Home NHS Skills for Care celebrates launch of ‘Aspirant occupational therapy’ programme this Occupational Therapy Week

Skills for Care celebrates launch of ‘Aspirant occupational therapy’ programme this Occupational Therapy Week

by Lisa Carr


Skills for Care is delighted to announce a positive start to its new ‘Aspirant occupational therapy’ leadership programme.
The new programme is intended to support occupational therapists to progress into senior leadership roles within the sector.

Building on the success of their principal social worker and nurse leaders programmes, Skills for Care wanted to develop a leadership programme specific to occupational therapists who work in a social care setting.

The leadership programme will be delivered over five days, through a blended learning approach – including face-to-face and virtual delivery. The programme will use a variety of development methods, including action learning techniques, a 360-degree feedback tool, and individual coaching sessions. Networking and collaboration with peers will also be a key component of the programme, providing the tools to increase confidence in being a leader.

The project was launched on 20 October 2021 and will be running initially as a pilot programme for 2021 and 2022.

Skills for Care was encouraged to see a high number of expressions of interest and applications for the programme. Thirteen participants were selected for the first cohort, all of whom have stated they’re thrilled to see leadership development for occupational therapists being offered.

Participants were selected based on a combination of experience and job level, geographical coverage, and supervisory responsibilities. Skills for Care is a champion for diversity and is proud that six of the participants have a diverse background, ensuring that this programme is inclusive and representative.

Activities and modules participants will undertake through the programme include:

  • understanding yourself as a leader
  • understanding your system
  • managing and leading complexity
  • influencing your system
  • sharing good practice and the outcomes from a mini-leadership project.

Participants working at a principal occupational therapist level were redirected to apply for the five occupational therapy places offered alongside Skills for Care’s established principal social worker programme.

This continues the collaborative learning opportunities across the principal occupational therapist and principal social worker roles, which has worked effectively for Skills for Care in previous programmes.

The ‘Aspirant occupational therapy’ programme will run until March 2022.

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