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The leadership competency frameworks, Healthcare Leadership Model and FMLM medical leadership standards

History of the leadership competency frameworks

The Medical Leadership Competency Framework (MLCF) was developed by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. The MLCF was first published in 2008. It describes the competences that doctors of all disciplines require to be actively involved in the planning, delivery and transformation of health services.

The MLCF has been very well received across and outside the profession. Its successful incorporation into undergraduate and postgraduate education, plus widespread adoption as the basis for leadership development, raised the issue of its appropriateness for other clinical professionals.

Following strong support from all other clinical groups for a similar initiative, the NHS National Leadership Council commissioned the Clinical Leadership Competency Framework (CLCF), which was the original five core domains of the MLCF combined with examples and learning scenarios adapted to a range of different clinical contexts.

Coverage by the MLCF and CLCF meant that a large number of clinical professionals were already to be trained and educated within a common management and leadership framework. The NHS Leadership Framework was launched by the Secretary of State for all health staff. This again incorporates the original five domains of the MLCF, but has an added two extra domains for a relatively small group of staff in designated, positional leadership roles.

 All three frameworks are built around delivering a service to the patient and founded on the concept of shared leadership, where responsibility for leadership is not restricted to those with designated leadership roles but can come from anyone, at any level within the organisation, at any time. Leadership then becomes a shared responsibility and is focused on the achievements of the team, not just the individual.

Healthcare Leadership Model

In 2013, the NHS Leadership Academy produced the Healthcare Leadership Model. This model, which is made up nine leadership dimensions, has been developed to help all staff who work in health and care to become better leaders. The model describes leadership behaviours and how behaviour affects the culture and climate you, your colleagues and teams work in. Whether you work directly with patients and service users or not, you will realise what you do and how you behave will affect the experiences of patients and service users of your organisation, the quality of care provided and the reputation of the organisation itself.

Leadership and management standards for medical professionals 

FMLM has developed the Leadership and management standards for medical professionalsThe FMLM standards are derived from, and build upon, earlier work including the General Medical Council’s guidance, 'Leadership and Management for all doctors', UK national leadership frameworks and models, and research on medical leadership, management and engagement. The standards have also been informed by online and face-to-face consultation with over 600 individuals, groups and organisations and formal and informal discussions with a broad range of stakeholders.


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