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Discovering Leadership


Expressions of interest for our 2021 Discovering Leadership programmes have now closed. If you are interested in future programmes, please email and we will be in touch when future programme dates are confirmed. 

The unprecedented scale and complexity of the diabetes crisis calls for leadership like never before – leadership that is distributed at all levels of the system. 

To respond to this need, Diabetes UK has created Discovering Leadership, a development programme designed specifically for those beginning their healthcare leadership journey. Over the course of five months, you will gain insight into your leadership potential and build your confidence and capacity to lead change to improve care for people affected by diabetes.  

Why should you apply?

This unique and free programme blends leadership theory with practice and provides a supportive space for you to learn with others interested in improving diabetes care from across the system. 

Sessions will cover a range of important skills (including communication, problem analysis and influencing), plus give you the opportunity to engage with other leaders and people affected by diabetes.

"The whole course has really been quite soul-searching and looking at my barriers and how I would break them down…what am I afraid of? What’s the worst that could happen? That’s really helped me to have less fear, a little more resilience and a little more confidence that I can be a leader and really I’m leading one very small part of a much bigger picture."

What to expect from the programme

  • Space to gain insights into yourself as a leader and the impact you can make
  • Confidence to influence others and make the changes you want to see
  • Opportunity to develop an improvement idea for diabetes care in your area
  • Chance to connect with and learn from peers across the healthcare system who are also passionate about diabetes care
  • Opportunity to share good practice and ideas.


Pharmacy track

Any NHS pharmacist on the programme will also have the opportunity to participate in a pharmacy specific track. In addition to participating the core sessions with the wider cohort, pharmacists will have specific electives that will focus on the new role of pharmacy, what this means for your team and patients and how to influence change. It will also be an opportunity to connect and learn with other pharmacists.

Who is the programme for?

  • Any healthcare professional who is starting out their leadership journey and looking to improve care and services for people affected by diabetes.  
  • Diversity is fundamental to Diabetes UK’s approach to achieving change within the system and as such we actively encourage applications from Black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates.  

Time commitment

  • Four hours per fortnight over five months (including self-directed time)
  • Sessions will generally be run on Thursday evenings from 7:00pm to 8:30pm, approximately on a fortnightly basis. More details will be available on registration
  • Practical reflective activities for you to engage in between sessions
  • The next programme will run from June till October 2021

Joining criteria

In the right candidate we’ll see:

  • A desire to improve care for people living with diabetes and a commitment to achieve this by developing their leadership capacity.
  • Belief:
    • In the importance of personal and professional development
    • That you can change things
    • That change is possible.
  • Evidence of:
    • Working in health or social care with an interest in diabetes
    • Desire and commitment to improving care services for people affected by diabetes
    • An ability to identify areas for improvement in diabetes care
    • A willingness to understand personal strengths and development areas
    • A desire to build relationships that facilitate collaborative work practice and to support others to achieve change
    • Open-mindedness and willingness to learn
    • A desire to tackle inequality.

How to join

Expressions of interest for our 2021 Discovering Leadership programmes have now closed. If you are interested in future programmes, please email and we will be in touch when future programme dates are confirmed. 

If you have any questions about the process or would like to discuss what leadership development opportunity may be right for you, email and one of our team would be happy to have a conversation with you.

Discovering Leadership is a Diabetes UK project in collaboration with AstraZeneca UK who are providing support and funding.

Discovering Leadership is a Diabetes UK project in collaboration with Novo Nordisk who are providing support and funding.

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