High Potential Scheme

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The NHS High Potential Scheme (HPS) is a new, innovative, fully funded, 24-month career development scheme to help high potential, aspiring middle level clinical or non-clinical leaders accelerate their career to senior executive roles at a faster pace.

It is being developed by the NHS Leadership Academy and currently in a pilot phase with co-design, development, and introduction taking place in partnership with seven Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STP) and Integrated Care Systems (ICS) areas across England.

Each partner will recruit 20 HPS participants from their local footprint and Together We’re Better is recruiting the first HPS participants, to start from January 2020.


This short video provides an overview of the scheme:


If you’re a middle level clinical or non-clinical leader with the potential and interest to progress into a senior executive role in health and care, the new NHS High Potential Scheme is perfect for you.

With the help of a career coach, you’ll shape a two-year programme of experience focusing on gaining practical leadership experience in a range of roles and settings, and strategic experience through assignments and projects.

Throughout the scheme you’ll also develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to become an outstanding, compassionate and inclusive senior leader across health and care.

To be eligible you must be:

  • In an NHS-funded role, working in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
  • A middle level leader (Agenda for Change bands 8a-d, or equivalent in other pay structures, clinical or non-clinical)
  • Interested in progressing your career to senior leadership roles, for example, board or governing body level
  • Ready and willing to learn and develop your leadership skills and behaviours
  • Able to demonstrate your compassionate and inclusive leadership values and style
  • Suited to one of the two career transitions identified for the High Potential Scheme.

NHS High Potential Scheme eFlyerDiversity and inclusion

As diversity and inclusion are at the heart of HPS - reflecting the richness and diversity of the NHS workforce - applications from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+), female, and staff with disabilities are particularly welcome.

We are also offering anyone from these groups opportunities to access support to apply and for interview preparation. Please contact us for further information, and if you have any accessibility requirements.

How to apply

Applications are now closed.

Key dates

  • Applications open: 29 July-8 September 2019
  • Confirm scheme eligibility: 23-27 September 2019
  • Complete on-line potential diagnostic: 30 September-20 October 2019
  • Should you progress to the Assessment Centre stage, you will be invited to attend a half-day assessment on one of the following days: 
    • 28th, 29th, 30th October, or
    • 4th, 5th, 6th November
  • Notification to applicants of assessment process outcomes: 9-20 December 2019


To find out more about the High Potential Scheme please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0300 123 1535 ext 2656 or 2774.