Health Education England

Stepping Up Programme


The Stepping Up programme is a leadership development programme for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) colleagues who work within healthcare (the NHS or an organisation providing NHS funded care).

It aims to create greater levels of sustainable inclusion within the NHS by addressing the social, organisational and psychological barriers restricting BAME colleagues from progressing.

The programme is designed to bridge the gap between where applicants are and where they need to be, to progress into more senior roles. Successful applicants will be empowered to drive forward the inclusion agenda and develop their skills and abilities in order to grow and progress.

The programme fits with the Academy’s wider body of powerful positive action work to promote diversity and inclusion throughout the health service. The ultimate aim is to develop more inclusive leaders at all levels of the NHS.

Who is the programme for?

The Stepping Up programme is aimed at black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) leaders and aspiring BAME leaders across healthcare working in bands 5 to 7 or equivalent. It’s been designed for individuals who have an interest in developing their leadership abilities and want to be involved in creating a transformational change in equality and diversity across the healthcare sector.

The programme is spilt into two cohorts – one for bands 5 and 6 (or equivalent) and another for people in band 7 (or equivalent) roles. 

Participants are welcomed from a range of organisations across the NHS including provider and commissioning organisations, Arm’s Length Bodies and national organisations.

If you’re a participant, The Stepping Up programme will help you:

  • Prepare and develop for more senior leadership roles within the NHS
  • Challenge the diverse environment you work in to make transformational change
  • Develop the knowledge, experience and skills to help your organisation create an inclusive culture; and to also help you influence change across wider healthcare
  • Empower you to become a role model to help inspire the development and progression of others


The Stepping Up programme is fully funded by the Academy, including accommodation. The cost of travelling is the responsibility of each participant’s organisation.

Withdrawal before full completion means the organisation is liable to bear the full cost of £2,200.

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