The 21st Century Public Servant Leadership Programme for Aspiring Directors

This new programme, delivered in partnership with Public Health England, is designed for those who aspire to director-level roles focused on improving the public’s health. 

High performance in these director-level roles call for leaders capable of working in volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environments, to be skilled at building relationships across whole systems of public service provision, and able to operate effectively in a dynamic political landscape. This new programme focuses on enabling aspiring senior public health leaders to find ways of working successfully in this challenging context, so that they are able to build and sustain necessary strategic partnerships, and collaborate to deliver health improvements for local communities.

To achieve the core objectives of the programme we will create learning environments in which participants are supported and challenged to apply the principles of systems leadership to their work, build a connected learning community, and develop the behaviours, skills and knowledge of effective systems leaders.

Participants will be offered workshops, leadership ‘labs’, action learning sets, coaching and mentoring opportunities. The programme will run for 9 months and will include opportunities to connect with alumni of the programme from previous years as well as to build mentoring relationships with future participants.

Who can apply for the programme?

This programme is for those who have been working at a senior level in the following areas for at least 2 years who have the ability and desire to be a Director of Public Health, or work at Director level in their own profession, within 3 years of the end of the programme:

  • Public Health
  • Children, Young People and Family Services
  • Adult Health and Care Services
  • Commissioning & Service Development
  • Education, Housing & wider Community Services
  • Others with significant responsibility for the delivery or planning of public health related services.

This course is non-accredited.

Programme cost

This programme is funded by Public Health England (PHE).

  • For consultants in Public Health working in England, the course is free: this includes accommodation during residential sessions and all materials used on the programme. You will be responsible for travel costs and for overnight accommodation before modules start if required.
  • If you are working in any of the other services listed above (except Public Health) in England, Scotland or Wales there will be a cost of £1500 plus VAT. This represents a significant subsidy on the total cost of the programme.

Programme dates for first cohort

Please note that all successful applicants for the programme MUST COMMIT TO ATTENDING ALL of the following dates:

  • Leadership Lab 1: 27 September 2017 – Nicholson Building, University of Birmingham
  • Workshop 1 (residential): 22 – 24 November 2017, Marriott Hotel, Birmingham
  • Leadership Lab 2: 16 January 2018 - Nicholson Building, University of Birmingham
  • Workshop 2 (residential) 21 -23 March 2018 - Nicholson Building, University of Birmingham
  • Leadership Lab 3: 16 May 2018 - Nicholson Building, University of Birmingham

How to apply

Applications for the 2017 cohort have now closed. Thank you for your interest. Applications for 2018/19 cohort will open in summer 2018.

For informal enquiries please contact the Programme Coordinator on (0121) 414 7054 or email