The High Potential Scheme for Health and Care colleagues


The NHS High Potential Scheme (HPS) is an innovative, 24-month career development scheme to help middle level leaders who have the ambition, aspiration and motivation to accelerate their careers to senior executive roles at a faster pace.

The scheme is open to clinical and non-clinical leaders working in health and care.

After the success of cohort 1 (pilot) which has been developed by the NHS Leadership Academy and co-designed in partnership with Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent (SSoT) ICS, the second cohort is soon to be launched with Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin ICS piloting a buddy model alongside SSoT ICS.


It is open to Local Authority colleagues in Principal Officer grades as long as the application is supported by a Senior Manager/Director; and to NHS colleagues in roles at Bands 8A to 8D. If you have the potential and desire to progress into a senior executive role in health and care, the NHS High Potential Scheme is perfect for you.

With the help of a career coach and mentor, you’ll shape a two-year programme of experience focusing on gaining practical leadership experience in a range of roles and settings, and strategic experience through assignments, projects and shadowing.

Throughout the scheme you’ll also develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to become an outstanding, compassionate and inclusive senior leader across health and care systems.

To be eligible you must be:

  • Working in the Staffordshire and Stoke-On-Trent ICS or Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin ICS geographical footprint.
  • A middle level leader (Agenda for Change bands 8a-d, clinical or non-clinical, or equivalent in other pay structures and organisations).
  • Interested in progressing your career to senior leadership roles, for example board or governing body level.
  • Ready and willing to learn and develop your leadership skills and behaviours.
  • Able to demonstrate your compassionate and inclusive leadership values and style.
  • Suited to one of the two career transitions identified for the High Potential Scheme.

Diversity and inclusion

As diversity and inclusion are at the heart of HPS - reflecting the richness and diversity of the local workforce - applications from BAME, LGBT+, female, and staff with disabilities are particularly welcome.

We are also offering anyone from these groups opportunities to access support to apply and for interview preparation. Please contact us for further information, and if you have any accessibility requirements.

How to apply

To apply for the NHS High Potential Scheme, you are required to:

Read all information for applicants and supporting documentation first. Click here to download the pack.

Apply online

We will be using the online application as part of the shortlisting criteria, if you are successful at this stage you will be required to :

  • Complete an online Leadership Potential Assessment
  • Attend a face-to-face assessment comprising of an interview and scenario exercise.

Before applying, you’ll need to seek the support of your line manager or another senior sponsor within your organisation. Line managers/sponsors will be required to support your learning and development throughout the scheme.

Please note, we reserve the right to close the application window early if we receive a high volume of applications. Please contact us if you have any queries about this.

Key dates:

Applications open: June 2022

Deadline for applications: 14 August

Confirm successful applicants: August 2022
Complete on-line Leadership Potential Assessment: September 2022

Face-to-face assessment: October 2022

Notification to applicants of assessment process outcomes: October 2022

Launch: November 2022



To find out more about the High Potential Scheme please email

Page last updated 19 July 2022