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Top Talent leadership course


Top Talent will help you accelerate your career progress by harnessing and honing your leadership skills. 

Technology is changing the way we deliver public services. In these times of disruption, our sector needs leaders with vision, talent and insight. True leadership is about people, not processes. Effective leaders think critically, take risks, inspire others and innovate in order to affect change. 

This programme is for people who have the talent and accountability to become outstanding leaders. Those who drive change through collaboration and passion. Top Talent encourages you to focus on your unique qualities, develop confidence in your own abilities and to create impact through action: empowering those around you to the betterment of all.  

  • CPD certification logo

    CPD certified
    Socitm has been awarded CPD points for all training and development programmes offered by its Leadership Academy

Benefits for the individual

  • Become a more confident, effective and inspirational leader
  • Identify and develop your unique leadership qualities 
  • Fulfil your ambitions and realise your career vision more quickly and fervently. 

Benefits for the organisation

  • Nurture, develop and retain leadership talent creating better outcomes 
  • Drive behavioural and sustained cultural change affecting positive engagement
  • Meet and fulfil targets more rapidly, holistically and satisfactorily. 

Programme structure

Top Talent is a collaborative experience. You’ll be able to share ideas, insight and inspiration with counterparts from other organisations during a series of workshops. You’ll also benefit from tailored one-to-one coaching and undertake a group challenge as a cohort. Using models, tools and case studies, you’ll work together to creatively devise dynamic solutions to real-life challenges, often set by third-party organisations who recognise the calibre of our Top Talent groups.  

The programme concludes with a presentation at one of our events. This is when you’ll join your group to present your research and conclusions to our delegates and, subsequently, be recognised for your achievements during an official graduation ceremonyYou’ll then form part of a growing network of Leadership Academy alumni. This community supports peertopeer development and discussion and facilitates mentoring and leadership opportunities across the public sector.  

Part one:

Two-day group workshop

Outstanding leaders foster trust and loyalty in their teams, inspiring them to achieve amazing things. This workshop explores how factors including your beliefs and valuesauthenticity, thinking skills, empathy and verbal and non-verbal communication influence your personcentred approach to leadership. 

Part two:

One-to-one coaching

What means the most to you professionally? How does it impact upon you personally? When did you last make time to reflect? A session with an experienced, specialist coach helps you explore what drives and defines your professional approach, helping you to sculpt a style of leadership rooted firmly in integrity.  

Part three:

Group project

We work closely with agencies and organisations to create opportunities for team working and collaborative problem solving. As part of Top Talent, you will be set a group challenge by a thirdparty agency and work together to develop a real-life solution that breaks new ground, challenges convention and creates conversation. 

Part four:

Two-day workshop and presentation

Learning is lifelong and time is finite. This closing module is not the end. It’s an opportunity to think more widely about your sphere of influence and how Top Talent might help you scope a perfect circle through ambassadorial leadership. From building networks to workplace politics, you will assess how you can best impact positive change.  

You’ll then reunite with your cohort to reflect on your progress and experience before delivering a group presentation, demonstrating your development and showcasing your natural leadership qualities. 

Part five:

Graduation ceremony

Our President’s Conference is a celebration of achievement and endeavour within our sector. Each year, the occasion incorporates a graduation ceremony for our Leadership Academy graduates. After your complementary gala dinner, you’ll be recognised and applauded for your completion of Top Talent and the positive impact your leadership skills and enthusiasm have upon our sector and, ultimately, outcomes for citizens in a time of considerable flux and change. 

For more information, download the course brochure

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Attendee requirements

It is important to note that we encourage applications from all job functions and all levels in the public sector. All are key to service transformation; including finance, planning, programme management, customer account management, social services, ICT, digital, HR etc.

We assume participants on the programme will:

  • Have some team leadership or management experience (we will accept applicants about to move into a first leadership role, depending on the sponsor support)
  • Be motivated and ambitious to succeed as a leader of change
  • Be willing to contribute to group discussions and presentations
  • Be enthusiastic and open-minded
  • Through their executive sponsor, be identified as a potential high-impact leader in the organisation

A commitment to the whole programme is mandatory.

Participants must have good communication skills and be willing to contribute with enthusiasm and energy.

You will be expected to spend at least two hours in preparation time before each workshop.

Outside of the workshop modules, there will be a requirement to engage in a one-hour personal coaching session (via phone/skype).

The programme is designed to minimise travel costs and time away from the office. Course materials, refreshments and lunch are included. Travel and any accommodation required is the participant’s responsibility. Overnight stays between consecutive workshop days are expected for networking and project work.

The course attendees will be invited to attend one of our conferences to present the final group project and take part in a graduation ceremony during the evening dinner.

If any part of the workshop cannot be attended, then the candidate will not graduate from the programme (exceptional personal circumstances will be considered of course).

Interested in attending this course?


As part of our commitment to transforming public sector service delivery, Socitm membership includes complimentary places on our leadership programmes. Depending on your package, at least one team member can benefit from this course, supporting your organisation through developing their confidence and skills.



Subject to availability, non-members can be part of our Top Talent cohort. When our partner organisations invest in the professional development of their people, they enrol them in our Leadership Academy. Add value to your organisation by enriching your people.

Contact us

The price excludes costs of travel and accommodation. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.
This is a four-day course.


The course was great, gave me a lot to consider and was draining/ challenging in a good way. The course was delivered clearly, with lots of enthusiasm and plenty of interaction from a great group of people.

LGSS, 2018

Thought provoking and well facilitated. It was nice to focus on experience sharing, rather than 2 days of models.

Coventry City Council, 2018