Technical Leadership Programme in 24/25

Booking is now closed for  the 23/24 cohort. We are currently planning the 24/25 cohort.

Contact us here if you would like to be kept up to date and notified when booking for the next cohort opens.

Technical Leadership Programme

Excellence in FE relies on the cultivation of necessary talent and skills among the emergent cohorts of potential leaders across the sector. CIFE  is collaborating with key experts and experienced figures in the sector to prepare future leaders with the necessary technical knowledge, leadership skills and personal development required to steer FE organisations in the current context.

We have launched the CIFE Technical Leadership Programme, a uniquely practical, year-long preparation programme for aspiring leaders delivered by specialists across a range of technical fields necessary for effective and competent leadership of organisations within FE.

The programme has been designed to give individuals nominated by their organisations (typically already at ‘Head’ or ‘Director’ level), the opportunity to gain a deep technical understanding and development in the knowledge, skills and behaviours required of today’s FE Principals, CEOs or equivalents charged with the responsibilities of the Accounting Officer .

The Programme

The programme runs across a 12 month timeframe. It combines regular in person seminar days and masterclasses with shorter online seminars. The Programme Director is accomplished former principal & CEO of an outstanding college and brings a wealth of knowledge, insight and coaching expertise. Sessions are delivered by a range of industry experts and recent CEOs, chairs and regulators with significant combined experience of FE. The progamme covers the critical areas facing leaders of FE organisations:

    • finance & banking
    • legal
    • audit, funding & MI
    • curriculum, qualifications & quality
    • strategy development & implementation
    • board effectiveness & governance
    • capital development & facilities
    • stakeholders, relationships & positioning
    • organisational culture
    • structural development & cultivation of teams & talent


Delegates have access to mentoring opportunities and one to one conversations with our Programme Director and other key contributors and, during the year, will also work on an implementation and reflection piece to be submitted at the end of the programme.  Successful completion  of the programme enables candidates to apply directly for professional recognition and post nominal designation from the Chartered Institution for Further Education.


Why this is different

There are many excellent leadership and management programmes for the FE sector which help individuals to develop personally for the next stages of their career progression into the highest tiers of management. Many of them are very effective in supporting professionals to secure senior roles. This programme is different. It is deliberately designed to focus on how to do the job and meet the significant responsibilities involved. It delves into the technicalities of running a significant organisation, a college or training provider, and offers insight into how you discharge your obligations, maintain sound governance and hold the accountability which comes with board appointed roles at the highest level from the day you step into position.

In simple terms, it is a series of lessons in how to drive; understand the rules of the road; know what the controls are and how to operate them; undertake checks and monitor critical indicators; work out how to navigate and read the environment; discern when to use specialist expertise to provide assurance, to  advise on direction or to improve performance.



Our Partners

This programme is supported by a number of expert organisations which support institutions in the FE sector across core technical disciplines of audit, finance, legal, governance and qualifications. Each partner contributes a series of sessions through the year on a range of themes under their specialist area of expertise.

    • Audit & Funding (RSM)
    • Finance (Barclays)
    • Legal (Eversheds-Sutherland)
    • Qualifications & Assessment (NCFE)

Sessions from these organisations are also complemented by a wide range of individual experts and contributors from across the sector and government agencies.

Who is the programme for?

The programme will benefit existing senior managers in FE organisations (e.g. Directors, Vice Principals, Assistant Principals) and higher middle manager on a pathway to senior leadership roles. It requires the support of each delegate’s employing organisation to enable their employee’s full participation and maximum impact from the unique learning opportunity and specialist experience on offer.  All delegates must complete and return a signed authorisation from their organisation’s CEO, Managing Director or Principal.



In person sessions are located at venues in central London and Birmingham through the year.

Programme Fees

The single fee for the 23/24 year long programme is:

£995 for members 

£1145 for non-member organisations.

This represents excellent value and covers:

  • All seminar and master class days at city centre venues, refreshments on arrival, break times and lunch
  • Access to all online sessions and exclusive additional content from partner contributors
  • Panel assessment interview and development session with experienced CEOs / FE Principals
  • Application for Professional Recognition & Post Nominals from Chartered Institution for Further Education


Bookings & Further Information

For further information or to reserve a place on the programme, email us at