Skip to main content

People First


"Let’s not underestimate the importance of leadership and, indeed the value of leadership development. We are operating in a highly competitive, global marketplace; we need leaders within Queen’s to be creative, strategic and able to operate effectively in a highly complex landscape"

One of the key commitments in the People and Culture Strategy, People First is to build the skills, confidence and capacity of our leadership community. To enable this, we launched the Leadership and Management Framework in April 2019 to set out clearly the responsibilities and behaviours involved in being a leader at Queen’s. The Framework underpins our leadership development opportunities.

In direct response to feedback from our Head of School Community, we have partnered with Elementa Leadership to provide a bespoke Leadership Development Programme for our Heads of Schools and Centre/Institute Directors.

  • Intentions of the Programme

    The Programme has the full support of the University Executive Board, with UEB members attending and engaging with each of the three modules.

    The purpose of the Programme is two-fold:

    1. To build the leadership capability required to respond to the dynamic external environment in which we operate, recognising the key role that Heads of Schools and Centre/Institute Directors play in achieving and sustaining our success.
    2. To provide Heads of Schools and Centre/Institute Directors with the opportunity for continuous personal development, where they can build and enhance their leadership skills, which in turn will contribute to their success in providing strategic leadership their own academic unit.
  • What is involved in the Head of School Leadership Development Programme?

    The Programme consists of a half day induction event, a leadership 360 degree feedback tool, 3 x 2 day workshops and a half day close/evaluation event. Optional 1:1 coaching sessions are also available. The Programme is complemented by optional supporting knowledge sessions on Queen’s processes and governance facilitated by Professional Services.

  • What are the Elements of the Programme?
    Induction Event

    This short 2 hour event positions the event in the context of senior leadership at Queens and explores how the Programme is underpinned by the Queen’s leadership and management framework. The event also looks at the intentions, ethos and approach to learning of the Programme alongside the participant expectations. There is also an opportunity to find out more about the leadership 360 and optional coaching sessions.


    Running throughout all workshops is the opportunity, in engagement with a contributing UEB member, to help shape and give feedback on the themes and priorities of the new Queen’s strategic plan.

    • Workshop 1 – Setting Direction

      This 2 day workshop explores strategy and distinctiveness, the future of HE and scenario planning as a Strategic Thinking Tool. It also gives participants the opportunity to explore a strategic HE Case Study, and look at a strategic assessment of their own School.

    • Workshop 2 – Engage Commitment

      This 2 day workshop explores Bridge-Building leadership which helps create new connections between the diverse elements of the university to enhance collaboration and inspire innovation. It looks at alignment and engagement as well as influencing and engagement strategies. A key aspect of this module centres on building high performance teams and team effectiveness (with an opportunity for participants to assess their school leadership team against the team basics model.

    • Workshop 3 – Adapt to Complexity

      This 2 day workshop explores the nature of leadership in a changing world and the adaptive leadership challenges of participating leaders. It looks at the lived experience of change and leading through change and complexity as well as aligning culture and strategy (diagnosing school culture using the Denison Culture Model).

    Leadership 360 feedback process - The Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI)

    The intention of the leadership 360 degree instrument is to provide feedback, at an individual level, that enables greater self-awareness and facilitates the development of a personal leadership development plan.

    Leadership Coaching

    Coaching is a one to one, confidential process that seeks to reinforce and embed learning achieved through the leadership workshops and leadership 360 degree instrument, leading to more effective resultant actions. It helps individual leaders see more clearly the patterns of relationships and connections that produce the current state and identify solutions to improve outcomes. The sessions focus on developing a plan for the leader to improve their own leadership effectiveness and/or a plan to improve the performance of the unit or team they are responsible for.

  • Delivery Approach

    The Programme gives time and space to reflect in a busy world. It takes a blended approach to learning informed and underpinned by research with the operating principle that there is no “one right way”.

    The Programme aims to build a leadership learning community and focuses on the “real world” leadership challenges of the participants, giving voice to diverse views.

    See the Programme Outline here.

  • Knowledge Sessions

    To enhance Heads of Schools and Centre/Institute Directors knowledge of Queen’s processes and governance as relating to their role, the Programme is complemented by a series of optional supporting knowledge sessions. The sessions are self -booking with participants choosing which sessions to attend and booking via the iTrent system.

    These short 2 to 2.5 hr sessions, are facilitated by colleagues in Professional Services and cover areas such as University Governance and Structure of the University, Financial Management,Governance and Planning, Supporting the Student Experience, Supporting Research and Enterprise, Recruitment & Selection procedures (as applies to chair of panel) and Employee Relations( Investigations and panel members roles and responsibilities) and Managing Fixed term Contracts.

    These sessions provide a great opportunity to “ask the expert” your questions and queries in these areas.

    Registrar’s Office and DASA - Governance and Decision Making
    • The role of Senate and the Scheme of Delegation in relation to decision making in the University.
    • Underpinning Strategies – Education Strategy, Research Strategy, Postgraduate Strategy
    • Enabling Strategies – Widening Participation, Employability etc
    • Educational Governance
    • Roles and Responsibilities


    • Corporate Finance
    • Resource Allocation and Budget Management
    • Policies and Procedures
    • Compliance

    DASA and Student's Union - Student Experience

    • How we collectively support and help develop students;
    • Student voice
    • How do we manage student information?

    Research & Enterprise - Support for Research and Commercialising Research and Innovation

    People & Culture
    • Recruiting at QUB and Chair Responsibilities
    • Equality in the Workplace, Employee Relations and Legal Compliance
    • Managing Fixed Term Contracts

      The full Knowledge Sessions Schedule and Descriptors will be available soon.