Technical Leadership Programme for New & Aspiring CEOs & Principals in FE

Technical Leadership Programme Starting in 2024

CIFE are excited to meet the first cohort of new and aspiring FE leaders who will embark upon a year-long programme of technical training and development in the new year.

The Technical Leadership Programme for FE has been developed with a range of specialist partners and contributors across essential disciplines including law, finance, audit, corporate governance and curriculum, qualifications & quality to support individuals preparing for or taking up the highest leadership roles in our publicly funded institutions.

The programme addresses a gap identified by Member organisations and other FE stakeholders and has been designed to give individuals nominated by their organisations the opportunity to gain a deep technical understanding of 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 Technical Leadership Programme will complement other programmes already available in the sector which focus on different areas of leadership and personal development. The programme is open to higher tier managers and senior leaders in the sector who may be stepping into their first CEO position or working towards it.

Led by experienced former CEOs Lowell Williams as Programme Director and Lesley Davies CBE, Executive Director of CIFE,  the programme is delivered through in person seminars and virtual sessions by a range of industry experts. This includes corporate collaborators such as Eversheds Sutherland and NCFE as well as a diverse mix of individual contributors encompassing recent CEOs, chairs and regulators who bring a significant wealth of combined FE leadership knowledge, experience and case studies for the benefit of delegates.

Speaking about the programme, Lesley Davies said: “The FE sector is critical to the economic and productivity ambitions of the UK. Excellence in FE relies on us continually cultivating the talent and skills among the emergent cohorts of new and potential leaders across the sector. The Chartered Institution for Further Education is delighted to be able to work with so many key experts and experienced figures allied to FE so that we can prepare and support  our future CEOs with the necessary technical knowledge, leadership skills and personal development required to steer FE organisations in the challenging context of the world we know today and the landscape we must anticipate in the future.”

Lowell Williams added: “This programme is different to anything else. It is deliberately designed to focus on how to do the job as the Accounting Officer with 360 degree awareness. We want the next generation of leaders to move into these roles with their eyes opened to the full spectrum of challenges and opportunities they may encounter, and a practical toolkit for navigating the landscape effectively avoiding unnecessary pitfalls so that they can meet the significant responsibilities involved head on. 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.”

The programme begins at the end of January 2024 and runs until next December. For more information click on the link to download a copy of the latest  CIFE Technical Leadership Programme, visit the CIFE website or contact

Posted on 15th December by Sites