Health Education England

The Ready Now Programme


Applications for this programme are now closed


Nearly 20% of the 1.3 million people that work in the NHS are from a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) background. Without this part of the workforce, many of whom are doctors, nurses and midwives, the NHS could not function.

The Snowy White Peaks report published in 2014 found that in London, a city in where over 40% of the workforce and patients are BAME:

  • Only 1 in 40 chairs and no CEOs were from BAME backgrounds
  • 17 of 40 trusts had all white boards

The Ready Now programme is part of a strategic initiative by the NHS Leadership Academy to address this underrepresentation. The programme will give senior BAME leaders the knowledge, skills and experience to challenge the status quo and progress further in their careers. The programme is not just about the development of individuals; it’s an initiative designed to influence the development of a more inclusive culture in the NHS as a whole. 

Who’s the programme for?

The Ready Now programme is for BAME individuals working in the NHS or providing NHS funded services. This also includes people working in social care, third sector and private sector organisations.
Applicants must be working at Agenda for Change Band 8a or above (or the equivalent level) and have leadership experience as the programme is designed for leaders from underrepresented groups who want to become senior leaders in the health or social care system.

Programme overview

The programme runs over 12 months and will include learning through face to face, self-directed, group and online learning. Participants will often be refered to ground breaking research, share learning with like-minded individuals and work with industry leading experts from the Academy’s faculty team.

​Expected outcomes

The main aim of The Ready Now programme is to realise the leadership potential of senior BAME leaders so that they can:
- Progress in their career
- Provide the NHS with outstanding, inclusive leaders for the future
- Effectively influence change within the NHS so that it achieves considerably greater levels of race equality

Is the programme free?

The programme is funded by the Academy and the content is free. Participants will be asked to sign a document committing to the programme.

How to apply?

Participants will need the support of their line managers and organisation prior to applying. Anyone interested can apply for their place online from Dates TBC. To do this, applicants will need to be registered with the Academy’s leadership community website NHSx.

Application packs can also be requested from the Academy website. They include useful information and guidance which will be helpful when applying.

Who can I contact for more information?

For more information about the programme have a look at the Academy website. For specific questions or queries about the application process please contact The Ready Now administration team by either calling 0113 322 5622, or emailing