A structured approach to planning a workbased leadership development programme for doctors in training

Klaber, Robert E.; Roueché, Alice; Hodgkinson, Rebecca; Cass, Hilary Dawn
July 2008
International Journal of Clinical Leadership;Jul2008, Vol. 16 Issue 3, p121
Academic Journal
Background As clinical leadership becomes an expectation in medical professionals of the future, careful consideration needs to be given to the planning, design, structure and evaluation of leadership development programmes. Aim To take a structured approach to the designing and planning of a work-based leadership development programme for paediatric doctors in training. Methods A total of 30 trainees within the London Specialty School of Paediatrics were given the opportunity to develop their leadership skills by working in small groups alongside the training programme directors in a number of areas of the work of the School. The design of the leadership programme was built around learning from three key sources, namely literature review, focus groups involving the participants, and small-groupworkshops, all of which contributed to the thinking behind the ethos of the programme. Learning outcomes were derived from the Medical Leadership Competency Framework. A comprehensive evaluation of the programme, using a combination of peer assessment and self-assessment tools, was planned and piloted prior to the start of the programme. Results The literature review found very few leadership development programmes that had been fully evaluated. Where planning had been described, the benefit of aligning programmes to existing leadership curricula was highlighted. The majority of programmes took learners out of their working environment to learn. Although the focus groups provided useful information about the leadership perspectives of trainees, above all it was the process of participation that engendered confidence and a feeling of ownership in the planning and structure of the programme. This concept of trainee participation was taken further with the small-group workshops which used peer learning to produce practical ideas for the benefit of the group. Conclusions Leadership development programmes, as with all educational interventions, need to be properly planned and evaluated. Programmes need to be aligned to leadership curricula, and should incorporate the views of participants. There are also benefits to considering an approach to learning that is embedded in the clinical workplace.


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