It’s that time in the year when we start the application process for the LHF/LSBU Post Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Management (housing and homelessness). Course Director for LHF, Becky Rice, reflects on the coming months, as we begin the process of creating cohort 11…
“This is the fourth time I’ll have recruited to the course, and each year I find it a really inspiring and invigorating experience – yes, reviewing lots of applications and then a month dominated by Zoom interviews each year can be enjoyable and is honestly never boring!
The people we meet are usually in middle management roles, though this varies from early management roles, right up to senior managers. What they have in common is a strong commitment not just to their careers, but to our shared goals of supporting people effectively and sustainably when they are in housing crisis or experiencing homelessness.
There is an energy amongst applicants that inspires optimism about the future of the sector. Watching them form a cohort of around 18 people at our autumn residential feels like the end of the recruitment and welcome phase, and is where LHF hands the baton over to LSBU. We get great feedback on the residential but are still seeking to improve the experience each year taking all feedback into account – for example last year bringing in new social activities including a (very optional!) walk or jog around Windsor Park. My favourite parts of the programme are where selected LHF board members share their experiences of leadership for the group to reflect on, and the session where previous students provide tips and share their experiences, including the onward impact of the course.
The academic period is from October – June, and is an intensive period for the students, with eight two-day blocks of learning in university and all the self-directed study that goes into assignments. The payoff, aside from a lot of learning, is a formal post graduate qualification in leadership and management from LSBU Business School. LHF are on hand to help iron out any issues that arise for students and work out the best course of action if, for example, a change of job or circumstances is on the horizon, but most of the contact during this time is with LSBU. Students often form WhatsApp groups, or mini-Zoom groups to get peer support, and get extra one-to-one support from tutors to help with their work. It goes in a flash, and before we know it, it’s time for the final presentations for the Organisational Development Module which are always really interesting and thought provoking. This year there was a theme of diversity, equality and inclusion in several of the presentations, and LHF offers a presentation skills course to all students, which always gets great feedback.
Once all the hard work is done, results come in in August. We hold our own small celebration, and many of the participants attend the formal graduation ceremony which is held at the Royal Festival Hall around October – I attended this year, and it was a really lovely event: some photos of the day are found here. After graduation, cohorts often stay in touch with each other independently, and LHF offer the Professional Development Programme and exclusive events as part of our developing ‘alumni offer’. A travel bursary is also available for study trips. LHF are seeking to ensure we draw on the network of alumni to create even more links between leaders and organisations in the sector – the alumni group keep our own knowledge of the sector fresh and provide us with insights about new developments.
We recently surveyed cohorts one to seven, to see how people reflect on their experience. It was encouraging to see that many people had moved into more senior roles. Nearly all respondents agreed that learning from the course had impacted their management practice positively and comments suggest that the space for reflection, working with peers from other organisations and increased confidence are all factors in success. More feedback from students can be found on our website and further findings from the survey will be shared in a later blog.”
If you are interested in applying for the 2023 intake, please visit https://lhf.org.uk/leadership-course/ where you can get more information and submit an application of interest with the support of your organisation. Please note that you must be in a permanent, line management role to apply. No previous degree is required.
If you have further questions, please get in touch with Course Director, Becky Rice firstname.lastname@example.org or 07811 607 679.