How To Secure Leadership Development Funding From Your Employer

First, let's address the elephant in the room: do you deserve this funding? 

Watch this introductory video from Verena to ensure you are approaching your request for professional development funding with the right perspective.

If you identify within a demographic - gender, race, family setup etc. - that is traditionally underrepresented in leadership and is typically impacted by a pay gap, accessing professional development to address your chances of getting to senior leadership is a social justice issue and you deserve to push for this funding in order to level out the playing field.

With that in mind, let's move on to how to secure leadership development funding from your employer.


At Leaders Plus we run professional development programmes for both NHS and cross-sector leaders.

The advice for each of these is tailored, so please do jump to the section that's most relevant to you using the links below, or scroll down to find them.

 

JUMP TO

  • How do I secure funding for leadership development in the NHS?
  • How do I secure funding for cross-sector leadership development?

 

If you would like advice for your specific industry please do reach out to the team via email and we will work with our network of experts and employer partners to find out what is unique and add it as an additional resource where appropriate.


How do I secure funding for leadership development in the NHS?

Use the email template below to send to your employer.

You might also find these blog articles useful, either to help you gather your thoughts on why professional development is important to you, or to send directly as further evidence of the impact this investment could make on your department, trust, or the NHS more broadly.

A black woman is smiling at the camera, wearing blue medical scrubs and a stethoscope around her neck. The caption reads: You deserve funding to progress your career. The Leaders Plus logo is on the bottom right of the image.

Email template to request line manager support or funding

Use the template below as it is, or as a starting point, to communicate to your supervisor why the NHS Fellowship is important for your professional development, and how it can impact your trust more broadly.

 

Hi [Name],

I have come across the Leaders Plus NHS Foundation Fellowship which is designed to support career development of working parents, and I’d like to apply. 

I know that you are supportive of my development, and so I wanted to ask if you can support my application?

The Fellowship Programme, accredited by the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management and supported by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine will help me to continue to excel at work whilst maintaining my family commitments. 

It will also help me to continue to develop my career with passion with our organisation and bring back lots of good practice from other organisations on supporting parents.

[Optional, if you identify as a woman] I have recently read an article that women are less likely to receive CIPD funding, which has given me the courage to ask for your support in funding the programme.

Organisations such as the King’s College Hospital Trust, Barts, NHS Ayreshire and Arran or Birmingham Hopsital Trust have sent employees on the programme over the years. The Fellowship has won several awards and the founder received an MBE for her work setting in up.

Here is a link to a one pager summarising the impact of the programme and here is a short video by the founder explaining the programme and the impact

As part of attending the 6 month Fellowship Programme, I will also receive materials to run a lunch and learn session for other parents in the organisation and senior leaders will be invited to a complimentary event on how to position the organisation as a top employer for working parents, should you be interested.

The investment is: £2390 plus VAT. 

Could you let me know by [date] whether you could support and fund this so I have time to get my application in ahead of the deadline? 

[If this email is to HR, you may wish to include the following, not relevant if it is your line manager]. To find out more and arrange a meeting with Leaders Plus, you can email Jo Denoris (Partnerships Development Officer Leaders Plus) on jo.denoris@leadersplus.org 

Best wishes,


 

What if they say no?

If they say they are unable to support, ask for their advice on who else to speak to or where there may be budget to be found within the organisation.

Remember that you deserve this funding, especially if you identify within a demographic that is traditionally underrepresented at a leadership level. 

Know that is sometimes takes more than one ask. Instead of accepting "no" straight away, ask what you could do to turn that into a yes - you might be surprised that, actually, it was a "maybe, if"!

How do I secure funding for cross-sector leadership development?

Use the email template below to send to your employer.

You might also find these blog articles useful, either to help you gather your thoughts on why professional development is important to you, or to send directly as further evidence of the impact this investment could make on your department, trust, or the NHS more broadly.

A white man with a bear sits at a desk with a child on his lap. He is drinking coffee while she points at his laptop. The caption reads: you can have an ambitious career and enjoy time with your family. You just need the right support. The Leaders Plus logo sits in the bottom right of the image.

Email template to request line manager support or funding

Use the template below as it is, or as a starting point, to communicate to your line manager why the Cross-Sector Fellowship is important for your professional development, and how it can impact your organisation, and industry more broadly.

Hi [Name],

I have come across the Leaders Plus Fellowship which is designed to support career development of working parents, and I’d like to apply. 

Can you please let me know if you can support an application?

The Fellowship would help me to make sure that I can continue to excel at work whilst maintaining my family commitments. It will also help me to continue to develop my career with passion with our organisation and bring back lots of good practice from other organisations on supporting parents.

[Optional, if you identify as a woman] I have recently read an article that women are less likely to receive CIPD funding, which has given me the courage to ask for your support in funding the programme.

The Fellowship has won several awards and the founder received an MBE for her work setting in up, diverse organisations such as the Salvation Army, BT, HSBC, King’s College Hospital or small organisations such as Action Tutoring have sent employees on the programme.

Here is a link to a one pager summarising the impact of the programme, here is a case study with Frazer Nash and here is a short video by the founder explaining the programme and the impact.

As part of attending the 9 month Fellowship Programme, I will also receive materials to run a lunch and learn session for other parents in the organisation and senior leaders will be invited to a complimentary event on how to position the organisation as a top employer for working parents, should you be interested. Line managers are also invited to join a workshop to help them access the latest evidence on how to be an inclusive line manager.

The investment is

Could you let me know by [X date] whether you could support and fund this so I have time to get my application in ahead of the deadline? 

[If this email is to HR, you may wish to include the following, not relevant if it is your line manager]. To find out more and arrange a meeting, you can email Jo Denoris (Partnerships Development Officer Leaders Plus) on jo.denoris@leadersplus.org 

 

Best wishes,


 

What if they say no?

If they say they are unable to support, ask for their advice on who else to speak to or where there may be budget to be found within the trust.

Remember that you deserve this funding, especially if you identify within a demographic that is traditionally underrepresented at a leadership level. 

Know that is sometimes takes more than one ask. Instead of accepting "no" straight away, ask what you could do to turn that into a yes - you might be surprised that, actually, it was a "maybe, if"!

How To Choose a High Impact Leadership Development Training Provider

Here's the other elephant in the room: Leaders Plus isn't the only leadership development programme provider. 

We offer fully-inclusive Fellowships to working parents who want to continue their ambitious careers while also enjoying time with their young familes.

Our Fellowships are evidence-based and supported by a network of experienced senior leaders as well as other ambitious parents going through similar challenges.

It's important to consider where to invest your career development funding carefully, that's why our founder Verena Hefti MBE wrote this blog post.

5 Ways to Ensure You Select a High Impact Training Provider

We hope you find it useful and, of course, we hope to see your application to one of our Fellowships soon!