Clinical Leadership Program

The value of investing in clinical leadership programs is recognised at a State-wide, national and international level. Strategies for sustainable patient safety and system improvement are dependent on strong clinical leadership. A central premise of CEC's Clinical Leadership Program (CLP) is that leadership occurs at all levels in health care and is not dependent on the position to which a person is appointed. 'Clinical Leadership' refers to:

  • the process of leading a set of activities that improve the delivery of safe clinical care, and
  • the set of attributes required to lead a team, unit, facility, stream or cluster.

In this, the CLP supports leaders in the workplace to develop outstanding leadership skills through the Foundational and Executive Clinical Leadership Programs.

Foundational Clinical Leadership Program

The Foundational Program is aimed at middle clinicians and managers. It uses a practice development framework and is delivered by facilitators employed in the local health districts. The program comprises four intersecting modules, which explore and build on leadership within the health setting, knowledge of self, team dynamics and process improvement.

Executive Clinical Leadership Program

The Executive Program consists of six two-day modules over a 12 month period delivered in the Sydney CBD. It is aimed at senior managers and is delivered by experts who have worked extensively in the areas of leadership, communication and professional development in a health care context.

Both programs aim to improve patient safety and clinical quality through enhanced leadership practices. The first cohorts commenced in January 2007, with 180 participants in the Foundational CLP and 30 in the Executive CLP. Since this time, interest in both programs has increased steadily, with annual intake now exceeding 220 in the Foundational CLP and 80 in the Executive CLP.

Since 2009, the program has been primarily funded by the NSW Ministry of Health, with program support from the Clinical Excellence Commission and participating local health districts.


Executive Clinical Leadership Program
Individual Project Posters By Cohort

More information about some of these Clinical Leadership Program projects can be found on the Innovation Exchange.


Clinical Leadership Program
Project Summary Booklets 2007 - 2011

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Evaluation of the Clinical Leadership Program
Final Report June 2009

The CEC Clinical Leadership Program was formally evaluated by an external consultant at the end of 2008 with a number of positive outcomes reported. The report from the external consultant is attached.

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Disclaimer: The Clinical Excellence Commission's Clinical Leadership Program has no association with the Royal College of Nursing, United Kingdom (RCN, UK) Clinical Leadership Programme, represented in Australia by the Royal Adelaide Hospital.