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Cohort two 2024: July 2024
Cohort one 2025: February 2025
More information below

Hybrid learning, in person and online
£11,200 +VAT
Five weeks over six months

With 40 years of history developing senior leaders in the world of health and care, the Top Manager programme is a respected leadership training course. 

The course is aimed at senior leaders working in any sector of the health and care system. You won’t be taught basic managerial skills, but you will be supported to develop the skills you already have and to work more effectively with complex leadership challenges and relational dynamics. You’ll have the opportunity to work on your emotional and political intelligence, compassionate leadership, and how to build resilience for you and your organisation.   

This stretching and demanding five-week programme takes place over a six-month period and combines in-person and online learning. The Top Manager programme offers an immersive, experiential learning process for senior leaders who have already completed traditional management training and who now wish to develop a more nuanced repertoire of capabilities with which to tackle the complexities and challenges of leading today’s health and social care systems.


'I can honestly say that TMP has been a life changing programme for me. It stretches way beyond traditional forms of learning and has helped me understand myself as a leader, as a person, and how I can be more effective. The programme helped me make a significant career shift to clinical service management. It’s been the best investment in my personal and professional development in my 20 year career so far.'

Chief operating officer, NHS trust

What will I learn on the Top Manager programme?

Over the five-week Top Manager programme you’ll learn:

  • about yourself as a leader and how others see you

  • how to manage team and organisational dynamics

  • about the dynamics of human systems and how to work with these effectively as a leader.

Along with your programme directors and peers, you’ll examine issues of power, authority, conflict, role, difference, change and transition. You’ll also have time to reflect on the external context and connect with innovative thinkers and stakeholders working in health and care policy.

Is the Top Manager programme for me?

This programme is for people in senior roles who are working:

  • in the world of health and care – public, private or voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector

  • in local government

  • at executive director and director level, aspiring to director level or a clinician in a leadership or managerial position

  • as experienced clinicians in leadership and management roles

  • across networks, organisations and systems in a leadership role. 

We welcome applications from people who reflect all aspects of diversity and especially those from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds.

We also have some bursary places to enable people from under-represented sectors and groups to attend. Please email Tracy Nottage for more information on bursary places.

Programme team

Programme structure

As The King's Funds longest-running leadership programme, the Top Manager programme has an established reputation for transformative learning for senior leaders. It draws on a range of contemporary ideas, including the Tavistock Group relations tradition. The programme design is responsive to the emerging needs of participants over the five modules and creates a learning community that offers a peer resource well beyond the programme itself.  

In 2015, Lord Rose and Ed Smith set out recommendations for development programmes for leaders in health and care. The Top Manager programme meets these key recommendations by:

  • giving participants time to reflect and form connections with peers

  • focusing on managing change and uncertainty

  • developing participants’ ability to lead across systems. 

Throughout the programme, you’ll work as a whole system as well as in a range of groups. In these different groups, you’ll create a system that replicates your own working environments. This allows you to work through issues, learn, practise and experiment with ideas in a live context.  

As well as study groups, you’ll also have the opportunity to take part in workshops, work as peers and engage in debates with guest speakers. 

To find out more about the modules and their outline, please email Tracy Nottage for more information.

Pricing and dates

There are two cohorts each year for the Top Manager programme. Both take place over a period of six months. For any questions about dates and pricing and bursary places, please email Tracy Nottage.

Upcoming cohorts

Cohort 2 2024

  • Module one: 9–12 July (in person)

  • Module two: 15–18 July (in person)

  • Module three: 10–13 September (online)

  • Module four: 22–25 October (in person)

  • Module five: 26–29 November (in person)

Cohort 1 2025

  • Module one: 4-7 February

  • Module two: 10-13 February

  • Module three: 25-28 February

  • Module four: 29 April-2 May

  • Module five: 3-6 June


£11,200 + VAT

Frequently asked questions

Got a question about the programmes? Go to our frequently asked questions.


Apply today

Complete the Top Manager programme application form and one of our programme co-ordinators will be in touch to discuss the next steps.

Apply now