Recruitment open for National Leisure & Culture Forum Leading Learning Programme 2014

The National Leisure and Culture Forum is an association of professionalbodies representing managers across the fields of culture and leisure

The NCF Leading Learning Programme was generously supported by the Cultural Leadership Programme as the first leadership programme to be specifically aimed at the cultural sector within local government.  It is now supported by professional associations in membership of the National Culture Forum to support the leadership development of all their members.

It has five main support elements –

• Initial 360 degree assessment of your leadership strengths and potential.
• 7 days of residential sessions to allow you to meet inspiring exemplars, reflect on your own practice and challenge your knowledge and skills.
• Monthly one to one mentoring sessions with a well matched senior figure with extensive cultural and/or local government experience and expertise.
• Five bi-monthly facilitated action learning sets, organised for North, South, East & West.  From 2014 virtual action learning sets may also be available.
• A website with further reading, participants’ forums and development opportunities.(

The programme previously offered optional accreditation from City University. City are no longer running their Cultural Leadership MA so we are currently exploring alternative accreditation through the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM)


Who it is for

The programme is aimed at:
• senior managers of Cultural and Leisure Services in local government,
• senior staff of agencies who work closely with local government
• directors/senior managers of companies and trusts that deliver outsourced services for local authorities
• senior managers of cultural and leisure organisations (both public and private sector) who wish to improve their ability to work in the political context
We would expect participants to have overall responsibility for more than one area of cultural services, but because local authorities and cultural organisations have such varied structures we aim to be flexible.  People currently managing Cultural Services may not even have a Cultural Services background. What’s most important is an ambition to succeed in the workplace and to extend the creative and innovative perspectives of cultural services to influence the wider political agenda.  
It is open to managers and officers from all four nations, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

How much it costs

The subsidised cost in 2014 of each place is £4,000 + VAT for local authorities and charitable trusts and £5,000 for commercial companies and national cultural bodies

For 2014 there are bursaries worth £1000 or £1500 each, bringing the price down to well below its true cost.  Please contact the Programme Director if you would like further details of these. Invoicing can be spread across two financial years.

Where and when

The timetable for recruitment and delivery runs from Sept 9th to Dec 9th 2013.
The whole programme will run from January 2014 to December 2014.
The residential sessions will be held in the West Midlands.
The provisional dates for the residentials are:
3 and a half days – 3rd (teatime) to 6th February (teatime) 2014
2 days – late am on 9th to 4pm on 10th June 2014
1 and a half days - lunchtime on 13th to 4pm on 14th October 2014
Participants will negotiate with their mentors on convenient mentoring session dates between March 2014 and December 2014.
The final make up, venues and times for the action learning sets will set by mutual consent after the initial residential session in Feb.

Selection procedure

Applications will be received by e-mail only and up to midnight on 9 Dec 10th 2013.

All applications will be assessed by the Director of the programme and the Leading Learning steering group (Mark Taylor, Museums Association, Andy Sutch, BISL, Carole Stewart, CLOA and Martyn Allison, LGA culture and sport adviser)

Selecton is on the basis of the application forms and information supplied. All applicants will be notified of the outcome by 13th Dec and the programme will start straight away with notification of the 360 degree review process.

Participants will ideally be 

• from the full range of cultural and leisure backgrounds
• with strong experience of more than one cultural area
• coming from all areas of the UK
• who can demonstrate innovative thinking and practice in their career so far
• who are eager to invest in their own development
• who want to make a difference to the cultural sector and/or local government

Next Steps


Application Form 2014

Equal Opportunities Form

Leading Learning Context 2014

Leading Learning Testimonials



If you wish to apply, please complete the application form, equal opportunities form and attach the two letters of support requested.  Please do not attach a separate CV or any further papers.

E-mail the form and attachments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by midnight 9th Dec. 2012

If you wish to discuss any aspect of this information or get clarification on any point arising, please contact:

Sue Isherwood, Director, NLCF Leading Learning Programme
Tel 01749 871110
Mobile 07919 540803
E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.