Medical Leadership Competency Framework (NHS)

Medical Leadership Competency Framework

The Medical Leadership Competency Framework (MLCF) has been jointly developed by The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement in conjunction with a wide range of stakeholders.

The Medical Leadership Competency Framework describes the leadership competences doctors need in order to become more actively involved in the planning, delivery and transformation of health services.

The MLCF is a pivotal tool which can be used to:

  • Help design of training curricula and development programmes
  • Highlight individual strengths and development areas through self assessment and structured feedback from colleagues
  • Help with personal development planning and career progression.

The Medical Leadership Competency Framework is built on the concept of shared leadership where leadership is not restricted to those who hold designated leadership roles, and where there is a shared sense of responsibility for the success of the organisation and its services. Acts of leadership can come from anyone in the organisation, as appropriate at different times, and are focused on the achievement of the group rather than of an individual. Therefore shared leadership actively supports effective teamwork.

We very much hope that the Medical Leadership Competency Framework will contribute to the vision articulated recently:
“The doctor’s frequent role as head of the healthcare team and commander of considerable clinical resource requires that greater attention is paid to management and leadership skills regardless of specialism. An acknowledgement of the leadership role of medicine is increasingly evident. Role acknowledgement and aspiration to enhanced roles be they in subspecialty practice, management and leadership, education or research are likely to facilitate greater clinical engagement”
Aspiring to Excellence, Prof John Tooke, 2008

“Greater freedom, enhanced accountability and empowering staff are necessary but not sufficient in the pursuit of high quality care. Making change actually happen takes leadership. It is central to our expectations of the healthcare professionals of tomorrow.”
Next Stage Review: High Quality Care for All, July 2008

“It is not enough for a clinician to act as a practitioner in their own discipline. They must act as partners to their colleagues, accepting shared accountability for the service provided to their patients. They are also expected to offer leadership and to work with others to change systems when it is necessary for the benefit of patients.”
Tomorrow’s Doctors, 2009




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