Courses and programs

Rural Clinical Team Leadership Program

The Health Education and Training Institute (HETI) developed the Rural Clinical Team Leadership Program (Rural CTLP) in 2009 based on a blend of Clinical Leadership Program models used by the Clinical Excellence Commission and adapted to meet the needs of rural and remote participants. The program is based on a structured experiential development model for allied health, nursing and medical officers who are leaders in a clinical team.

The program is designed to create opportunity for clinicians to step away from the workplace to think about what they do, how they do it and how they could do it better. It will explore clinical leadership and change concepts to support the process of leading and influencing clinical activities to improve the delivery of safe clinical care within the context of delivering patient-centred care.


The Rural CTLP is mapped to the NSW Health Leadership Framework (HETI, 2013). The model frames leadership in terms of five domains:

  • Achieving outcomes
  • Developing and leading self
  • Engaging people and building relationships
  • Partnering and collaborating across boundaries
  • Transforming the system.

For each domain a set of four capabilities is defined and for each capability a set of three behavioural descriptors. The intention is to point to the kinds of specific observable actions associated with effective leadership in a health care context.

The program is coordinated centrally by HETI in collaboration with the Clinical Excellence Commission, with an opportunity to liaise with rural Local Health District Clinical Leadership Program (CLP) facilitators as part of a state-wide network.

Each team member will proceed through the course individually as well as work in a pair with their team colleague on one Clinical Process Improvement Project together which will benefit their clinical area and refine the workplace culture of patient-centred care in their facility.

Participants are supported in their leadership development by a HETI Rural & Remote facilitator to complete action learning sets, personal development plans informed by 360-degree performance profiles, and to undertake a work-based clinical practice improvement initiative.

The program comprises an integrated model around a mix of four distance-education modules interspersed with face to face attendance at four two-day workshops. Learning modules build on leadership and clinical governance principles, self-awareness, interpersonal communication and clinical practice improvement including:

  • The construct of 'practice development'
  • Strategic and operational planning, position accountabilities, and the leadership process
  • Frameworks for coaching, action learning, mentoring and clinical supervision
  • Maximising the benefits associated with developing and managing people, delivering patient centred care and incorporating evidence based practice, quality improvement, clinical risk and incident management

Workshops are held in Sydney requiring eight full days attendance. All travel and accommodation for attendance at the Sydney Workshops will be organised and funded by HETI.

Monday 12 February 2018

Tuesday 13 February 2018

Monday 26 March 2018

Tuesday 27 March 2018

Monday 18 June 2018

Tuesday 19 June 2018

Monday 17 September 2018

Tuesday 18 September 2018

Graduation 23 November 2018

Individual coaching and facilitation are conducted on at least a monthly basis.

While the program has a theoretical base, it is experiential in nature and participants need to engage in reflection and group work to participate actively in the program.

Participants must be:

  1. Be working in a clinically-based team from a rural Local Health District (this includes  GP/VMO), Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network and NSW Ambulance
  2. Able to nominate their partner on the application form
  3. Demonstrated commitment to undertaking self-directed learning focused on clinical outcomes for patient care and quality service
  4. Demonstrated commitment and examples of system improvement and improving safety in healthcare undertaken
  5. Skilled in verbal and written communication and in managing the implementation of clinical practice change
  6. Propose a joint Clinical Process Improvement Project that you may undertake with your partner to benefit patients, staff and others. (Maximum 200 words. This last criterion is not binding and you may change your project once you enter the program).

The program is funded by the Health Education and Training Institute (HETI) and is provided at no charge to staff that are selected to the program. GP/VMOs are eligible for backfill of $1000 per day for attendance at the eight workshop days.

To successfully complete program requirements, participants must:

  • Attend at least 80% of the module workshops
  • Participate in active learning sets
  • Complete a 360-degree profile and receive feedback
  • Undertake or be working towards completion of a work-based clinical improvement initiative and present this to a peer or management group
  • Provide evidence of completion of portfolio activities
  • Participate actively in the program, including individual coaching and engagement in group activities.

“It is one of the most effective programs I have undertaken. The guest speakers are amazing and the structure of the program is excellent. It is a shame that this program is not able to be  undertaken by every employee in health. The health service would be more efficient, it would improve the quality of care and employee satisfaction would be higher if this were possible.”

"Great cross discipline collaboration. Eye opening for how different things are between an acute facility base and a General Practice base. Enhanced empathy for difficulties experienced in a different environment.”

"The best course I have ever had the privilege of doing in my entire 16 years in nursing. I gained bucket loads in both leadership skills and personal development. This course has inspired me to want to be the best leader I can be. The wealth of knowledge I gained from the group was way beyond my expectation and so was the program.”

“I gained more from this program than any other leadership programs I have done before. The variety of speakers and the professionalism of the course convenor made me always look forward to my next workshop or teleconference.”

Quotes from Previous Participants