Leadership and management
We are identifying high quality resources to help members develop leadership capabilities in a range of GP-specific contexts.
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.
- 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.
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.
- HEE - East Midlands
- HEE - North West
- HEE - East of England
- HEE - North East - Leadership Learning
- HEE - North East - Extended Integrated Post Opportunities
- HEE – Welcome to the NHS South East Leadership Academy (Thames Valley and Wessex)
- NHS Leadership Academy
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.
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.
OLE module 2 - explores leadership within the context of organisations and teams.
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.
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.
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 Wales and Scotland.
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.
The RCGP Cymru Wales Leadership Programme (PDF file, 755 KB) is now open for applications.
Closing date: midnight on Wednesday 19 July 2023.
Please note that the Leadership Framework provides a structure to guide your learning goals.
There are many leadership programmes and commercial training opportunities. These include, but are not limited to:
- BMA leadership programmes
- FMLM – GP leadership development programme
- NHS Education for Scotland Turas Learn leadership and management programmes
- NHS England – General Practice Improvement Leads programme
- NHS Leadership Academy - Edward Jenner programme
- NHS Leadership Academy - Mary Seacole programme
- NHS Leadership Academy - Nye Bevan programme
- Darzi Fellowship
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 Sonali Kindra discusses her journey from an international medical graduate and how she became a leader locally and regionally.
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: email@example.com