Executive sponsors

All applicants for the Digital Health Leadership Programme were required to identify and secure an Executive Sponsor.

Role of an Executive Sponsor

An Executive Sponsor is someone who can endorse an initial application and is committed to supporting a successful applicant throughout their time on the programme.

Important: Important

Executive Sponsors were required to complete a short survey whilst the application window is open – more details in the application process.

An Executive Sponsor will be committed to providing the following support to a candidate during the programme by:

  • Ensuring they are given adequate time to focus on their studies and protected learning time.
  • Ensuring they are released from their home organisation and/ or regular duties to attend experiential and live learning sessions.
  • Acting as a mentor over the duration of undertaking the programme and support them when needed.
  • Helping them to progress workplace projects successfully and supporting to remove barriers internally if required.
  • Holding them to account for demonstrating translation of their learning into practice for the benefit of their organisation.

Executive Sponsors will be required to attend a mandatory one-hour induction session prior to Cohort 5 commencing.

Who can be an Executive Sponsor?

All applicants were requested to seek out an Executive Sponsor in advance of applying. It was the applicant’s responsibility to identify a sponsor and to maintain an effective relationship with their sponsor throughout the programme should they be successful in applying for Cohort 5.

Distributing offers for Cohort 5

The Digital Health Leadership Programme is committed to improving the diversity among its Cohorts.

The programme is also usually highly over-subscribed. We therefore asked Executive Sponsors to carefully consider before endorsing an application to help ensure that the most suitable candidates have been put forward.

As part of the selection process, Health Education England reserves the right to review the distribution of offers made to support ensuring a diverse Cohort including geographical location and profession where applicable.

Health Education England are also keen to understand who is engaging with programmes associated the with NHS Digital Academy or other associated learning programmes to support providing opportunities which meet an individual’s needs.


Executive Sponsors are encouraged to watch the recording below of our recent presentation to find out more about the role of an executive sponsor.


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