Digital Health Leadership Programme – Cohort 4 recruitment update

Posted by: bethjohnson - Posted on:

On Monday 28 June we shared the outcomes of applicants to Cohort 4 of the Digital Health Leadership programme, the flagship NHS Digital Academy learning programme. We are providing some additional information about the application process and demographic information. Please note this update is in relation to the 100 HEE funded places for England. 

Shortlisting Process: 

  • We had 272 applications. 
  • Longlisting removed any applications which were not eligible for the programme (i.e. not in England, not an eligible organisation, duplicates). 
  • Those who scored 17-20 (from a maximum potential score of 20) were automatically offered a place. This equated to 87 people. 
  • Each candidate was scored twice independently, and this was done blind (short listers only had access to the responses to the four questions, and their application number as a reference). 
  • An average score was taken. Moderation took place if scores for any of the four questions differed significantly. 
  • Short listers were mainly alumni from the Digital Health Leadership programme and all short listers attended mandatory training on inclusivity and bias. 
  • The remaining 13 places were decided from the pool of candidates who had scored 16 -16.5. 
  • This process was applied blindly as to not introduce further bias. 
  • Further scoring within this pool was applied based on region, role, and organisational type, with an aim to increase diversity in these areas and ensure more equal representation where there were obvious gaps (e.g. for NHS regions). 
  • Those remaining 16-16.5 scoring candidates formed the reserve list and will be allocated a place should one become available. Those on the reserve list will be communicated to soon with a further update on next steps.  
  • To note, the likelihood is that we will be in a position to offer places on Cohort 5 to those on the reserve list who do not find a place on Cohort 4. 
  • Where someone who has been offered a place on Cohort 4 is not now able to take up the offer this time, for a variety of reasons (e.g. COVID impact in their organisation), we will be in a position to offer them a place on Cohort 5.   
  • Remaining candidates (i.e., scored 15.5 or less) were sent an unsuccessful outcome email and were provided with some options for other learning and development we are aware of that may be of interest (this is a forming list). 

Who have we offered places to?

Given the final makeup of 100 people is subject to potential change where circumstances may change, we will communicate a full and final break down at a later point. As of 28 June (initial offer day): 

  • We have offered 28% of places to BAME colleagues (compared to 19% of Cohort 3). 
  • We have offered 44% of places to women (compared to 39% of Cohort 3). 
  • We have offered places to 11 Allied Health Professionals and 3 Midwives, who have previously had low representation on the programme. 
  • We have offered a minimum of 9 places per NHSE/I region – so all regions will have good representation. 

For Cohort 4, we focused on removing bias, increasing objectivity, and encouraging more diverse groups to apply. You can read our inclusive recruitment report which influenced the approach to Cohort 4, and we have aimed to be transparent throughout the process by sharing the scoring criteria with applicants.  

It is important to us to keep improving diversity. While we are pleased so far with our Cohort 4 outcomes, there is still room for improvement and ahead of Cohort 5 we will be looking to consider further interventions and support to keep improving diversity on the Digital Health Leadership programme.