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EM Leaders Programme

EM Leaders Programme

EMLeaders is focused on developing the leadership skills of those working within the Emergency Department, through an EM specific training programme.

Welcome to the EMLeaders Programme

What is the EMLeaders Programme?

EMLeaders is focused on developing the leadership skills of those working within the Emergency Department, through an EM specific training programme. It teaches learners about leadership; what it is and how we can all become better leaders whatever our grade or clinical role in emergency medicine.

The purpose of the programme is to improve the quality of leadership skills being deployed in the EM operational environment and aims to ensure that that those within the ED are:

  1. more knowledgeable about clinical leadership and how to apply it on the shop floor.
  2. empowered to make decisions in the workplace and manage the challenging environment of the emergency department.
  3. supported by the School leadership faculty with their learning and are enabled to feed back personal experiences or concerns.

This programme has been developed in partnership between The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM), Health Education England (HEE) and NHS Improvement/England (NHSI/E), guided by the 2017 Securing the Future Workforce for Emergency Departments in England Strategy.

What is the programme trying to achieve?

In April 2018, the partnership began working on this four-year initiative to improve the quality of clinical leadership skills being deployed in the Emergency Medicine operational environment. The strategic aims of the initiative are to support the development of self-leadership of those working within Emergency Departments, with a focus on reducing attrition, supporting well-being and assisting career progression in one of the most intense healthcare environments in the NHS.

By March 2022, the programme aims to:

  1. create and deliver an EM specific leadership training programme that not only supports trainees to meet the requirements of the incoming Curriculum – which has threads of leadership throughout the generic professional capabilities (GPC) and specialty learning outcomes (SLOs) – but also expand this offer of training to the wider ED workforce.
  2. create a Faculty of experts in leadership across the regions of England, who can support the delivery of this training to trainees, trainers and others within the ED.
  3. up-skill those currently working in EDs through peer-led training initiatives.
  4. embed these within local teaching structures so they continue as business as usual after this initiative ends.

If you would like to find out more, please contact:
Tahirih Doncaster (Training Officer) –
Elizabeth Goldsmith (Associate Director, Training and International) –

Community of Practice

Want to try something new?

Want to invest in yourself?

Want to work with colleagues from around the UK, and learn from each other?

EMLeaders Communities of Practices (CoPs) Membership

The EMLeaders Programme is looking to create and support a Community of Practice (COP) in the coming months focused on embedding leadership learning across Emergency Departments in the UK.

The EMLeaders CoPs will provide people with an opportunity to develop their own leadership and facilitation skills; and to share their skills knowledge/ abilities with each other, as well work with their local EMLeaders School Faculty teams.

The aim is to increase the skills and knowledge within each region to support leadership learning on the shop floor.

Those within the cohort will receive training and development to support them so that by the end they will:

  1. Have a sound understand of the aims and objectives of the EM leaders programme, understands how leadership fits into the new Curriculum and how they can develop these skills in the workplace for their Trainees.(multi-professional)
  2. Be leadership champions and role models by having a consistent ‘leadership language’ and behaviours from which Trainees and an increasingly multidisciplinary clinical workforce in the ED can learn from.
  3. Feel able to confidently supervise the shop floor implementation of leadership training.

Full details of the current vacancies can be found on our Volunteering Opportunities page.

The EMLeaders Framework

The EMLeaders Framework was developed by the EMLeaders National Faculty from their collective knowledge and experience of Emergency Medicine and Leadership. The framework is based on those elements that prepare an EM practitioner to manage any shift in the Emergency Department and negotiate the many aspects of the wider NHS. The information within this document provides a framework of EM leadership knowledge, skills, behaviours, attitudes and competencies referenced against the different stages of training that make up core and higher EM training programmes. The framework is structured into five areas of clinical leadership:

  1. EMLeader skills
  2. Working in teams
  3. Managing the Emergency Service
  4. Growth and collaboration
  5. Developing excellence within your team.

The descriptors reflect proficiency at a specific stage of EM training, with additional complexity challenging the trainee as they progress from core to completion of higher training and into the early years as a Consultant.

EMLeader Framework and Curriculum 2021

The clinical curriculum has threads of leadership throughout the generic professional capabilities (GPC) and specialty learning outcomes (SLOs) as highlighted in the introduction of the framework document. When training to be Emergency Medicine Consultants, trainees must develop their leadership potential so that they are able to lead effectively when providing care for patients as experts in clinical diagnosis and reasoning, as well as managing, guiding and supporting multi-disciplinary teams operating in a modern-day Emergency Department.

The EMLeaders programme contains a number of leadership educational resources that can provide evidence of learning, progress and attainment along with other work-based place assessments, formal courses or reflective practises.

The available EMLeaders resources and how they link to the different aspects of the curriculum are outlined within the Framework introduction.

EMLeaders Framework

The National Faculty

The National Faculty were responsible for developing and implementing the programme, and supporting the EMLeaders School Faculty members within each of the Schools in England who are delivering this innovative leadership training programme. The National Faculty drove the programme from the initial work in April 2018, and was in place until the end of Phase III (March 2021), after which the programme lead switched to the School level.

The EMLeaders National Faculty members

Dr Ellen Jones
Dr Ellen Jones
Co-Chair of EMLeaders Programme National Faculty

Ellen is a consultant in Emergency Medicine at the University Hospitals Birmingham and Head of School for postgraduate training in Emergency Medicine in the West Midlands. Ellen has been part of the EMLeaders programme from the start and is Co-Chair of the National Faculty.
Dr Taj Hassan Dr Taj Hassan
Co-Chair of EMLeaders Programme National Faculty

Taj is a consultant in Emergency Medicine at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and was the President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine from 2016 – 2019. Taj worked with HEE and NHS E/I to develop the initial EMLeaders concept and is Co-Chair of the EMLeaders Programme National Faculty.
Dr Jo Hartley
Dr Jo Hartley
EMLeaders Programme National Faculty
Jo has been Wessex Head of School since 2015, currently leads on Quality for the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Training Standards Committee. Jo is part of the national faculty for the Emergency Medicine Leaders Programme and co-developed the EMLeaders Framework.
Dr Mal Jones Dr Mal Jones
EMLeaders Programme National Faculty

Mal Jones is Head of School for Acute Specialities Health Education England North East, an Emergency Medicine Consultant at Sunderland Royal Hospital and member of the EMLeaders national faculty. Mal is part of the National Faculty for the Emergency Medicine Leaders Programme and co-developed the EMLeaders Framework.
Dr Jamal Mortazavi
Dr Jamal Mortazavi
EMLeaders Programme National Faculty

Jamal is the Head for the School of Emergency Medicine. He is an emergency medicine consultant at Guys and St Thomas’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. He is a member of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Training Standards Committee and joined as a member of the National Faculty in March 2020.
Dr Hannah Baird
Dr Hannah Baird
EMLeaders Programme National Faculty – Trainee Rep

Hannah is currently an ST4 in Emergency Medicine in the North West region, currently undertaking an Out‐Of‐Programme Experience (OOPE) as a National Medical Director Fellow working in the Education Team at the General Medical Council.  Hannah has a keen interest in medical leadership and medical education, completing a Masters in Medical Leadership at Lancaster University, She has been a trainee rep on the EMLeaders National Faculty since 2019.
Sqd Ldr Jonathan Lowe
Sdn Ldr Jonathan Lowe
EMLeaders Programme National Faculty – EMTA Rep

Jay is a Military ST5 Emergency Medicine Trainee from the South West. He is one of the EMTA representatives to sit within the National Faculty for the EMLeaders Project. His interests include both clinical and military leadership and drawing comparisons between them.
Dr Lara Somerset
Dr Lara Somerset
EMLeaders Programme National Faculty – EMTA Rep

Lara is an ST4 Emergency Medicine trainee in the Severn Region. She has been one of the trainee representatives to EMLeaders since February 2020 and actively involved in creating new eLfH modules for the programme that will support in the delivery of the programme.  e both clinical and military leadership and drawing comparisons between them.

EMLeaders eLearning modules

EMLeaders eLearning modules are based on the EMLeaders framework and the original EMLeaders study days developed prior to the pandemic.

What is covered?

The modules provide Learners with:

  • the core principles of leadership within an Emergency Department context and include videos, interactive activities as well as EM examples
  • background reading which will allow Learners to explore the topics further
  • a reflective practise worksheet related to the content in the modules, that can be used in future regional discussion groups to expand on the learning.

The reflective practise worksheet is a separate document, which can either be completed while the Learner works through the module content or afterwards, depending on preferred learning style. Learners are encouraged to take their time to work through the reflections to ensure they gain maximum benefit. In addition, completed worksheets can be uploaded to ePortfolios as evidence of learning.

There are three core eLearning modules:

  1. Leading Teams – All clinical staff need to work effectively within teams. This session explores how to lead teams effectively in Emergency Medicine.
  2. Leading Self – This session explores the key themes around self and how that knowledge can be used to be to create positive influences for the Learner and those around them.
  3. Leading Systems – This session explores systems within emergency care and the NHS in relation to leadership challenges that emergency physicians face and analyses them as clinicians within a complex environment. It also explores the differences between leadership and management as those roles work together to influence within these complex systems

The learning from the core modules is then expanded upon in the following six modules:

  1. Leading Culture – This session is focussed on the relationship between leadership and culture, and builds on many of the themes covered within the Leading Self module.
  2. Leading Service – This session will focus on leading the Emergency Service, the application to the wider NHS and will have relevance to all practitioners within Emergency Medicine, whether you are in training or are a new or established Consultant.
  3. Leading People – This session covers what an organisation is, managing and leading people in an organisation, having difficult conversations and conflict resolution.
  4. Leading Change – This session focuses on leading change within the Emergency Department Team. It is vital to understand the personal, environmental and team factors which affect how we lead and deliver successful change.
  5. Leading Quality – This session has been developed to help learners understand what quality is within healthcare, to define ‘Quality’ for you, your team and your service, to recognise how poor-quality behaviours occur and how to encourage good quality care thorough leadership.
  6. Leading Strategy – This session looks at the key areas that learners may apply strategy and the subsequent important skills needed for an adaptive strategic leader. There are several activities within the module that could support Learners at a later date when completing a quality improvement project or another piece of development work.

The modules were developed by the EMLeaders National Faculty members (including Trainee Reps), with editorial support from the School Faculty members, technical support and design from e-Learning for Healthcare and strategic oversight from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) and Health Education England (HEE).

Accessing the eModules

The EMLeaders eModules are accessible via the e-Learning for Health and is for free for the NHS and military workforce, those with an address in higher education. Learning is recorded on the e-Learning for Healthcare Hub and can be linked to the RCEM ePortfolio.


Phase I – Laying the foundations

Between October 2018 and September 2019 (Phase I) the programme undertook a series of activities to achieve the aims of the programme by:

  1. Establishing a specialist National Clinical Leadership Group (National Faculty) to oversee the delivery of the EMLeaders Programme.
  2. Creating the EMLeaders framework (syllabus) of Emergency Medicine (EM) leadership knowledge, behaviours, attitudes, skills and competencies which can be referenced against the different stages of training of EM Trainees.
  3. Establishing a specialist Clinical Leadership group within each HEE EM School in England (School Faculty) – accountable to the national faculty – to support the continued delivery and implementation of the EMLeaders Programme at a Regional level through:
    • Attending EMLeaders Development Days to support the local School Faculty in partnership with the NHS Leadership Academy
    • Raising awareness and promoting the EMLeaders programme
    • Developing EMLeader resources and building on existing best practice
    • Creating and strengthening EM leadership networks within their region.
    • Creating and delivering an introductory EM clinical leadership training study day for all grades of EM Trainees.
    • From June to September 2019 a total of 48 EMLeaders introductory study days were held across England in partnership with the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM).
    • A total of 1,046 individuals attended the introductory workshops, 934 of whom were Trainees, which equated to 54% of the emergency medicine Trainee workforce in England.
  4. Creating new clinical leadership study days based on the EMLeaders framework and undertaking all preparatory work to deliver and evaluate the pilot sessions in Phase II of the programme (October 2019 to March 2020).

Phase II – Piloting the EMLeaders study days

During the second Phase of the programme (October 2019 – March 2020), the National Faculty Group created nine new EMLeaders study days based on the EMLeaders Framework with the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM).

The nine study days were piloted across nine regions in England between November 2019 and January 2020, these events were run by the local EMLeaders School Faculty members.

A total of 153 people attended these events, and the overall rating for the study days ranged from 3.7 to 4.6 (5 being excellent) and with 96% recommending the study day to a colleague, each of which are above the success criteria set at the start of the evaluation. The evaluation of the pilot study days highlighted the value in delivering the first three modules as core learning and the subsequent study days should be integrated into local training events, dependent on where there are gaps in knowledge and resources.

EMLeaders study days

No. Title Aims & Objectives
 Core study days
1 Leading Complex Systems
  • Understanding the complexity of the healthcare system and the role of emergency medicine. Where does EM sit in the National picture for Acute care;
  • Appreciation of different types of problems and challenges within the healthcare system and leadership approaches to deal with these;
  • Understanding the NHS as an integrated system and the leadership role of emergency doctors in working at a system level.
2 Leading Self
  • Understanding yourself – your preferences, values and behaviours, and how to utilise your strength and identify areas for development;
  • Identifying factors that improve your resilience and wellbeing;
  • Appreciate what it means to lead with emotional intelligence and compassion. Understand the principles of emotional intelligence and what is meant by compassionate leadership.
3 Leading Teams
  • Appreciating the importance of teamwork – the case for better teamwork and how you go about building this in emergency medicine.
  • Understanding the importance of diversity in teams and the role of sub-conscious bias in influencing this;
  • Developing the skills to effectively listen, question and feedback to your colleagues and patients.
Supplementary study days
4 Leading Services
  • Understanding how services are constructed and resources are managed in healthcare;
  • Appreciating how emergency medicine services are influenced and influence healthcare services within and beyond the hospital;
  • Developing the skills to negotiate with colleagues and manage your time effectively.
5 Leading Culture
  • Understanding culture – what is it and how does it develop and become embedded;
  • Appreciating what motivates you and how to motivate others;
  • Developing an understanding of your own power and developing the skills to coach, mentor and influence other.
6 Leading People
  • Appreciating the difference between managing and leading, and what this means in emergency medicine;
  • Understanding your preference for dealing with conflict and identifying strengths and opportunities to develop;
  • Developing the skills to have necessary, difficult conversations with colleagues and patients.
7 Leading Quality
  • Understanding the role of medical professionals in improving quality and what we mean by quality;
  • Developing insight into approaches for improving quality and performance in healthcare looking to local and regional examples.
 8 Leading Change
  • Appreciating yours and other’s reaction to change and transition;
  • Identifying factors that may hinder or limit change;
  • Understanding the key ingredients for suitable change;
  • Developing skills in utilising feedback and engaging colleagues and patients to co-develop services.
 9 Leading Evaluation
  • Understanding the wider implications of change at different levels of the system, and in the teams around you;
  • Understanding the methods and role of evaluation in understanding the impact of change.

The programme aimed to deliver the core modules regionally in Phase IV of the programme however due to the pandemic this was not possible.

Phase III – creation of the EMLeaders eLearning modules

The focus of Phase III has been on developing a revised approach using a mix of online learning, webinars and small trust-based teaching sessions to deliver EMLeaders sessions.

Regional Contacts

The EMLeaders programme has established a community of Leadership Leads (School Faculty) across the emergency medicine Schools in England, who are delivering local training sessions. To learn more about what is happening in your region please visit or contact:

East of England

East Midlands




North West & Mersey



Thames Valley


West Midlands

Yorkshire & Humber

Devolved Nations

The EMLeaders eLearning module are freely available to colleagues in the Devolved Nations, and in addition we have been working with colleagues to expand the EMLeaders programme there. To learn more about what is happening in your region please visit the following sites.


Contact detail for leadership leads in Wales can be found on the AWSEM website

Northern Ireland

The School of Emergency Medicine is currently working to expand the EMLeaders programme in Northern Ireland, and to learn more about what is happening please visit the MDTA website or email

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