Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I go on this programme? 

The programme offers the opportunity to engage with external recruiters, and leadership development specialists who can help and advise on your own personal progression as a leader. 

GatenbySanderson have extensive experience of finding and developing a vast number of leaders in the social housing sector and beyond. In partnership with Unify, our knowledge of the sector will give you a deeper under-standing of different executive roles, what is needed for those executive roles, technically and behaviourally, and provide personalised support to help shape your leadership style. 

Benefits of attending the programme include:

  • Access to, and understanding of ‘Future Leaders in Housing’ research
  • Access to a network of recruiters and leadership development specialists
  • Senior level career advice and guidance
  • Access to your own personal profile report on your leadership strengths and growth areas
  • Ongoing coaching to ensure you have the support for sustained change
  • The time to reflect on where you are currently and your career objectives
  • Peer networks across the G15 group of Housing Associations.

How long is the Programme and do I have to complete all the workshops on the course? Are you able to break this down into hours per week? 

The full programme will take around 8 months to complete. You do not have to attend every workshop, however it is recommended that you attend them all of them as each activity is designed to build on the previous one, and this could also affect the number of CPD points you receive.

Participants will not be attending sessions per week, therefore breaking the hours down into a per week amount would not be beneficial.

Taking a look at the roadmap of the programme on slide 17 of the Webfair slide deck will give you more information on how long each of the sessions are and month(s) they are taking place. This should then give you a good indication of the time commitment needed from participants.

Who can I contact if I have more questions about the course structure?

How tailored is the programme to individuals? 

Our 1:1 sessions are specifically tailored to you as an individual. With a personalised development report, career discussion, personality profiling and individual coaching sessions, we aim to ensure we are addressing your specific needs and questions to help to maximise your impact and potential as a leader and when looking for a new role.

While we have structured workshops that are group sessions, the aim of the programme is to provide as tailored an experience as possible. To do this, we will seek out your objectives and goals for the programme early on and maintain reasonably-sized workshop groups to enable us to ensure the content and discussions reflect and address individual concerns. Where we may not have answered all your questions in these sessions, facilitators are always available offline to discuss.

In addition, we will continuously capture feedback from all participants throughout the programme and use these insights to shape future sessions and for any future Leadership NOW! programmes run. This will help to ensure we are meeting your needs as closely as possible and ensure you get the best experience possible.

Is there ongoing support after completing the programme? 

We are committed to ensuring long-term sustainable change when it comes to the development and promotion of under-represented talent across the social housing sector. The creation of these workshops is just beginning.

We feel it is important through these sessions that we open up to participants, wider peer networks across our public sector partners and practices that may be of interest and useful to them. We will also open up participants to key stakeholders across the social housing sector, encourage the establishment of broader networks and deliver virtual networking sessions (as well as face-to face when possible).

We will ensure you have information and access to some of the resources, services and support available to you through recruitment and beyond from headhunting firms, all who partner with housing organisations across the sector. This is designed to be a “one stop shop” to allow easier access and direct contact to recruiters in the social housing sector, links to live roles across the social housing sector, access to networking groups, advice and guidance on career goals and job application support.

Our leadership development and talent insight team can also give you access to other development opportunities after you have completed the programme.

How will I learn on this programme? And is this going to be a blended programme, virtual and F2F? Will there be provision for people who maybe are not that confident going F2F? 

We will deliver the programme fully virtually, not least because restrictions may increase once more as we move into Winter.

Conducting the programme virtually allows us to be more flexible with dates and times, allowing us to cater for those that might have caring duties, school runs etc…; it enables us to record sessions and for participants to feel more comfortable and relaxed, and also ensure they are in a physically safe space when participating in the different sessions.

Everyone learns differently and at their own pace. We cater for different learning styles by offering a blended learning approach. For example, there will be elements of taught workshops, advice and guidance, 1:1 sessions and different types of coaching (group and one-to-one) to help participants reflect on their own behaviours and styles of leadership. There will also be pre-work to complete in your own time in preparation for some of the sessions, as well as light touch ‘homework’ to help embed some of the learnings.

All workshops are interactive and will comprise a short ‘teaching’ section coupled with activities, exercises and group discussions to ensure different learning styles are catered for.

There are two aspects to your learning on the programme:

  • Learning about your own career progression and how your career objectives can be achieved
  • Learning about your own leadership behaviours and how you can develop personally.

As such, there will be an element of self-reflection throughout the programme too.

What do I need to consider as part of the application process? 

Time: you should consider the amount of time you can dedicate to this programme at this current time. While it is not meant to be overly time consuming, you will need to dedicate some time to not only the programme elements, but also the offline activities/homework we ask you to complete. To get the most from the programme, it is best you are able to dedicate the time required to complete all elements you sign up for.

Cost: the programme, whilst heavily subsidised, also has a fee attached to it which you will need sign off for. Please see ‘organisational sign-off’ question below for further details, or the ‘How to Apply’ tab.

How much time will the self-directed learning take up? 

During the programme we will set self-directed learning tasks which will mainly be reflection exercises or activities that can be applied in your current role to embed your learning. We envisage that there will only be a few days in between sessions to research or carry out any additional activities and therefore we will keep them as light touch as possible. We are mindful that it is a busy time for everyone and are therefore flexible around how this is done. 

There are no exams or scored tests during the programme as it is more about personal leadership development.

What organisational sign-off is needed in order to take part? Is it worthwhile mentioning to my line manager?

We encourage all applicants to discuss the programme with their line manager and agree any necessary adjustments to take part, prior to submitting an application. Having your line manager’s support through the programme will also benefit your growth as they will be able to support you through the various tasks and activities you will undertake.

We will be providing a briefing for all your line managers to ensure they understand what you’ll be going through with the programme and the support you’ll need.

Sign-off will also be required for the programme fee which is £2,500 + VAT; when submitting your application, you will need to complete a finance declaration form with the necessary organisational sign off to ensure the programme fee can be honoured. 

When the programme is accredited, where are the CPD points linked to? 

The CPD points are linked to the number of hours participants will be in sessions on the programme for – so 24 hours in total, spread across 8 months of activities. 

What is the typical current career level of participants? 

We are not restricting entry to the programme based on a specific career level. The programme is open to all aspirant and current leaders and once we have the final list of participants for Cohort 2, we will group participants according to their leadership experience so that we can tailor the sessions more specifically for their experience.

For anyone that wants to apply but may not be ready just yet for the programme, we recommend they join UNIFY and take advantage of the training they provide their members.. 

What support do you have in place for colleagues with Neurodiversity? 

We seek to understand any neurodiverse participants and what adjustments might need to be made to our content and/or delivery to ensure they have the best experience possible and take the most away from them programme.

We only ask that those individuals who might need adjustments made, to let us know as soon as possible so we can make sure meet their needs.

How, when and what do you communicate with organisations once their people are on the programme? If colleagues apply directly, do you link in with their employer before committing to places? 

Once we have agreed the final list of participants for Cohort 2, we will inform all participants of the decision, as well as their organisations who have put them forward.

Congratulations emails and welcome packs will go out to participants; our HR contact in an organisation will also receive an email indicating successful/not successful and next steps, and invoices for the programme will be sent to the organisation’s finance contact.

Our application process has clear instruction of for how to apply which includes a finance declaration form which requires organisational sign off, therefore employers should be fully aware of their decision and signed this off.

Candidates may wish to self-fund, however would still need organisational sign off for the time commitment to attend the programme.

How much admin time/input would be required by the Housing Provider? 

There is minimal admin time required by Housing Providers who have participants on the programme as we manage the programme in-house (GS/UNIFY).