHPs.
Many clinical and professional groups also use closed Facebook and Whatsapp groups to maintain ongoing links, engage in conversations, share resources and offer support.
Our page on social media and online forums provides further guidance on using social media, including up-to-date advice to stay safe online.
Follow @RCSLTLearn on Twitter for leadership news and opportunities.
Social movements provide an everyday leadership opportunity to connect with others and bring people together into an organised network to raise awareness and make change happen. They enable individuals to come from anywhere, embracing the concept of ‘new power’.
Please see our information on transformational leadership for more references to the NHS Horizons ‘school for change agents’ programme.
- Enabling change and change leaders, NHS Horizons blog post, 2019 – Blog version of Helen Bevan’s talk at the Rainmaker conference in June 2019 on the topic of enabling change and change leaders in the NHS. It comes with the associated presentation slides.
- New Power: How it’s changing the 21st Century and why you need to know by Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans (2018)
- How to Start a Movement, Derek Sivers’ Ted Talk – explains how the process works and shines a light on the often hidden yet critical leadership actions of the first follower. (Video length 03:10)
Developing skills to lead teams within an organisation
Being a leader of a team can mean different things to different people. You may lead from the front or lead from within. Your team culture – as in ‘the way we do things around here’ – will impact on the type of leadership style that you choose to use.
You will find a range of learning and training offers around team leadership are available. Why don’t you start by exploring the local organisational opportunities offered by your learning and development team or equivalent? They will be able to tell you what you can access locally and within the region.
- Four ways to create a learning culture on your team (July 2018) – Harvard Business Review
- Five inspiring lessons in leadership from Simon Sinek (September 2016) – A comprehensive quick read with further links to videos for more detail.
- How to be the perfect leader for your team (October 2019) – Ben Mulholland
- Shared leadership/self-managed teams blog post (February 2020) – written by SLT Annabelle Burns
- Bring your whole self to work: How vulnerability unlocks creativity, connection and performance by Mike Robbins (2018) – See also: Mike Robbins’ Ted Talk (Video length 12:05)
- Conversations worth having: Using appreciative inquiry to fuel productive and meaningful engagement by Jackie Stavros and Cheri Torres (2018)
- Crucial conversations: Tools for talking when the stakes are high by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron Mcmillan and Al Switzler (2002) – See also: animated video of core messages (Video length 06:53)
- Start with why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action by Simon Sinek (2011)
- Margaret Heffernan: Why it’s time to forget the pecking order at work – This video focuses on the importance of helpfulness in leadership Ted Talk (Video length 15:47)
Courses and programmes
- Open University free short course on leadership – CPD accredited
Staff health and wellbeing
If you are responsible for leading a team, it’s important to consider your own health and wellbeing as well as that of your team, the individual people within it. It’s also important to consider ways to support them in times of change where uncertainty can cause anxiety.
We have included some ideas to support you with this and to positively frame your leadership stance.
- Leading with positive thoughts (PDF) – Download this handy poster on the what, how and why of leading with positivity.
- There is strength in kindness: why kind leadership matters (June, 2019) – blog post Emily Marsh
- NHS England topic sheet on personal resilience (PDF) – This topic sheet provides a useful list of principles and practices for personal resilience.
- The pig of happiness short video by Edward Monkton – A lighthearted animation to remind us of the value and importance of happiness. (Video length 04:22)
- Shine: Rediscovering your energy, happiness and purpose by Andrew Cope and Gavin Oattes (2018)
- Chief Joy Officer: How Great Leaders Elevate Human Energy and Eliminate Fear by Richard Sheridan (2018)
- The happy secret to better work, Shawn Achor Ted Talk – A light hearted and funny story explaining why positivity matters. (Video length 12:20)
- Encouraging staff wellbeing in health and care presentation slides (PDF), Michael West (The King’s Fund)
- Civility Saves Lives – A collective of healthcare professionals aiming to raise awareness of the power of civility in medicine.
- Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) white paper on joy in work – with accompanying video: how does joy in work advance quality and safety (Video length 01:44)
Developing yourself as clinical and professional leaders
Speech and language therapy services require effective clinical and professional leadership to ensure they are able to deliver high-quality, safe and cost-effective services for people with communication and swallowing needs.
Here are a collection of resources to support your understanding and development of the skills and attributes required to be a successful clinical/professional leader at all levels.
- Leading from the front (PDF), Bulletin (September 2018, p18) – Dr Joanne Fillingham talks with Amelia Dale about leadership, learning and building a successful career
- Clinical leadership framework (2019) – NHS Improvement framework designed to help providers to make the most of the talents of their existing clinical workforce. Includes a series of case studies sharing lived experiences.
- Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management standards – The second edition of the standards are a set of core leadership and management values and behaviours designed to work across all career levels.
- NHS Leadership Academy Clinical Leadership Competency Framework (PDF) – The 2011 framework describes the leadership competences that clinicians need to become more actively involved in the planning, delivery and transformation of health and social care services and can be used in conjunction with uni-professional guidance and frameworks.
- NHS Improvement Developing Allied Health Professional Leaders (2019) – An interactive guide for clinicians and trust boards A guide to professional development opportunities and possibilities to support allied health professionals (AHPs) lead at all levels.
- Modernising Allied Health Professions’ Careers in Wales (PDF) (2019) – This post-registration framework provides a set of principles that will deliver real benefits for the people of Wales by improving the outcomes, skills and working practices of the professionals delivering those services.
Courses and programmes
- Leadership for clinicians e-learning module – e-learning for Healthcare. There are specific modules on leadership for clinicians and leadership foundations.
- NHS Leadership Academy – Leadership programmes for healthcare professionals at every level.
For further course/programme signposting take a look at the developing yourself as a leader section on this page.
Leading in education and the development of others
The ability to inspire others and to be a positive role model aligning words to actions that others can learn from are key skills of leaders. Good leaders seek to provide learning environments and support learning opportunities where others are able to grow their own knowledge, skills and confidence.
Coaching and mentoring are useful skills to successfully support the development of others. Completing a theoretical course may provide you with the knowledge you need, but putting this knowledge into action will help you to refine your skills and develop your competency and capabilities. There are many similarities and differences between coaching and mentoring, but both are effective in supporting the education and development of others.
Coaching tends to focus on improving performance. Actions and learning are self-directed by the coachee for a contracted period of time.
Mentoring often describes a relationship where a more experienced colleague or educator shares their knowledge and lived experience to support the development of a less experienced individual.
- Do you know your Goleman from your Lewin? – Leadership Styles Explained blog by Jade Burton (2017) featuring Daniel Goleman’s leadership styles
- Five topics for coaching conversations and strategies for effective employee coaching blog (June 2018) – Provides the ‘why’ to coaching, top tips for coaching conversations, what you might take to coaching and shares the popular GROW model to structure coaching conversations.
- The Little Book of Corridor Coaching by Phil Hayes and Tim Cox (2016) – Outlines some basic coaching skills to use to improve your coaching conversations. Sign up to download the free ebook.
- Eight mentoring topics for discussion, Indeed blog (November 2020) – Useful quick read in which they discuss possible mentoring topics that can be addressed from both the mentor and mentee perspectives, to guide the direction of a meeting with each other.
- Coaching: It’s a culture thing, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) podcast – Explores the development of the coaching culture. 2017 (length 18:23)
- BAME in Academia, Council of Deans for Health (CoDH) podcast series – A series of CoDHcasts on Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups in academia and health. The series features a wide range of leaders including interviews with the #150Leaders from the CoDH student leadership programme.
- Manager as Coach: The New Way To Get Results by Jenny Rogers with Karen Whittleworth and Andrew Gilbert (2012)
- NHS Scotland Clinical Supervision online training resource – This resource has been created to support all registered healthcare practitioners to develop relevant knowledge and skills for participating in clinical supervision. In particular, it has a focus on the restorative component of supervision.
- NHS Education for Scotland Train the Trainers’ Toolkit – A practical guide to helping others to facilitate learning in the workplace.
- NHS Leadership Academy – Coaching and mentoring resources
Leading with care on patient safety and quality improvement
Leaders need to make decisions and implement change based on good evidence, be it clinical practice, service-base, patient safety and/or experience of care. Connecting with your local patient safety/quality improvement teams and networks is a great place to start.
Take a look at our information on building networks for further signposting to national quality improvement networks.
- Ahead of the game, Bulletin, May 2019, p 12 (PDF) – Mary Harrington describes the ups and downs of using data to improve speech and language therapy services.
- RCSLT tips and further resources for healthcare improvement
- Rethinking Patient Safety by Suzette Woodward (2017) – This book provides insights on practical actions that can be immediately implemented to improve the safety of patient care in healthcare. It provides readers with a different way of thinking in terms of changing behaviour, practices and safety culture, as well as processes and systems.
- The importance of psychological safety, Amy Edmondson, August 2020 (Video length 3:10)
- 15 seconds 30 minutes (15s30m) – Social movement encouraging everyone to take action in reducing frustration and increasing joy in work. It’s a great way for registered and unregistered staff to be empowered to make a difference in ways that are important and meaningful to them, even if they have no previous quality improvement experience.
- Quality improvement made simple – Resource from the Health Foundation explaining what everyone should know about healthcare quality improvement. Common approaches used to improve quality, including where they have come from, their underlying principles and their efficacy and applicability within the healthcare arena. Other resources from the Health Foundation with useful training and resources include Sheffield Microsystem Coaching Academy QI resources and the Flow Coaching Academy.
- NHS Improvement quality improvement e-learning platform – Provides a range of online improvement courses, available to anyone working in health or social care. Note: you will have to register but it is free to use.
- IHI uses the Model for Improvement as the framework to guide improvement work.
- The King’s Fund (2012) Leadership and engagement for improvement in the NHS: Together we can.
- HCPC Duty of Candour resources – Learn about the ethical responsibility health anc care professionals have to be open and honest with service users and their employers when things go wrong.
Developing your clinical business skills
All speech and language therapists should have an understanding of clinical business skills: what are the drivers for your service, how do you deliver to these and how do you prove the value of your service?
You’ll need to understand the language of clinical business in order to maintain your service, be ready to adapt to change and to be able to speak to commissioners and budget holders and others you will need to influence.
Those in leadership roles will need to engage their leadership and influencing skills when they want to introduce innovative practice, transform service delivery using digital technologies, adapt service specifications and when developing a business case for moving into new sectors, such as justice.
The resources on this page should assist you in developing the skills to plan for and implement change.
How finance works
It is important for leaders to understand the financial landscape in which they operate. Leaders often need to make and/or support the decisions of operational managers based on good evidence within a framework of funding, budgets and financial constraints.
- But I don’t speak finance… I’m a clinician (video length 12:37) – 2016 RCSLT webinar on creating partnerships between clinicians and finance colleagues to improve rehabilitation services.
- Future Focused Finance – A national programme designed to engage people in improving NHS Finance to support the delivery of quality services for patients.
- The King’s Fund – A useful resource for up-to-date news on the NHS finance position, featuring blogs, reports and signposts to longer reads.
- Video from the Kings Fund (video length 2:16) – Video from April 2020 which shows how funding flows through the health service.
Leading on service planning and service redesign
Here are a range of resources to give you ideas and support to help you to grow your clinical business skills.
- NHS England – Operational planning and contract guidance 2020/21
- Skills for Health – Service and role redesign
- The King’s Fund – Reconfiguring clinical services provides insights into the drivers of reconfiguration and the underpinning evidence. It includes links to summaries by clinical area and specialities.
- Webinar series (2014) – Introduction to clinical business skills: children’s services (Video length 41:15)
- Webinar series (2015) – Building a business case for adult services (Video length 40:28)
- What skills and knowledge will be in demand (PDF) – 2016 student presentation providing a review of external factors and stakeholders to consider that will shape the future of speech and language therapy service needs.
- Theory of change video (2016) – Planning the smaller steps to make the bigger changes (Video length 21:55)
- Collaborative working guidance
Each nation has future-facing strategies for healthcare improvement which will be useful to consider when developing your service specification and/or a future vision for your services as a leader. See our region specific sections for further information.
Being able to identify the conditions that enable successful relationships to flourish and being able to influence, persuade and negotiate are all important leadership skills. Those who develop good relationships with budget holders and decision-makers stand a better chance of surviving in times of change.
- Maximising the impact of SLTs presentation (PDF)
- Local influencing guidance
- Responding to proposed changes in service – How to influence decision-makers
- The Giving Voice campaign helps speech and language therapy services to demonstrate the unique value of SLTs to national and local decision-makers, while showing evidence of our efficiency and value for money.
Developing yourself as a strategic leader within complex systems
We need leaders with the confidence and ability to bring people together from across services and organisational boundaries to meet the needs of people in complex dynamic systems. Strategic leadership requires a clear vision, trust, and the ability to value and manage good working relationships.
- Strategic team leadership, NHS England blog – Amy Edmondson, of Harvard Business School, discusses she has learnt from a leadership masterclass and shares a four-part approach on how teaming can help to increase the chances of success.
- Francesca Gino blog (November/December 2019) Cracking the Code of Sustained Collaboration – Six training techniques that enable both leaders and employees to work well together, learn from one another, and overcome the psychological barriers that get in the way of doing both.
- A plan for the future, Bulletin, May 2018, p20 (PDF) – Morag Dorward and Della Money unveil the RCSLT’s strategic plan for the coming three-year period (2018-21)
- Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World by Stanley McChrystal (2015)
- Conversations about a collaborative society with Professor Donna Hall and Lord Victor Adebowale. Available on Apple podcasts.
- The King’s Fund (2015) – The practice of systems leadership: Being comfortable with Chaos
- The King’s Fund (2016) – Supporting integration through new roles and working across boundaries
- NHSE/I AHP leadership papers
- Whole systems approach presentation (PDF) – A whole systems approach to improving outcomes through workforce and community transformation from Janet Cooper (2016)
Leadership across our nations
In this section you will find information, guidance and resources that are relevant and specific to leading with care within each nation of the UK.
Please note additional resources from across all four nations are also referred to throughout the main leadership resource pages where they are felt to have wider relevance and use.
The following courses and programmes are relevant to England and Wales:
- NHS Leadership Academy programmes
- The King’s Fund Talent management – Developing leadership not just leaders
- The King’s Fund – Leadership development for senior leaders
- Health Education England eLearning Healthcare – Introduction to leadership and LeAD Leadership for Clinicians: LeAD is an e-learning resource to support clinicians, of all professions, to develop an understanding of their role in contributing to the management and leadership of healthcare services.
- Learning@Wales is a national elearning platform that provide NHS leadership courses
England – Key policies and drivers
- NHS Improvement, Developing People, Improving Care – A national framework of action and improvement leadership development in NHS-funded services
- Mapping the healthcare leadership model to the leadership framework (PDF) – See also: The healthcare leadership model (PDF)
- NHS long term plan – Developed by frontline staff, patient groups and national experts, the NHS long term plan is an ambitious but realistic strategy for the future delivery of healthcare in England.
- Preventing illness and tackling health inequalities (video length 03:25) – How the NHS long term plan is committed to strengthening the role and contribution of the NHS workforce in preventive healthcare practice.
Wales – Key policies and drivers
- Leading in the Welsh public service (PDF) (2017) – Describes a leadership behaviours framework to support leadership development, designed and developed by Academi Wales for senior leaders and those aspiring to a senior leadership role.
- A Healthier Wales: Our Workforce Strategy for Health and Social Care (PDF) (2020)
- Healthcare Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) Leadership – Sharing the progress to date on the agreement from the Welsh Government and NHS Wales to embed a collective and compassionate approach to the development of the leadership strategy for Wales and related projects.
- Draft Leadership Principles for Health and Social Care in Wales (2019) – This slide pack shares the evidence that compassion and compassionate leadership are core principles to the delivery of health and social care in Wales
- A Healthier Wales: Our plan for Health and Social Care (PDF) (2019) – The Welsh Government plan sets out the ambition to bring health and social care services together, so that they are designed and delivered around the needs and preferences of individuals, with a much greater emphasis on keeping people healthy and well.
Northern Ireland – Key policies and drivers
- Making life better (PDF) – A ten-year (2013-2023) public health strategic framework.
- The right time, the right place (PDF) – The 2014 Donaldson Report is an expert examination of the application of health and social care governance arrangements for ensuring the quality of care provision in Northern Ireland.
- Systems, Not Structures: Changing health and social care (PDF) – This 2016 report examines findings from an expert, clinically led panel formed to consider and lead an informed debate on the best configuration of health and social care services in Northern Ireland.
- Health and Wellbeing 2026: Delivering Together (PDF) – The document provides the next step actions of the Expert Panel’s recommendations. It sets out a commitment to tackle the issues identified in the NI Health and Social Care system through decisive political leadership.
- Health and Social Care (HSC) Leadership Strategy (PDF) (2017) – Shares the Department of Health’s vision for a culture which values leaders, regardless of hierarchy or experience, location or discipline.
- New Decade New Approach (PDF) (January 2020) – Represents a fair and balanced basis upon which to restore the institutions in Northern Ireland.
Courses and programmes
- HSC Leadership Centre – large selection of courses on different aspects of leadership for different levels. Northern Ireland recently ran the ‘Our emerging workforce’ initiative for allied health professionals (AHP) in bands 7 and 8a and the ‘Our collective future’ leadership initiative for AHP bands 8b and above.
- HSC eLearning module launched for allied health professionals – This module launched in September 2018 aims to help AHPs increase their awareness of other AHPs, the Department of Health AHP Strategy, AHP leadership and knowledge of clinical governance.
Scotland – Key policies and drivers
- A Fairer Healthier Scotland 2017–2022 – Public Health Scotland’s vision and strategic priorities for Scotland in which all of its people and communities have a fairer share of the opportunities, resources and confidence to live longer, healthier lives.
- AHPs in Scotland: Active and independent living programme (2017) – A three year allied health professions-led national improvement programme.
- Scottish Government Ready to Act (2016) – A transformational plan for children and young people, and their parents, carers and families who require support from allied health professionals (AHPs). The plan sets out to meet the changing needs of children and young people in providing an equitable and sustainable model that reflects the early years agenda and the integration of health and social care services.
- Scottish Government Ready to Act: interim report on implementation and recommendations (2018) – Report on the progress made on supporting the allied health professions children and young people (AHP CYP) community and direction for 2018-2020.
Course and programmes
- NHS Education for Scotland leadership capabilities – Developed to support and encourage people to think about how they exercise leadership in everyday roles as well as formal management positions.
- NHS Education for Scotland leadership and management zone provides structured leadership support at all stages of development.
Project Lift – A whole-system approach to enhancing leadership capability and capacity in Health and Social Care in Scotland. It is open to staff of all levels, in all roles and at all stages of their development. The Project Lift leadership profile (PDF) is a useful one-page document that helps you to frame the different aspects to your leadership development.