This twelve-month programme addresses organisational and team culture and its relationship to patient safety and improvement.  It blends the use of team coaching as a tool for improvement, an organisational culture assessment, quality improvement tools and techniques, and learning together as a community of improvers.

Participating leaders will develop skills to successfully coach and facilitate improvement teams who attend ­­­with a shared action research focus to diagnose challenges, identify transformation needs, and implement changes that enhance safety culture within their organisations.


Upon programme completion, participants will be able to:


  • Create a plan to engage staff and administer a comprehensive culture diagnostic tool
  • Describe the domains in the framework for safe and reliable care
  • Understand the relationship between psychological safety and patient safety
  • Review and analyse diagnostic tool results in order to plan for briefing colleagues
  • Apply quality improvement tools and techniques to scope and measure improvement projects
  • Develop a learning community for improved safety culture
  • Explain theory and processes for culture development
  • Reflect on programme learning and define goals for ongoing safety culture support
  • Formulate a plan for supporting safety culture
  • Engage with colleagues to develop healthy workplace cultures
  • Engage with online platforms that support learning, quality improvement, and evaluation tools


Key programme components


Coach training for team leader

Coaching bridges the gap between learning from improvement programmes and subsequent implementation in real world context. Giving team leaders formal coach training allows for empowering and enabling conversations that help overcome interpersonal barriers and challenges to change during improvement efforts.


Workforce IconOrganisational culture diagnostic

Workplace culture can have a tangible impact on care and outcomes. Assessing and understanding organisational culture using a recognised and validated cultural assessment survey tool provides data that allows teams to identify areas for improvement. This programme provides the SCORE culture diagnostic based on the framework for safe, reliable and effective care.


Quality IconQuality Improvement Tools

Quality improvement is driven by the belief that everyone has a responsibility for the quality of care and services provided.  Quality Improvement is a management approach defined by empowering frontline staff with practical tools and techniques that are applied systematically. This programme offers skills development for the use of tools and approaches to improvement.


Community IconCommunities of practice

Communities of practice unite around common interests and expertise to deepen their knowledge by interacting on an ongoing basis. This programme offers support to the community of practice to improve safety culture by bringing teams together, curating content, designing learning experiences, and providing access to our online learning platform.



Studies into culture within the NHS have found correlations between staff reported bullying and negatively reported experiences of care by patients, and of disruptive behaviours and compromises in patient safety (West & Dawson 2016, Rosenstein 2011). Reports from the Mid Staffs inquiry found that the NHS had developed a widespread culture more of fear and compliance, than of learning, innovation and participation in improvement (PSC Culture Work Stream Document 2018).


Timeline and application guidance



Coaching foundations for team leaders

Team workshops

3 days – Skills training

1 day – Mid-point check-in

1 day – End of programme reflection

(with 10 total additional coaching hours between meetings)

1 day – Connect workshop

1 day – Define workshop

1 day – Explore workshop

1 day – Sustain workshop

Note: There will also be a final celebration event, planned in collaboration with teams, to highlight the work of the cohort.


Improvement teams of six members (including the team coach) are welcome to apply, with priority given to teams focussing on:

  • Deterioration
  • Maternity-neonatal
  • Medicines safety


Recommendations for improvement team recruitment


We strongly recommend that you invite interested colleagues to join an ‘improvement movement’ and from that group, identify five core members to attend face-to-face meetings.

In selecting improvement team members, consider individuals who reflect some of the following characteristics:

  • Effective team player
  • Reliable
  • Effective communicator
  • Effective problem solver
  • Enfranchises and engages others
  • Practices continuous improvement


Application procedure


Discuss the expectations and responsibilities associated with team participation with your line manager to gain approval for:

  • Administering the SCORE tool within your organisation
  • Saving dates for staff and assuring coverage for core team members

Invite colleagues to express interest in participation, and then ask five selected core members to save dates for workshops in diaries (save all dates in your diary as well).



If you have questions, or need support throughout the application process, please contact



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