Do you need a support tool to develop your leadership skills?

The NHS networks provide a valuable self-assessment tool for anyone in health and care services, who would like to identify where their leadership strengths and development needs lie and to assist them with their professional development.

The tool, although designed for clinicians, provides valuable support to RPS members as it is linked to the Leadership Development Framework spanning the five framework domains (demonstrating personal qualities, working with others, managing services, improving services and setting direction) and each of their four elements.

Access the Leadership Framework Self Assessment Tool »

Developing leadership

Developing leadership

Leadership is a key part of the work of all pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, regardless of their professional sector, geographical location or experience.  In short, leadership is for everyone, wherever they are.

In the complex and dynamic world of healthcare, the concept of a single ‘hero’ leader has been replaced with an engaging leadership approach that cascades throughout a profession. This collective approach to leadership works well for pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists who increasingly practice in cross-disciplinary environments, with pharmacists from other sectors as well as other healthcare professionals.

In an engaging leadership model, leadership is the responsibility of everyone within the team, not just the individual accountable for team performance. This non-hierarchical approach devolves leadership to individuals at all points along the patient’s pathway of care – from the pharmaceutical scientist creating new treatments, through to the community pharmacist dispensing a prescription.

As such, leadership is for all pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists and pre-registration trainees and is not determined by years of experience or tied to higher salary levels. Developing leadership behaviours, therefore, is an integral element of pharmacists’ training and learning in order to contribute to the effective running and future direction of the organisation within which they work and, ultimately, to enhance patient care and outcomes.

The RPS encourages all pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists to develop their leadership behaviours, for their own personal development and for the benefit of patients, the public and the profession. A Leadership Development Framework has been developed that encapsulates the concept of an engaged, collective leadership approach.

This comprises nine domains of leadership and outlines accompanying behaviours. It is based on the NHS Leadership Academy’s Healthcare Leadership Model to ensure the leadership development of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists is consistent with their healthcare professional peers and reflects the extensive research undertaken by the Academy into effective leadership behaviours from all sectors, including healthcare.

As such, the Leadership Development Framework is equally applicable for all pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists across Great Britain, including those who do not have patient-facing roles, in developing their leadership potential.

Who is it for?

The Leadership Development Framework is for all pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists at whatever stage of their professional journey: from the time they enter formal training, become qualified as a practitioner and throughout their continuing professional development as experienced practitioners. The leadership behaviours apply equally to those pharmacists involved in patient and public care as well as those in scientific or academic environments.

There is no universal or common pathway followed by all pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, hence the way they demonstrate leadership behaviours will vary according to the career trajectory and their level of experience and training. Nevertheless, all leadership attributes should be capable of being achieved at all career stages, dependent on the context of their role and practice.

Within the various developmental routes for each profession there are nine common leadership domains:

  • Inspiring shared purpose
  • Leading with care
  • Evaluating information
  • Connecting our serviceo Sharing the vision
  • Engaging the teamo Holding to account
  • Developing capabilityo Influencing for results

While all nine domains are important in improving leadership, competence and ability in each can vary and strengths can be assessed using a four-level scale:

  • Essential
  • Proficient
  • Strong
  • Exemplary

This is in line with the RPS’ four stages of post-registration professional development: Foundation, Advanced Stage 1, Advanced Stage II and Mastery.

Although the complexity of the behaviours increases when moving through the four levels, it should be noted that the Leadership Development Framework is a non-hierarchical approach to leadership, independent of discipline, role, function or seniority.

To illustrate the diversity of leadership in action, case studies are included within the Leadership Development Framework Handbook (available to RPS members only) to provide users with real-life examples that can inform their own leadership practice.

For more information download the Leadership Development Framework and accompanying Handbook (for RPS members).