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Top Talent

Accelerating your career progress by harnessing and honing your leadership skills.

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To register, choose from our upcoming training dates.


Socitm members: Places included in your membership, subject to availability

Non-members: Contact us for further details


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 part of our Leadership Academy and 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. 

Duration: Four days plus a coaching session
Sectors: Public and private
Career level: All career levels
Points worth: 4 points*

*Our training workshops and programmes are all worth a certain amount of points. Your membership package comes with an allocation of points to use throughout the year to suit the needs of your organisation.


This programme is spread over approximately 10-12 weeks.

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 ceremony. You’ll then form part of a growing network of Leadership Academy alumni. This community supports peer–to–peer development and discussion and facilitates mentoring and leadership opportunities across the public sector.  

One-to-one coaching session

This programme includes 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.

What means the most to you professionally? How does it impact upon you personally? When did you last make time to reflect?

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 third–party agency and work together to develop a real-life solution that breaks new ground, challenges convention and creates conversation.


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. 

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. 


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. Programme 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 programme 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 programme cannot be attended, then the candidate will not graduate (exceptional personal circumstances will be considered of course).

What do our alumni say?

“I have an improved skill set and self awareness”

“Thank you for facilitating the course; I have genuinely enjoyed it and, more importantly, feel I have an improved skill set and self awareness to utilise in my role.”

Top Talent programme attendee

“The best one yet!”

“I have participated in other leadership training courses but the top talent has to be the best one yet!”

Top Talent programme attendee

“Top Talent, where do I begin….?”

“I needed training that was more in-depth. I had heard of the programme through other colleagues who were graduates of previous Top Talent sessions and spoke with others further about the course and what it would deliver for me as a leader.”

Top Talent programme attendee

“Unlike any other leadership course”

“Top Talent was unlike any leadership course I have previously undertaken, which was too focused on my management style rather than me as an individual and a leader. As such, Top Talent has not only helped my career; there is a personal dimension to the course that previous leadership course has simply not addressed.

I have applied the lessons – especially emotional intelligence – to my home life and found my relationships at home have been helped by the topics and ideas addresses at TT”

Top Talent programme attendee