Place teams

We suggest that teams participating in the programme have at least four individual members, with a maximum number of six. In practice, we have found this to be the most effective way to embed lasting change and our experience from the previous three cohorts has told us that smaller teams have struggled to gain traction for the changes that they are trying to effect locally.

In order to demonstrate a commitment in your place to fostering a culture of systems leadership, teams should represent, as far as possible, the wider system in a locality and therefore include individuals from a range of organisations.

Please be creative about who you include in your place teams. Remember this is a systems leadership programme, therefore it is important that stakeholders from as many different parts of the wider system are represented. Examples of the range of roles that might be represented are below (please note that this is not intended to be an exhaustive list):

  • Directors of Children’s Services (DCSs)
  • Directors of Adult Social Services (DASSs)
  • Directors of Public Health (DpHs)
  • CCG Chief Officer or Accountable Officers
  • Voluntary Care Sector leaders
  • Social Care providers
  • Leaders from NHS Trusts
  • Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards (LSCBs) Chairs
  • Senior Leaders from the Police

Teams already participating in other systems change initiatives such as Pioneers, Vanguards (Fore-runners) and Local Vision projects, may be particularly well placed to submit an application to the Programme, but applications are not limited to these places.


The programme is designed for those operating at Director or Assistant Director level or equivalent who thus are most able to exert significant influence across systems boundaries.

If you would like a discussion about your own particular context or about which other individuals to include in your team, please email [email protected] or call Ruth Lloyd on 0115 748 4141.


All applicants must have the support of their Chief Executive (or equivalent) to participate in the Programme. This is a critical demonstration of support for the change you wish to make within your systems.

In addition, it is important that the participant has permission to attend residential events, Extended Leadership Workshops and to spend time working with their other team members in between residentials.

We have found that without this support from a senior level it is difficult for teams to make progress on their systems leadership challenge. Sponsors will be required to provide a short supporting statement as part of the application process.

Working towards a common understanding of leadership approaches

The programme is underpinned by a number of core leadership constructs.

It is helpful if participants have reasonable prior knowledge of the following constructs or at least for one or more member to have knowledge of the constructs that they can embed within the team:

  • Keith Grint’s ‘Wicked Issues and Clumsy Solutions’
  • Heifitz & Linsky’s model of ‘Adaptive Leadership’

Geographical Location

The programme team will endeavour to ensure a good geographical spread across England this will be a consideration when assessing applications, particularly if over subscribed.

Application statement

As part of the application process, all applicants will be expected to submit a supporting statement which demonstrates a willingness to deploy the attributes of a systems leader to effect positive change in their local context.

The Panel

The panel assessing applications will be comprised of members of the Leadership for Change steering group, representing the key partner agencies funding the programme.

Download the eligibility criteria

Leadership for Change eligibility criteria Cohort 4 v1.0