Leadership and Management Fellow Scheme

Scheme Overview

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is committed to embedding a culture of medical leadership to benefit patient care.

The Leadership and Management Fellow Scheme is a strong platform for achieving this ambition and embedding a network of emerging medical leaders across mental health providers throughout the UK.

Delivers high-quality care

Widens the number of highly skilled medical leaders able to develop and foster collaborative practice and high-quality care.

Improves clinical services

Brings an enthusiastic and fresh perspective with committed time to help improve the quality and safety of your services.

Enhances medical engagement

Fellows hold mutually enhancing conversations with trainees, senior leaders and management to boost the performance of the organisation.

Develops emerging medical leaders

Invests in local talent and nurtures the next cohort of medical leaders within your organisation.

Enhances leadership behaviours

The fellowship is accredited by The Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM)

Fellows develop their leadership behaviours across all four domains of FMLM's Leadership and Management Standards for Medical Professionals as Fellows progress towards the standards required for Associate Fellowship of FMLM (AFFMLM).

Develops an authentic leadership style

Fellows gain a deeper understanding of their own leadership style and how to be authentic in their role as they realise their leadership potential.

Fellows learn from senior medical leaders and develop an inspiring network of like-minded peers, including from within the RCPsych Leadership and Management Fellow Scheme Alumni Network, which fellows are invited to join on completion of the scheme.

Career acceleration

Fellows accelerate their careers by extending their portfolio and building a local and national profile. They network with colleagues from across the UK and learn from their collective intelligence.

FMLM membership and FMLM 360

Fellows are provided with complementary membership to the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM) and access to their bespoke leadership and management multi-source feedback tool specifically designed for doctors. 

  • ST4 and above
  • 12 month ‘in programme’ experience utilising protected special interest time
  • Mentorship from senior medical leaders
  • Local leadership and management experience
  • National RCPsych leadership and management development programme
Leadership and management development must take place in the context in which an individual works; developmental experiences have the greatest impact when they are linked to or embedded in your on-going work and when they are an integrated set of experiences. 

For this reason, developing Fellows as apprentice leaders within their local organisations is a key aspect of the
RCPsych Leadership and Management Fellow Scheme and predominantly occurs through their engagement in local leadership projects.

Local leadership projects should be determined in conjunction with the Fellow’s organisational mentor and be of strategic or operational significance to the organisation. It is acknowledged that the details and output may change throughout the year - leadership is often not a straight line! 

Utilising one day per week of special interest time, Fellows can join existing projects or develop smaller projects of their own. With their mentors, they will plan appropriate collaboration and supervision for their projects.

Fellows will not only improve their leadership and management skills but utilise their unique insights to make a meaningful contribution to the organisation.

In addition to individual project supervision, Fellows should be supported and mentored throughout the scheme by a senior medical leader within their organisation. This is a key aspect of the scheme and is essential to the success of the Fellow’s role.

The mentoring role is anticipated to be held by the Medical Director, Deputy or Associate Medical Director who can ensure that they get access to the necessary meetings or contacts to support their work.

A minimum of six mentoring sessions should be held throughout the 12-month duration of the scheme.

It is also expected that Fellows will have opportunities to shadow at an executive level and with key external health and local authority partners to gain a deeper understanding of healthcare leadership and management within the wider social, political and economic context.

The RCPsych Leadership and Management Fellow Scheme Alumni Network support Action Learning Sets to provide ongoing support and development.

Fellows unite with colleagues from across the UK through a suite of face-to-face and virtually-delivered modules that have been developed and are led by a faculty of established psychiatric leaders.

The fellowship is accredited by The Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM). The programme is evidence-based, trainee-centred, and tailored to develop fellows’ behaviours in accordance with FMLM’s Standards for Medical Professionals. Fellows become better prepared to lead themselves, their teams, and lead within the organisations and systems of modern mental health services. 

Fellows develop beyond the basic capabilities expected of all psychiatrists. Through a full-day’s programme, incorporating Action Learning Sets and support for their local leadership projects, fellows learn from established medical leaders and gain from the collective intelligence of the group who come from diverse geographical, specialty and demographic backgrounds. 


Key features

  • shaped and designed specifically for psychiatric trainees
  • expert and inspirational leaders from diverse backgrounds, regions and specialties
  • experiential facet-to-face and virtually-delivered modules
  • dedicated support to help them rethink and refocus their evolution as a leader
  • develops a personalised portfolio of learning resources
  • an ideal platform for future leadership roles
  • supports Fellows to apply for Associate Fellowship of FMLM (AFFMLM)

Organisational sponsors are required to identify and nominate a trainee(s) to the RCPsych Leadership and Management Fellow Scheme through an open and competitive process.

The organisation must pay the sponsorship fee of £2,000 which is paid on enrolment.

There is no cost to the trainee for enrolling on the RCPsych Leadership and Management Scheme.

It is the organisational sponsor’s responsibility to ensure that the trainee has sought permission from their Training Programme Director (TPD) and that they will be located clinically within that organisation for the duration of the programme.

It is the organisational sponsor’s responsibility to ensure that the trainee has an identified senior medical leader within the organisation who will mentor the trainee throughout the scheme. The expectation is that this is the Medical Director, Deputy or Associate Medical Director.

The leadership development programme combines face-to-face and virtually delivered modules. All expenses are negotiated at a local level and are not included within the £2,000 sponsorship. The Royal College of Psychiatrists is not liable for reimbursing travel, accommodation and subsistence expenses to participants in the scheme.

To be nominated for the RCPsych Leadership and Management Fellow Scheme, the trainee should: 

  • be in good standing with the GMC
  • be a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • be appointed to an ST4 or above post with a National Training Number (and not CCT during the scheme)
  • have evidence of satisfactory progress in training
  • have the support of their TPD
  • commit to engaging with the scheme and the necessary requirements 

It is the trainee’s responsibility to ensure their attendance at the national training programme and to utilise study leave if training days fall outside their special interest time.

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry