INLOGOV’s Senior Leader Apprenticeship 101

Stephen Jeffares

All this week we are celebrating INLOGOV’s Senior Leader Apprenticeship. In this short blog we are offering an overview of the programme, it builds on yesterday’s post about why we launched an apprenticeship for public service leaders.

In a nutshell – public servants enrol on a two-year programme where they study online and on campus, and develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours expected of a senior leader. That’s it really.

The ideal student is someone who has around 5 or more years’ experience as a manager and ambition to become a senior leader in public service.

The programme is made up of six modules. For each of the two years there’s one module in the Autumn, one in Spring and one in early summer.  Modules are blended, which means 6 weeks of online learning and then coming together for two days on campus.

The online learning is structured so you can choose when in the week you want to work on it. There’re usually 2 or 3 papers to read, a set of pages with course content to work through and a discussion board. This board is where you connect with others on the programme – responding to a question, posting to the board and commenting on the posts of others. This is where you find out what happens in other organisations, something our apprentices really value.

The modules are designed and led by research active academics and lecturers with first-hand public service experience: public management and governance, leadership, digital era public policy, evidence and policy, performance strategy and challenge, and commercialisation. The modules are assessed with two written assignments. These are submitted online and feedback is received after 15 days.

In the weeks between modules there is time to spend undertaking activities to develop and evidence competency as a senior leader. This activity is documented in a portfolio.  Once a term you meet with your practice tutor who helps review progress and identify priorities, opportunities, and next steps.

Once the taught modules are complete you undertake a special workplace project to develop a Strategic Business Proposal. This is a 12-week project and designed to demonstrate your acquired knowledge, skills and behaviours expected of a senior leader in public service.

The final piece of the puzzle is to undertake a 2-hour oral assessment, one to one with an independent assessor. For the first half you will present and respondent questions about your business proposal. The second half is a professional discussion led by the contents of your portfolio.

All being well the process is completed in two years and two months. The qualification is a Senior Leader Apprenticeship, but in addition the CMI grant chartered manager status and the University awards you with a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management and Leadership. After completion you are invited to upgrade your PG diploma to a full MSc by completing a dissertation without further costs.  This invitation is offered to all apprentices who successfully complete the programme.

If you want to hear more, on Thursday 3rd March we’ll be hosting lunchtime webinar where you can hear more about the programme and pose questions to me – the Academic Programme Director.  You can sign up for the webinar or access to the recording here.  Alternatively, if you’d like to speak one to one please email me and we can set up a call [email protected]

Dr Stephen Jeffares is Associate Professor in Public Policy and Digital Government at the Institute for Local government studies. He is also Director of INLOGOV’s Public Management and Leadership apprenticeship programme and author of three books: Hybrid Governance, Hashtag Politics and the Virtual Public Servant.

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