NHS Yorkshire & the Humber Leadership Academy

Supporting your leadership journey


Advanced System Facilitation Skills Programme

Date: 05 November 2019

Time: 09:00 AM to 04:30 PM

Duration: 2 days 7 hours 30 minutes



Development Programme

Leadership Dimensions:

Advanced System Facilitation Skills Programme

Over the last 2 years Levati has worked with partners in our region to organise and facilitate large group system leadership events. This work has been beneficial and has been written up in a published article and formally evaluated.

To embed the systems leadership workshops and build on the success so far we have commissioned Levati to work with us to develop and support a team of people with advanced facilitation skills from across the partner organisations to ensure this way of working can be sustained and developed over time.

The Levati system leaderships events are conversations with large groups, not training interventions, so facilitators need to be able to respond to what is happening live in the room, not just follow pre-set instructions. For this reason, we are referring to ‘advanced facilitation’ skills.

What is involved and expected?

In terms of skill sets, facilitators of large-scale system working across health and care are required to:

  • be aware of their own patterns about how they show up in groups and not be hooked by them;
  • be able to listen deeply; preparedness to show vulnerability and also be directive when needed.
  • model system leadership e.g. to show our ‘real self’ not hide behind a neutral facilitator role.
  • Create a climate of trust and openness by bringing their authentic self to the group
  • Stay purposeful and help the group stay purposeful, even when it goes off plan
  • Work with tricky dynamics when necessary flex their style according to what is needed
  • Pre-agreed ability to facilitate 4-6 events per year

Module 1: advanced facilitation skills

  • 3 consecutive days 5-7 November 2019
  • Venue will be central Leeds and is offered on a day basis, but residential attendance is encouraged.

The objectives of the 3-day module are:

  • Increased awareness of your own qualities, skills, presence and energy that support or hinder your ability to facilitate
  • Increased range, flexibility and depth of skill in facilitating groups, including when they go off plan
  • Heightened ability to respond flexibly to the needs of the group based on greater awareness of others
  • Understanding of frameworks and models and appropriate use of different techniques
  • Creation of a personal development action plan

In our view the practitioner, rather than the tools, techniques or plan, makes the difference.

Module 2: systems, designing system working events, ongoing support and resources

  • Exploration of what is meant by systems, systems thinking and system working,
  • Consideration of the systems we are part of and how this affects our work
  • Sources of knowledge, resources and support 

This date will be set around the diaries of the participants.

ALL participants will need to complete all 4 days and to then have the capacity and organisational sponsorship required to release time to facilitate place based and/or STP level system working and development. The YH Academy reserves the right to invoice organisations who do not provide the conditions for participants to apply their learning for the benefit of place/STP/systems priorities. This will be between £3k-6k.

It is important the work is identified ahead of the programme starting so we can all ensure this is development that relates to real work in a real world and will enable progress of place/STP priorities. To support this, we will agree simple MOUs as part of the expression of interest/application process.

The Academy requires ALL participants to honour this MOU and participate in impact evaluation throughout. Places are open to anyone who has already been part of the system work with Levati.


to individuals who are able to experience this way of working by attending any one of the following system leadership events.

Leeds: - contact Steve Keyes

  • 18 September
  • 16 September

Calderdale: - contact Sarah Hunt Sarah.Hunt@calderdale.gov.uk

  • 4 September

This requirement is made because we want to be sure individuals who apply do so from an informed point of view.  

We realise this is a serious commitment for facilitators. They will need to facilitate approximately 4 - 6 workshops a year in order to be familiar enough with the material. At the same time there is a distinct payoff for the facilitators themselves and their host organisations.

They will receive excellent skills development that will help them to work well with any group and enable it to work productively. They will also deepen their own understanding of the system as a whole, develop their profile across the broad health and social care system and have an excellent network of relationships.

About the programme

Module 1

These 3 days of consecutive workshops build skills and confidence to intervene constructively and confidently in group dynamics and one to one conversations.  Based on a core framework the learning process is highly experiential and participants will facilitate live sessions during the workshop. They will learn through practice to:

  • clarify their role as a facilitator;
  • engage the whole person and engage commitment;
  • deal with conflict or resistance and generate energy and breakthrough with appropriate interventions.

Module 2

This one-day session will look at practical models about systems and system thinking/working and how the knowledge, skills and insights from module 1 can be applied uniquely to working with systems.

The session will provide information about the Leadership Academy systems leadership framework and the sources of ongoing support and development available to you from the Academy and Regional teams.

Invitation to take part

Due to the nature of this work we are looking for STP and place based leadership teams to put forward the name, job title, system role/remit and contact details of individuals who would benefit from this development but more precisely, are able and available to use this to develop an aspect of your shared place based/STP plan.

How to apply

Please send the above information along with a few lines about what work you would see this support helping you to achieve. Please send responses marked:

For Action: Advanced Facilitation skills for System Change to:

Amanda.Reszczynski@leadershipacademy.nhs.uk and copy in andrea.overton@leadershipacademy.nhs.uk no later than 2 September 2019. 

12 places are offered at this time, free of charge and with the 360 questionnaire and feedback fees covered. Day venue costs are covered but we do not cover travel expenses or overnight accommodation.