Leadership and management

We are identifying high quality resources to help members develop leadership capabilities in a range of GP-specific contexts. 

A lady giving a talk to a room of people, a man and woman facing her, engaging.

How to start becoming a GP leader (includes specific information for trainees)

Exploring how to grow your skills and experience

Opportunities to use your leadership skills

How to find help and support with your leadership journey

Opportunities for formal leadership training

Online course providing insight into relationship-based care in a team context.

Personal stories of leadership from primary care colleagues

A framework to guide your leadership development

There are many leadership theories but we strongly believe that compassionate, collaborative and inclusive models best contribute to excellent quality primary care at all levels.

  • Compassionate - we listen, understand, and empathise with our patients and colleagues.
  • Collaborative - we work with others to deliver real change for our patients, often across organisational boundaries and in increasingly complex structures, where traditional ‘top down’ relationships no longer have the same relevance.
  • Inclusive - we 'connect with purpose' and involve others in the conversation to achieve better patient outcomes.

Starting your leadership journey

As a GP you will be seen as a leader in many different situations. As you begin your career you might like to explore the options of how to become a leader within your own practice or wider health systems. This section offers opportunities to find out about how to become a leader.

Preparing yourself for leadership

Consider the following things as part of your leadership journey.

  • self-awareness
  • building self-belief
  • understanding and developing your strengths
  • developing a set of skills
  • time management
  • personal qualities and behaviours to influence outcomes

Dr Khaled Zeidan, Co-Chair of the Associates in Training talks about the importance of learning leadership skills at the start of a GP career.

GP Trainees

Leadership skills are an essential component to the everyday work of a GP. The RCGP curriculum is the first point of reference for GP trainees in leadership and management and we would advise that you consult your educational supervisor about the most appropriate resources for your needs.

The Leadership Work Placed Based Assessment (WPBA) gives all trainees the opportunity to gain practical experience in developing leadership skills in primary care.

However, the following resources may also be helpful:

Developing medical leadership is a toolkit produced by the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM) in partnership with Health Education England which signposts opportunities for leadership development. The TSG how to guides are a collection of practical resources to help junior doctors complete projects. The following are examples of resources provided by Deaneries to support trainees in the leadership and management aspects of the training programme.

The ‘Gwella’ the leadership portal for all NHS Wales staff is a bi-lingual digital resource which is available through any mobile device. It provides access to a wide range of compassionate leadership and management resources curated from The King’s Fund, Open University and colleagues across the other UK nations. The Gwella Leadership portal is free to access.

An Overview of GP Leadership - OLE module 1 - helps you to understand what leadership is, how it compares with management, and how you can understand yourself as a leader.

Leadership in practice and locally

As you take up your role as a new GP this is a chance to explore how you can gain leadership experience and seek career opportunities with your work setting and beyond.

An Overview of GP Leadership - OLE module 2 - explores leadership within the context of organisations and teams.

Health inequalities and leadership

If you are interested in health inequalities, you can do an introductory module which is relevant to all practitioners in the United Kingdom. There is a second module on leadership where we examine a number of approaches to tackling health inequalities at various levels of influence and with a focus on practical actions to make a difference. I think it goes in leadership in practice or locally section.

Dr Jonathan Griffiths, a GP in Cheshire and Merseyside discusses his various leadership roles including being a partner, trainer and representing his region on the RCGP Council.

NHS systems leadership, academic and professional leadership, representational leadership

As you gain experience, your role as a GP can lead to many great opportunities to use your leadership skills. These podcasts aim to inspire you by showcasing the variety of leadership roles available to GPs.

An Overview of GP Leadership - OLE module 3 - explains leadership roles in wider health networks and systems.

Dr Victoria Tzortziou Brown is interviewed by her daughter and shares insights about why she became a GP leader.

Connecting and networking for support

At this unprecedented time of challenge to UK general practice, developing our leadership skills to influence our future is essential.

The three introductory modules (OLE 1-3) will help you to develop yourself as a leader, be a leader in your team and be a leader in your wider work context.

Next Generation GP runs regular events to engage leaders in primary care. It is aimed at GP trainees and early career GPs (first 5-7 years). Find out more about Next Generation GP, and how to be part of it.

The Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management can support you with your leadership journey.

Our mentoring platform connects you with GPs who support one another in their personal and career development, locally and further afield, who can share a wealth of experience and knowledge. Connect with colleagues with leadership experience and skills on our mentoring platform.

Join our leadership forum to participate in open discussion to share ideas and network with members. 

RCGP Leadership programmes

There are many opportunities for GPs to develop leadership capabilities, in vocational training, through formal programmes and in day-to-day practice. We have active leadership programmes in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

England and Northern Ireland 

Available exclusively to members, the Shaping the Future programme includes eLearning resources developed centrally by the College and local provision for learning and leadership skills development with peers and experienced leaders. The programme provides facilitated sessions that will:

  • develop a network of like-minded peers 
  • create a community of practice 
  • explore different topics in more depth to gain a deeper understanding 
  • provide opportunities to present work / projects
  • provide development opportunities.  

Action learning sets will give participants an opportunity to meet with the group to discuss the learning from online learning. Facilitated group sessions will use our shared experiences to develop insight into how we get the best from ourselves, nurture effective teams and achieve progress on tasks. 

For more information contact nwengland@rcgp.org.uk  


In Scotland, Leadership for Integration is an innovative project delivered jointly by RCGP Scotland, NHS Education for Scotland, and the Scottish Social Services Council. It emphasises RCGP’s focus on compassionate, collaborative, and inclusive leadership. Throughout the course of four interactive ‘You as a Collaborative Leader’ workshops, a range of leadership development topics are covered. These include readiness for collaboration, adaptive leadership, compassionate leadership, and leadership resilience. Additionally, ‘You as a Collaborative Leader’ includes guest speakers and ample opportunities for thoughtful discussion, shared learning, and engagement among participants from diverse backgrounds. Leadership for Integration has proven to be an excellent opportunity for GPs to reflect, collaborate, and be re-energised while continuing to deliver exceptional patient care.


Integrated care GP fellowship is a study programme for new and mid-career GPs that lasts 12 months. The all Wales integrated care General Practitioner (GP) fellowship allows GPs to work in a stimulating clinical role - with protected time for mentoring and study leave, towards a higher qualification. Skills in the chosen primary care clinical or non-clinical specialty are developed with specialist support and help build a portfolio career. The fellowship provides a supportive practice and GP mentorship while using enhanced skills outside their General Medical Services (GMS) role. 

For more information contact: heiw.primarycare@wales.nhs.uk

The RCGP Cymru Wales Leadership Programme (PDF file, 755 KB) is now closed to applications.

For further information on future programmes please get in touch.

Please note that the Leadership Framework provides a structure to guide your learning goals.

Other programmes

There are many leadership programmes and commercial training opportunities. These include, but are not limited to:

Overcoming the barriers to leadership and the power of diversity in leadership – personal stories

Amar Rughani and Joanna Bircher interview a range of colleagues about their leadership journeys. Amar and Joanna are GPs who have written about the art of leadership in ‘The Leadership Hike: Shaping Primary Care Together’ (CRC Press, 2020).

A playlist of podcasts with full background on the interviewees is available on the Leadership Pathway page on the eLearning site. There are also three online learning modules to support your leadership journey.

Dr Margaret Ikpoh, RCGP Vice Chair for Professional Development and Standards shares her experiences and lessons learned about leadership.

Dr Sonali Kindra discusses her journey from an international medical graduate and how she became a leader locally and regionally.

Capabilities framework

We’ve created a Capabilities Framework to help GPs develop their leadership skills. It outlines the capabilities needed for leadership in different GP contexts. There are several GP leadership contexts, but we've focused on the most common. Email us: professionalstandards@rcgp.org.uk