Clinical Leadership Program

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The value of investing in clinical leadership programs was 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) was 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 supported leaders in the workplace to develop outstanding leadership skills through the Foundational and Executive Clinical Leadership Programs.

From 2009 to 2020, the program was primarily funded by the NSW Ministry of Health, with program support from the Clinical Excellence Commission and participating local health districts.

Former Foundational Clinical Leadership Program

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

Former Executive Clinical Leadership Program

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

Both programs aimed 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 that time, interest in both programs increased steadily, with annual intake exceeding 220 in the Foundational CLP and 80 in the Executive CLP.


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.

Download PDF ~1.0MB

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.