This Programme has been designed for those who are already experienced at senior operational level, and who are now looking to progress to strategic director level roles in the public sector. Linking with other national initiatives, the Future Directors Programme is underpinned by systems leadership approaches and will bring together people at assistant director or equivalent level from across the broadest range of services, to develop their knowledge, skills and experience so that they can step up to director level roles with confidence in their leadership abilities.

The programme content is rooted in the notion of there being ‘a single public pound’ and aims to prepare participants for director level roles, which arguably have broader remits, reflecting the changing context of public services in general and local government in particular. Participants will work both within and outside their professional ‘group’, with technical content pertinent to their current role delivered outside of the core programme by their individual leadership development agencies. 

The programme supports participants’ development as influential leaders who can inspire outstanding service delivery. The aim of the programme is to develop the level of knowledge, capability and experience within senior leadership teams, supporting Sector Led improvement (SLI), and creating a pool of potential future candidates for the role of Directors of Public Health; Children’s Services; Adult Services; etc.

The programme is a collaboration between the Staff College and Public Health England.

The programme is intended for those who:

  1. Are interested and able to step up to a director level role in the next 1 – 3 years,
  2. Are committed to continued professional development and the ongoing review of their professional skills and competences,
  3. Are committed to deepening personal learning about leadership and making behavioural changes that impact positively on those around them,
  4. Will actively share learning from the programme with colleagues through their leadership approach,
  5. Are applicants from Public Health, with a requirement that they be registered with the General Medical Council or other regulatory body (where appropriate),
  6. Are applicants from Children’s Services, who will be required to demonstrate significant experience and expertise in the field.
  7. Are applicants from the Public or Private sector, who can demonstrate significant experience and expertise in your field.

Participants will be asked to confirm they meet these eligibility criteria during the online application process.

Applications are welcomed from individuals who work at 2nd tier or equivalent roles and come from, but are not limited to, the following disciplines:

  • Public Health
  • Children, Young People and Family Services
  • Adult Services
  • CCGs
  • Commissioning
  • Education professionals
  • Other Local Authority disciplines such as Housing, Community Services etc.
  • Voluntary and Community Sector (where there is direct involvement in the provision of public services)
  • Private Sector (where there is direct involvement in the provision of public services)
  • Housing Associations

Priority will be given to applications from individuals who are able to demonstrate their aspiration and readiness to step up to a director level role in Public Health and Children, Young People and Family Services, as well as 2nd tier officers with extended remits (i.e. people services roles). However, there will also be a number of places available on this cohort for senior leaders from other disciplines (stated above).

Programme participants will be highly committed, with the ability to dedicate the time to complete the programme in full. They will require sponsorship from their Director, their line manager or other appropriate senior colleague.

Those who feel they meet these criteria will be required to commit the time to complete the programme (10 days overall, over approximately 6 months) in full. Non-attendance may result in participants having to withdraw from the programme. 

The programme may not meet the requirements of everyone who aspires to hold a director level post in the public sector. It is not a pre-requisite for becoming a Director or Chief Officer nor is completing the programme a guarantee of appointment. This is an intensive 6 month programme and therefore it is critical that prospective applicants consider fully whether this will best meet their professional development needs, before submitting an application.