Applications now open for successful aspiring chief executive programme

01 May 2018

Leaders who want to make a difference in the NHS are being invited to develop their skills as part of the Aspiring chief executive programme at the NHS Leadership Academy.

The third cohort of the programme is now open and has 14 places for people in director-level positions who aspire to a chief executive-level role in the NHS within the next 12-24 months. Successful completion of the programme leads to the NHS Leadership Academy Award for Chief Executive Leadership. 

The Aspiring chief executive programme is a collaboration between ourselves, NHS Providers and NHS Improvement. It forms part of a fully resourced, strategic response to the challenge of how identifying, developing and deploying our most senior leaders. Together, we have designed and delivered a programme to:

There is no guarantee of a chief executive post at the end of the programme, but the benefits of the programme are clear. To date, 10 of the previous 27 participants have already been appointed to lead trusts.

To date, 10 of the previous 27 participants have already been appointed to lead trusts.

Penny Lock, programme director for the Aspiring Chief Executive programme said: “Those who are leading the provision of healthcare services are pivotal to the quality of care provided within their organisations and across their wider systems. They need to manage competing demands, lead with authority, collaborate with understanding and create the conditions for innovation.

This third cohort will build on the success of our first two, by continuing to develop and support those with the talent to take up these key leadership roles both professionally and personally, and introduce them to colleagues and networks that will support them now and into the future.”

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said: “After a successful second cohort, we’re delighted to be working to support another 14 individuals in their journey towards becoming a trust chief executive for the first time.”

Adam Sewell-Jones, executive director of Improvement at NHS Improvement, said: “Leadership development is a core part of NHS Improvement’s work, and our involvement with this excellent programme is one of the ways we are seeking to develop and support future leaders within the service.”


For more information or to apply for the programme, visit the NHS Leadership Academy website. The closing date for applications is 1 June 2018.

Read our recent Aspiring CEOs report featuring perspectives from previous participants, who discuss their experience and the impact the programme has had on themselves, colleagues and the system.

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