Culture assessment tool

It is now accepted that healthy cultures in NHS organisations are crucial to ensuring the delivery of high-quality patient care. A new tool from The King’s Fund helps organisations to assess their culture. We have developed and tested an assessment tool, which can be used on its own, or in combination with a wider programme of support, to develop cultures of high-quality, compassionate and continually improving care.

What does the assessment tool do?

This tool will:

  • give you an understanding of the current culture of your organisation
  • identify the ways in which your organisational culture is working well, with a view to spreading existing good practice across your organisation
  • provide you with a clear indication of which areas and methods will need to change if you are to achieve cultures that deliver high-quality, compassionate and continually improving care.

Why choose our assessment tool?

This tool is based on research spanning 20 years and is a collaboration between The King’s Fund and Aston OD. Aston OD is a pioneer of team-based working.

The tool has been specifically designed for the NHS and measures the aspects of culture that are directly related to the delivery of high-quality, compassionate and continually improving care. Measures of cross-boundary co-operation and compassion have recently been added.

Which aspects of culture does it cover?

Vision and values
The degree to which staff at all levels are aware of the long-term vision for and direction of your organisation and the degree to which practices within your organisation align with the achievement of the values described in the NHS Constitution.

Goals and performance
The degree to which your organisation provides clear goals for individuals and effective performance management.

Learning and innovation
The degree to which your organisation’s culture supports the development and implementation of new and improved ways of working.

Support and compassion
The degree to which staff feel that managers and colleagues show support and compassion to patients and to colleagues.

The degree to which effective team and inter-teamworking is established within your organisation.

Collective leadership
The degree to which your organisation enables collective leadership across different staff levels and service areas.

How will we work with you?

We will:

  • set up and facilitate the running of the tool
  • analyse the results and provide you with a written report
  • meet with the board or senior leaders to review findings and provide recommendations for developing your organisation’s culture.

Typically this takes about three months.

Case study

Since the beginning of 2015, The King’s Fund has been working with Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust (LCFT), using our culture assessment tool to give the organisation a more detailed understanding of its culture. We asked Professor Heather Tierney-Moore OBE, Chief Executive, LCFT, what made the organisation decide to embark on this work, what it found, and where it may lead.

Read the case study

Further support

The culture assessment tool can be used on its own, or in combination with a wider programme of support, to develop cultures of high-quality, compassionate and continually improving care. The tool is part of the discovery phase of our collective leadership offer, which involves a thorough analysis of the current situation and an informed view of what’s needed in the future.

Our approach is to work with your change management team so that they can lead and deliver the programme of culture change in your organisation. Change must come from within to have a lasting effect.

Once we have understood the culture of your organisation, our focus is then on engaging with senior leadership teams and supporting them to design and deliver a collective leadership strategy. Further work under the design and delivery phases might include desk research and workshops to assess the gap between current and future leadership culture, helping to design the new leadership strategy and providing a range of development interventions for leaders and their teams to embed the new culture.

The three phases of a collective leadership strategy:


Getting in touch

For an informal discussion on how we can support your organisation please contact Claire Cox on