Next intake starts Wednesday 29th June 2022 (Dates FULL, please register interest in next series below)

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 the pioneers say about the programme.

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 our people centred systems courses 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


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.

Delivery and duration

The programme includes eight and a half days of Vanguard-led group tuition over a period of seven months on the following dates:

Dates full – please register your interest in next series below

Wednesday 29 June 2022 (half day)
Friday 1 July 2022
Wednesday 13 July 2022
Wednesday 7 September 2022 (half day)
Wednesday 28 September 2022
Wednesday 19 October 2022
Wednesday 9 November 2022
Wednesday 30 November 2022
Wednesday 11 January 2023
Wednesday 25 January 2023 (half day)

Learning is through a combination of these interactive 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.

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
  • Knowledge of the best place to start when transforming a people centred system
  • An understanding of different system archetypes
  • 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
  • An evidence-based understanding of how well your current system is performing
  • 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 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
  • Developing intervention skills: applying Egan’s model of ‘the Skilled Helper’ in order to enable others to analyse their problems and develop action strategies.

Continued learning

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

Everyone who completes the first Systems Leadership programme successfully will be eligible to apply for the second part of the Systems Leadership 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

To secure a place on this programme now, please complete the booking form and email it to

If you would like to discuss whether the course is suitable for you, please contact Emma Ashton at

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.

Alternatively, you may be interested in the course we run with Kingston ‘Applying the Vanguard Method to People Centred Services’. See here for further details.  Both options equate to 30 academic credits at Level 7.