Leadership Framework Update


Leadership is a key element of the professional development and practice of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists. The new RPS Leadership Development Framework outlines the behaviours of effective, engaging leadership – the behaviours that enable pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists to make a real difference to care and outcomes. It represents the standard for leadership behaviours that all pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists should aspire to, whatever stage of their career.

The RPS Leadership Development Framework is based on the NHS Leadership Academy’s Healthcare Leadership Model. Although created for an English NHS environment, this is based on extensive research from around the globe on effective leadership within healthcare and non-healthcare environments. Is inclusive, engaging approach promotes leadership for everyone in an organisation, which means this Framework is relevant for pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists across all countries in Great Britain, regardless of pharmacy sector, level or experience. In short, the Leadership Development Framework provides all pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists with a consistent, uniform approach to developing leadership behaviours.

While the 2011 RPS Leadership Competency Framework for Pharmacy Professionals will remain available as an interim measure, pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists are encouraged to switch to the new Framework as it better reflects current thinking in leadership. The difference between the two is that the Leadership Competency Framework focuses on the ‘what to do’ for leadership; the Leadership Development Framework on the ‘how to do’ of leadership.

The sections below outline the evolution of the Leadership Development Framework and how you can play a role in its future progress.

Past and Present

The Leadership Competency Framework for Pharmacy Professionals was developed in 2011. Based on the NHS’ Leadership Framework, it describes the personal qualities for leaders at every level, and the domains of expertise to which they aspire. This Leadership Competency Framework will remain available as it continues to be used to develop long-term development objectives for individuals, teams and organisations. No additional support for the Leadership Competency Framework for Pharmacy Professionals will be available from the RPS, however.

A new future for leadership

The world of healthcare has changed substantively over the past few years, creating opportunities and challenges to health delivery. There is also an increased focus on how care is delivered, with a greater emphasis on compassion, respect and humanity towards patients and staff.

This has resulted in the NHS revising its Leadership Framework to produce the Healthcare Leadership Model, an evidence-based approach to effective leadership to help anyone working in healthcare become a better leader.

The RPS has created a new Leadership Development Framework that mirrors the Healthcare Leadership Model, ensuring pharmacy professionals speak a common leadership language across the various pharmacy sectors and with other healthcare colleagues.

As this Healthcare Leadership Model evolves there will be opportunities for pharmacy leadership to be benchmarked against that of peers and other healthcare professionals. To assist this process, the RPS strongly encourages all pharmacists to complete the Healthcare Leadership Model’s online self-assessment tool that can be used in conjunction with the RPS Leadership Development Framework. For those seeking further insight, a 360 degree assessment is also available through the NHS Leadership Academy, for a small fee.

Additional Support

A Handbook supplementing the Leadership Development Framework is available for RPS members. This provides:

  • Additional background information on leadership, including differentiating between leadership and management and a guide to leadership styles
  • Mapping of the Framework to the Advanced Pharmacy Framework to assist members in creating evidence for their Faculty submission
  • Case studies
  • Signposting to additional resources, such as training providers, scholarship avenues and further reading