Clinical Directors Development Programme

UCLPartners’ innovative Clinical Directors Development Programme (CDDP) is designed to support the newly appointed Clinical Directors of Primary Care Networks (PCNs) with the skills, tools and understanding to successfully take forward the leadership of these new primary care organisations.

Exceptional leadership will be required to enable PCNs to deliver the ambitious population health results expected for populations of 30-50,000 residents. Within their first 18 months, Clinical Directors will be required to develop a strategy that aligns the vision of the integrated care system with the needs of their local PCN populations.

Based on established peer-reviewed evidence, the programme is a carefully designed learning and development initiative specific to the development of PCN clinical directors and delivered by national and international leaders in the field. This timely programme aims to equip clinical directors with the skills and confidence required to lead the fledgling PCNs into their vital new roles within the wider integrated care systems.

Our approach

The programme builds on our acclaimed ‘Emerging Leaders’ training to suit the context of the new PCNs and draws upon our extensive scoping work with stakeholders.

The programme’s approach stems from successes seen with combined structured and experiential learning methodology. Time invested in developing leaders with this approach, cultivating peer support and provision of personalised coaching can profoundly impact the quality of service given to patient populations.

“..before, we were looking around trying to find people who would be prepared to step up into leadership positions and were finding it really hard. Now, we have really passionate leaders all over the place who are .. actively wanting to lead projects and .. really driven to change things.” Commissioner of previous cohort of Emerging Leaders Programme

Course structure and content

The programme structure combines classroom-based education with opportunities for participants to come together to apply their learning to real life situations.

Participants take part in three full day classroom-based sessions which focus on the core modules and are delivered at six weekly intervals.

In the intervening periods, action learning sets to put the learning into practice, along with additional modular options and one-to-one coaching, are offered.

The complete programme takes place over a 6-month period in groups of 16 to 32 participants. UCLPartners delivers the programme in partnership with leading international providers of health leadership training.

The programme focuses on three core modules with action learning sets and one to one coaching as well as 5 informative and relevant additional modules:

Core modules Additional modules
  • Leading teams
  • Leadership development
  • Leading system change
  • Quality Improvement
  • Developing a strategy
  • Workforce development
  • Population health data management
  • Patient and public engagement and co-production

To successfully complete the development programme all participants are expected to attend all three of the core modules (Leadership development, Leading Teams and Leading Systems), the evening welcome session, final summit and 3 out of the 5 other modules.

Participants will receive 3 1:1 coaching sessions and participate in 3 action learning sets (ALS) within the 6 months.

Learning outcomes

Programme participants are expected to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Enhanced ability to operate effectively as part of a system-side senior leadership team
  • Increased effectiveness at managing peers within a diverse, multi-sector workforce
  • Greater confidence to fulfil the role, responsibilities and expectations of a PCN Clinical Director
  • Greater awareness and understanding of themselves as leaders and their impact on others
  • Enhanced ability to lead and motivate others
  • Increased understanding of approaches to strategic engagement and strategic decision making
  • Greater confidence navigating the political landscape particularly at system (ICS/STP) level
  • Increased use of reflective practice to continue to learn from leadership experience
  • Leave the programme a member of a Clinical Director peer support group with access to ongoing mentorship

Bespoke adaptation to local priorities

The programme delivery team will meet with local system leads to customise the programme and dates of delivery to fit the needs and priorities of each cohort.

Register your interest

To apply please register your interest at

Any questions, please contact programme leads Ruth Frost or Dr Zenobia Sheikh:
– Ruth Frost, Head of Primary and Community Care Programmes:
– Dr Zenobia Sheikh, Clinical Lead for Primary and Community Care: