Alliance Manchester Business School - AMBS

Senior Leader Apprenticeship Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (EGA) Programme is an award-winning leadership development programme. It is designed for senior leaders and managers who are working in health and social care.

Since 2013, over 2,300 leaders have participated in the EGA standard pathway. The newly developed Senior Leader Apprenticeship Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, provides an alternative pathway, building on the success of the existing programme and incorporating the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for a senior leader apprenticeship award.

The two-year part-time Level 7 Apprenticeship is funded by the Apprenticeship Levy. The programme leads to a Masters (MSc) in Healthcare Leadership, from The University of Manchester, and NHS Leadership Academy Award in Senior Healthcare Leadership.

ILM logo

Accredited by the ILM

EGA standard pathway

2,300 leaders have participated in the standard EGA Pathway

50% of recent graduates were promoted during the programme

90% of promoted graduates attributed it to their learning

The Senior Leader Apprenticeship Elizabeth Garrett Anderson helps middle to senior-level leaders in NHS health and social care develop leadership capability, improve confidence and increase resilience. It will prepare you for the demands of senior leadership in healthcare today – and into the future.

The programme is designed to develop better leadership around three ‘golden threads’:

Golden threads

Equality, diversity, and inclusion

Quality of care for patients, service users and carers

Leading for sustainable improvements to care

Over the course of eight modules, the programme connects the three 'golden threads' with both the theory and practice of leadership at work.

The content in each unit links to the specific Knowledge, Skills, and Behaviours within the Senior Leader Apprenticeship standard. Through the online learning, apprentice learners will be directed to undertake work-based activities, from which they will generate evidence of how they demonstrate the apprenticeship standards, and which will form part of their professional portfolio. This delivers greater leadership impact for the individual, their team and their organisation. Please explore the programme modules below or view the programme architecture >>


£14,000 (funded by the Apprenticeship Levy)
MSc Healthcare Leadership: additional £3500 tuition fee (non-Levy funded)
24 months
Average study time: 8 hours per week
Programme starts:
December 2024 (applications closed)
May 2025
Online/in-person workshops, group work, reflective discussion, self-guided study
Manchester, London, and other local action sets

Programme modules

Understanding and Developing Leadership Practice

10 credits

This unit focuses on leadership at the level of the individual and begins with critically evaluating your current leadership practice and its impact on the quality of care for a diverse range of patients.

You will identify which management skills and leadership approaches improve the quality of care and the patient experience through exploring current thinking and best practice at individual, team and organisational levels. 

Content includes: 

  • Knowledge of management and leadership theory
  • Reflection and self-awareness of your own leadership
  • How diversity, equality and inclusion can be embedded in leadership practice
  • The application of leadership theories to your own practice to improve quality of patient care


Building Foundations for Team Effectiveness

20 credits

This course unit focuses on deepening your understanding of teams you lead - their purpose, membership, and team community.

We start with the foundations for effective team working, including creating a team climate that values and uses difference, and that aligns individual practice with shared values. We then move through a series of steps to learn how to establish a culture that allows others to feel safe, discuss concerns, make suggestions, and provide constructive debate.

Content includes:

  • Understanding theories relating to team-based working and team effectiveness 
  • The application of theories and methods to develop an effective team climate 
  • How leadership practice can improve and sustain care quality 
  • Creating an inclusive team climate which promotes positive attitudes and behaviours 


Making Sense of Organisational Values, Engagement and Service Delivery

30 credits

This course unit focuses on the organisational level and introduces the idea of looking both inwards and outwards in your role as a leader of service improvement.

We explore how values held by individuals and the team align with the purpose and objectives of the organisation, and also when those values don't align. We then look to the wider system: understanding the regional, national, international, and multicultural contexts, and the drivers for change and service improvement.

Content includes:

  • The theory and practice of values-based leadership and decision making
  • Applying theories for leading improvement, organisational development, and change
  • Engaging different stakeholders to improve care
  • Aligning the values of individuals and team with the organisation in context


Delivering System-Wide Coordinated Care

30 credits

This unit develops a more strategic focus on quality, efficiency and effectiveness.

We look at working across multiple services and care pathways, analysing inequalities in services, and building strategic relationships and networks to support this work. We focus on how to enable your team to work in interdisciplinary, complex, and ambiguous contexts more effectively. This involves looking at shared roles and accountabilities and working with the tensions this brings.

Finally, we explore sharing decision making with patients, carers and the public for greater choice and control of decisions about their own health and care.

Content includes:

  • Critical awareness of the evidence of effective system wide coordinated care
  • Theoretical and practical knowledge of complex adaptive systems
  • Approaches to shared decision making and their practical application
  • Applying theories and models to understand complex adaptive systems
Creating Engaging and Learning Cultures

20 credits

This unit builds upon Unit 2 and focuses on working with team leaders to build team effectiveness and hold people to account for the quality of care provided.

We look at encouraging the creation of an engaging and learning culture, developing openness and resilience in team leaders, and working with them to do the same with their teams. At a service level, we explore developing performance and outcome measures that meet team shared-values, organisational objectives, and deliver effective patient care. We also consider developing creative and innovative approaches to improve the patient experience, whilst navigating the tensions between operational pressures and delivering compassionate care. 

Content includes: 

  • Theory and practice of creating engaging and learning cultures 
  • Innovation in theory and practices to improve care quality and patient experience 
  • Applying theories of engaging and learning cultures to your workplace 
  • Practical skills in building a trusting culture and inclusive practice 
Evaluating my Leadership Behaviours and Impact

10 credits

Having looked at working systemically at organisational and team levels to improve care quality and patient experience, this unit builds on the outcomes from Unit 1, evaluating how leadership practices make a difference to patient care.

Content includes: 

  • The impact of leadership behaviour and performance on service improvement, care quality and patient experience 
  • Practical skills of reflexive leadership at individual, team, and organisational levels 
  • Skills to embed diversity, equality, and inclusion in your leadership practice. 
  • How your leadership improves and sustains care quality 
Developing Organisational Research Study Skills

20 credits

This unit is preparation for undertaking a healthcare leadership case study - how to collect and analyse information and data, and making sense of this through different theoretical lenses. We consider how this influences your leadership and the impact of leadership practice on service improvement. The outcome will be a fully worked up dissertation proposal.

Content includes:

  • Understanding organisational research methodology and its practical application
  • Devising and carry out a coherent plan for dissertation research, analysis, and completion
  • Practical skills in planning a rigorous research project / leadership case study
  • How your leadership practice improves and sustains care quality
Healthcare Leadership Case Study

40 credits

Drawing on the Healthcare Leadership Case Study proposal, this unit involves working independently to conduct and write up a case study which will be a critical evaluation of the way in which care quality, diverse patient experience, and patient involvement, has improved as a result of you and your team's learning and actions.

This unit includes

  • Rigorous case study design, within relevant theories and concepts from the published literature on healthcare leadership and service improvement 
  • Writing up a critical evaluation of leadership practice designed to improve care
  • Reflexivity in your leadership practice
  • Practical skills to embed diversity, equality and inclusion in your leadership practice

I was inspired to come on the programme to get back into some learning. I've done a lot of on-the-job learning but I wanted to put some theory behind the practice.

Caroline McCann, Associate Director of Operations, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust

Key Information

The programme will be delivered through a blend of online and face-to-face workshops, group learning, reflective discussion, action learning sets, one-to-one coaching, and self-guided study.

How you benefit

The programme has been designed to closely align with your day-to-day role, creating space for you to reflect on current and future issues, and to find practical solutions that can be applied in the workplace.

  • Learn from innovative, world-class healthcare experts, to prepare for the challenges of senior leadership
  • Bring immediate positive and productive changes to your team(s), organisations, services, and patients
  • Improve your personal impact driving progress in your team(s)
  • Help inspire your organisation to build a culture of inclusive, patient centred care
  • Work more strategically with greater collaboration across large and complex programmes, departments, services and systems of care
  • Build a powerful regional and national support network of influential leaders
  • Increase your resilience to meet the demands of senior leadership within the challenging, transforming environment of the NHS 
  • Graduate with a highly sought-after leadership development qualification, improving your career and promotion prospects across the NHS
How your organisation benefits

Employers with payroll above £3m per year contribute to the Apprenticeship Levy on a monthly basis. This fund can only be spent on approved apprenticeship programmes and accrues on a monthly basis, and expires if unspent after 24 months.

Employers can use their Levy funds, to invest apprenticeships for several strategic benefits:

  • Growing their own senior leaders
  • Attracting and retaining talent in their organisation
  • A pathway for succession planning
  • Part of wider strategic organisation development plans
  • Supporting a strategic agenda, for example, promoting Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion
Who should attend

The Senior Leader Apprenticeship Elizabeth Garrett Anderson is for middle to senior level leaders in health and social care who are:

  • Aspiring to take on a more senior leadership role as well as looking to have a wider impact by leading a culture of compassion
  • Ready and committed to developing their leadership skills and behaviours whilst undertaking a healthcare related academic qualification
  • Motivated by the opportunity to apply new skills, learning and behaviours directly to real-time work-related improvements
  • 6 x critical and reflective assignments, one per unit (2,000 - 4,500 words)
  • 1 x strategic business proposal (4,000 words)
  • Portfolio review and professional discussion at End Point Assessment
  • Masters Pathway: Research proposal (Unit 7a) (2,000 words + presentation) and Healthcare Leadership case study (7,000 words + presentation)
  • Anderson tutor: university support for learning
  • Work-based mentor: employer support for learning
  • Protected time: a minimum of six hours per week off-the-job learning
  • Action learning sets: peer network support
  • Virtual campus: online learning materials
Entry requirements

A degree is not an essential requirement for entry on to the course as there are different routes to apply:

  1. A First or Upper Second-class honours degree (2:1) plus three years’ management experience (with strong and consistent career progression and achievement).
  2. A Lower Second- or Third-class degree or equivalent professional qualification plus five years’ management experience (with strong and consistent career progression and achievement).
  3. No degree, but five years’ management experience (with strong and consistent career progression and achievement).
  4. All routes require GCSE Maths and English at grade C or above or equivalent qualification.
Fees and funding

Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship: £14,000 (funded by the apprenticeship levy)

MSc Healthcare Leadership: additional £3500 tuition fee (non-Levy funded)

Apprenticeship funding for employers:

Employers with an annual payroll of more than £3 million pay 0.5% of their payroll into the Apprenticeship Levy. The government adds 10% to each monthly levy payment. The levy payment is held in a digital account, which is set up at the apprenticeship service. Each individual’s training costs are deducted from the account and paid to the provider monthly.

The system is different for employers who have a pay bill of less than £3 million. Any training and assessing costs are shared with the government, with employers paying 5% and the former covering the remaining 95%. These employers agree on a payment schedule with the provider.

The Senior Leader Apprenticeship Elizabeth Garrett Anderson can be funded using Apprenticeship Levy funding. Apprentices do not contribute to the costs of their apprenticeship, as costs are included in the Senior Leader Apprenticeship*.

*The Masters (MSc) in Healthcare Leadership requires an additional tuition fee (non-levy funded).

Programme Director

Karen Shawhan, Programme Director 

Karen Shawhan is Lecturer in Healthcare Leadership and Management. As Programme Director of the Senior Leader Apprenticeship Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, she is responsible for the academic content and processes of the programme.

  • Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship
  • Professional recognition award MCGI (Member City and Guilds Institute)
  • Member of the Institute of Leadership and Management
  • MSc Healthcare Leadership awarded by The University of Manchester
  • NHS Leadership Academy Award in Senior Healthcare Leadership
Off the job training

Your employer must agree to support you in gaining that development time, by releasing you to complete your studies with the university, and or to attend other development opportunities. Although the minimum statutory requirement for all apprenticeships is equivalent to 6 hours per week, for the Senior Leader Apprenticeship programmes, you should expect and plan for at least 8 hours per week and there is some evidence of higher attainment for those who allow for 10 hours per week.

Teaching and Learning

What makes the Senior Leader Apprenticeship Elizabeth Garrett Anderson different is the support provided to learners throughout their development journey.

Your Anderson tutor

Your Anderson tutor provides the academic and pastoral support needed for this programme. Consistency is key, which is why you keep the same tutor throughout the Anderson programme. The tutor supports you through:

  • Coaching, leadership, and personal development
  • Feedback and marking practice for work-based assignments
  • Online facilitation and communication
  • Detailed understanding of the programme content
  • Regular progress reviews in partnership with the employer and work-based mentor
  • Knowledge of how learning translates to the healthcare context


Work-based mentor

The role of the work-based mentor is essential in providing the work-based support you will need for this programme. You will need to work with your employer to identify a suitable mentor to support you throughout the programme. Your work-based mentor will:

  • Provide advocacy, support, and sponsorship for you within the organisation
  • Give input and support for progress reviews
  • Ensure you are supported with a minimum of 6 hours off the job learning
  • Validate the submission of evidence of work-based competencies
  • Approve and support your choice of work project
  • Contribute to the readiness for end point assessment


The virtual campus

The virtual campus is an interactive online platform, which supports you throughout the programme. The virtual campus is where you can find all the resources you'll need, including: e-learning nuggets, simulation events, webinars, videos, psychometric assessments, surveys, electronic journals and books, tutorial and discussion boards, learning journals and social networks.


Action Learning Sets (ALS) 

Your ALS is comprised of fellow learners on the programme and provides you with a network and forum to explore the links between individual, group, and organisational dynamics. This will equip you with practical skills to craft your leadership role, style and skills. The ALS meets eleven times during the programme for full day working sessions.


Individual progress reviews

To help support your learning and progress, you will attend a regular review with your practice-based tutor and work-based mentor every eight weeks. During these meetings, you have the chance to review what has been achieved and set goals for the next three months. 



The University uses APTEM, for both processing applications and the management of the apprenticeship learning experience. APTEM enables learners and their employers to have their applications, enrolment and learning logged and tracked on one system whilst complying with apprenticeship standards. After application, APTEM continues throughout the apprenticeship journey, alongside other classroom, blended delivery, and online learning. You will build your apprenticeship portfolio inside APTEM throughout the programme.

Workshops and tutorials

There are five face-to-face behavioural development workshops during the course of the programme. You will also have individual and group tutorials over the duration of the programme. These will take place either online, by telephone or face-to-face.


Unit 1
4 weeks | 10 credits

1 x 2,000-word critical and reflective assignment

Unit 2
8 weeks | 20 credits

1 x 3,000-word critical and reflective assignment

Unit 3
12 weeks | 30 credits

1 x 4,500-word critical and reflective assignment

Unit 4
12 weeks | 30 credits

1 x 4,500-word critical and reflective assignment

Unit 5
8 weeks | 20 credits

1 x 3,000-word critical and reflective assignment

Unit 6
4 weeks | 10 credits

1 x 2,000-word critical and reflective assignment

Module 7a
8 weeks | 20 credits

1 x 2,000-word healthcare leadership case study proposal + presentation

Senior Leader Apprenticeship Award

500-word strategic business proposal 

End Point Assessment     
4,000-word strategic business proposal, portfolio review and professional discussion 


Masters pathway

Module 7b     
12 weeks | 40 credits 

7,000-word healthcare leadership case study

Quote image

This programme allows employers to access funding for the development of current and future leaders, whilst still delivering the patient-centred, compassionate leadership approach.

Karen Shawhan, Senior Lecturer in Healthcare Management and Leadership | Programme Director, Senior Leader Apprenticeship Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

How to apply

If you want to apply for the programme, please complete the following steps:

Step 1 - Talk with your employer, both your line manager and apprenticeship lead, provide them with details on this programme and make sure that you have their approval before you apply.

Step 2 - Complete the online eligibility checker, which will give you an indication as to whether you are eligible for funding.

Step 3 - Assuming you are eligible, please use the 'Book a consultation' form to speak to a member of our team where we can review your eligibility and CV.


Speak to a team member

If you have any questions or would like to chat to us about this programme and how it could benefit you, please get in touch with the programme advisor.

Rosie Gill

Rosie Gill

Client Relations Manager

Contact us

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