Professional Service Directors’ Programme: leading with impact

The Professional Service Directors’ Programme (formerly ‘Impact and Influence’) is aimed at Directors and Heads of Professional Services in HE, for example, Directors of Finance, Estates, HR, Student Services, IT, Research etc who have between 1 and 3 years’ experience in the role.

The next iteration will take place in Spring 2019 and dates for all the elements are listed below.

If you are interested in participating, please download the brochure and application form below.  If you would like to discuss your application, please contact Catherine Webb.

Deadline for applications: Friday 11th January 2019.  

The programme is supported by AUA, AUDE, BUFDG, SCONUL, UCISA and UHR who have collaborated with the AHUA on devising the programme’s content and structure.

Who Should Attend

The Professional Service Directors’ Programme (PSDP) is aimed at Directors and Heads of Professional Services in HE, for example Directors of Finance, Estates, HR, Student Services, IT, Research etc who have between 1 and 3 years’ experience in the role.

The challenge for those working at Director level is to demonstrate high levels of subject expertise as well as to be able to contribute to the strategic corporate agenda. This demands the ability to demonstrate strategic intelligence, effective and confident interpersonal skills and considerable self-awareness.

PSDP offers the opportunity to develop enhanced leadership skills, explore creative solutions to organisational challenges and establish a network of peers from a variety of functions.

The result is more effective leaders within organisations who have a broader and more nuanced view of how leadership within the HE sector can effectively support organisational strategy.

Programme Focus

Achieving greater personal impact and influence through:

  • Better appreciation of the operating environment (cultural, political, tribal);
  • Understanding what makes a high performing team;
  • Harnessing diversity to deliver results;
  • Increased self awareness and confidence: identifying strengths, weaknesses and blind spots and managing these effectively;
  • Leading and supporting cross-organisational change.

Programme Includes

  • One-to-one feedback on preferences and motivation at work from a professional coach;
  • Residential development programme with input from a variety of speakers plus the opportunity to practise a number of new team working, influencing and decision-making skills;
  • A participant co-created mid-programme workshop to focus on an issue highlighted by participants;
  • Four full day facilitated Action Learning sessions;
  • An end of programme one-to-one coaching session to review progress and plan next steps.

Programme Structure

  • The programme consists of 9.5 days spread over 11 months. It opens with a one-to-one meeting with a Programme Director who is also a qualified coach, providing the opportunity for you to reflect on the Programme and your specific needs. This is followed by a residential programme, a mid-programme, co-created workshop and four Action Learning Set sessions. A final one-to-one session allows you to reflect on progress made during the programme.
  • Pre-programme work will require you to complete individual and 360 feedback profiles, to identify your preferred approach to work and team management skills.
  • The Residential Programme is a 2.5 day event focusing on organisational culture, team working and influencing skills, with particular reference to the sometimes challenging relationship between professionals and academics.
  • The four Action Learning Set sessions will provide the opportunity to develop your network of colleagues and to explore professional and business challenges in a safe and supportive environment.

Programme Dates

  • Opening one to one (London):
    A two hour slot between Monday 4th and Friday 8th March 2019
  • Residential programme at Crewe Hall, Cheshire
    From late afternoon, Wednesday 3rd April, to 4.30pm, Friday 5th April 2019
  • Learning sets:
    9th May 2019, 4th July 2019, 3rd October 2019, 5th December 2019, with dinner and overnight stay the evening before each meeting.
    (Please note: set meetings are hosted by participants.  The cost of dinner and overnight accommodation before meetings is not included in the programme fee)
  • Mid-programme workshop
    Thursday 5th September 2019 (with dinner and overnight stay on 4th September 2019)
  • Concluding one to one (London):
    A two hour slot between Wednesday 15th and Friday 17th January 2020

Programme Fee

£5,500 (no VAT applicable)

How To Apply

Please download the application form below and submit it by Friday 11th January 2019 along with:

  • a one page personal statement outlining your experience and motivation for seeking to join the programme;
  • a copy of your CV;
  • a letter of commitment from a member of the University Executive confirming that the time and funding needed are available.

For Terms and Conditions, please see below.

For further information, please contact Catherine Webb , AHUA Executive Secretary.

Related Resources

Resource Name

Added On


Professional Service Directors' Programme Brochure

24th October 2018

Professional Service Directors' Programme Application Form

24th October 2018

Terms and Conditions for AHUA Development Programmes

24th October 2018