Next intake started Thursday 17 November 2022 – New intake coming soon

Designing and leading effective people centred systems

If you want the needs of citizens to take priority over bureaucracy, to reduce costs, and you want change to be fast and reliable then this online programme is for you.

The Vanguard Method for people centred systems is tried and tested – you will follow the first steps that others have taken towards making dramatic improvements to the quality of services provided, thereby reducing operating costs and reducing demand on services. We call this ‘Check’.

See what pioneers say about applying the Vanguard Method in social care and read the report we wrote with Locality ‘Saving money by doing the right thing: why ‘Local by Default’ must replace economies of scale’.

Who the programme is for

This programme is for those working for public, private and third sector organisations whose services are primarily concerned with people’s welfare. We describe these services as people centred systems. People who have already benefitted from the programme include:

  • Chief executive officers
  • Directors and managers of adult social care services
  • Directors and managers of children’s services
  • Health and social care managers
  • Housing and homelessness managers
  • Third sector providers (including advice agencies, care providers, etc)
  • Commissioning managers
  • Change, transformation and improvement leads
  • Programme leads


Learning is through a combination of interactive, small group sessions delivered live online, along with independent learning in the form of videos and written content, self-guided practical assignments and complete access to the Vanguard portal of online resources.

You will be able to apply what you learn immediately in your own workplace. Your practice will be validated through feedback from Vanguard experts.

We know that people value the opportunity to learn alongside others from different organisations.  In addition, we also run in-house versions of the programme, tailored to individual organisational needs. If this is of interest, please contact us via the form below.


The programme supports you to apply the Vanguard Method in your own work setting.  Therefore, you will need to identify a system to study, alongside a cohort of co-learners and leaders in your service and partner organisations.


The programme includes nine days of Vanguard-led group tuition over a period of seven months on the following dates (these are full days unless stated otherwise):

  • Thurs 17 Nov ’22 (half day)
  • Thurs 24 Nov ’22 
  • Thurs 1 Dec ’22 
  • Thurs 8 Dec ’22 (half day)
  • Thurs 12 Jan ’23 (half day)
  • Thurs 9 Feb ’23 
  • Thurs 9 March ’23 
  • Thurs 20 April ’23 
  • Thurs 18 May ’23 
  • Thurs 15 June ’23 
  • Thurs 29 June ’23 (half day)

If you are unable to makes these dates, please contact us via the form below to register your interest in future dates, as we regularly run programmes throughout the year.

Programme outcomes

On completion of the programme, you will have developed the following skills and knowledge:

Systems leadership skills

  • An alternative vision for the design and management of your system
  • An understanding of the true purpose of your system from the citizen’s point of view
  • The intervention and leadership skills necessary to work with colleagues, partners and key stakeholders in the process of system change
  • The ability to work across organisational boundaries

Understanding demand, what matters, case mapping and flow

  • The ability to lead an empirical analysis of demand coming into your system
  • The ability to understand what really matters to citizens
  • The skills to work with a team to map cases across people centred systems
  • An empirical understanding of the barriers (or system conditions) affecting performance, and the thinking that created them
  • The ability to identify the waste and the causes of waste in your system, and its impact on costs and capacity


  • The ability to work with others to develop good measures in your own system
  • Knowledge of how to use measures at different levels of the organisation and system
  • The ability to tell a good from a bad measure
  • An evidence-based understanding of how well your current system is performing
  • An understanding of leading and lagging measures, and the economics of your system
  • The ability to apply good measures within the parameters of regulatory frameworks


  • The ability to establish the basis for a system redesign
  • An understanding of the implications for roles and structures
  • The ability to develop a new purpose and new operating principles for your system

Continued learning

You will be supported to continue your learning by taking part in our alumni community of interventionists after completing the course.

Everyone who completes the first Systems Leadership Programme (i.e. ‘Check’) will be eligible to apply for the second Programme, which equips you with the skills to continue redesign and make sustainable system change.


This programme costs £2000 + VAT per delegate.

Secure your place or get in touch

To secure a place on this programme, please contact us via the form below.

Similarly, please contact us via the form if you have any questions or would like to discuss anything further. 

Academic qualification

If you would like to convert your learning into an academic qualification, Kingston University offers alumni of this programme a post-graduate module that enables you to formally capture your knowledge through self-directed, autonomous study under academic supervision – known as the ‘Individual Work-based Learning Project. See here for further details.