Health Education England

The Ready Now Programme


The Ready Now programme is currently closed

The Equality Act 2010 allows service providers to take action that may involve treating one group more favourably where this is a proportionate way to help members of that group overcome a disadvantage or participate more fully. Or in order to meet needs they have that are different from the population as a whole. Under the provisions of positive action, organisations may lawfully take measures to meet special needs or to train, develop or encourage people from a racial group that is under-represented in particular types of work – for example, senior leadership positions in the NHS.

Positive action is separate and distinct from positive discrimination, the preferential treatment of a particular group at the point of selection, which is illegal in this country. The Ready Now programme seeks to provide a leadership experience that can assist participants to effectively and sustainably develop their leadership ability and address the particular challenges that BAME leaders face. The programme is not just about the development of individuals; it is an initiative designed to influence the development of more inclusive cultures in the NHS as a whole

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?

Successful applicants will be working at band 8a or above (or the clinical equivalent) and aspire to go further.The programme is designed for leaders from underrepresented groups that want to become senior leaders in the NHS.

Programme overview

Ready Now is a year-long programme. It provides a combination of face to face, online and self-directed workplace based learning. This includes taught elements, group work, psychodynamic processes, experiential learning and a constantly evolving range of approaches to support participant success. It’s a truly blended learning experience, drawing on cutting edge research on the issues that influence the progression of BAME leaders and affect the NHS.

​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 5699, or emailing