Louise Willis - Clinical Services Manager Universal 0-19

I was given the opportunity to be part of the Senior Leadership Apprenticeship Programme at the start of 2019. I had considered a MSc as part of my developing leadership role and this came at the right time and as it was work based learning it really appealed to my learning style.

Initially it was a leap of faith as I hadn’t been involved in University Academia for over 20 years and it was intense at the start. We were fortunate to begin prior to COVID so did have some face to face meetings with the rest of the cohort but a lot of the course was self- discipline and online work.

Throughout the 2 years, the programme has given me the opportunity to work closely with my teams to understand processes and team relationships and how we can improve them.

I feel that in a way the apprenticeship has given me permission almost to ask questions and to speak with people that I ordinarily wouldn’t have done, to improve the way that I lead and learn.

Alongside the MSc there are Apprenticeship standards which hold me to account for my leadership and help to track my progression over the 2 years. They also have enabled me to see where my weaknesses are and to build on those to help me develop into a more rounded leader.

Along the way I have forged strong friendships both within and outside of the Trust that have given me a different perspective. These friendships will continue beyond the course and can only be of benefit to us all in the future.

My final project is looking to implement a change in practice which will support the staff within my care group. It is an exciting time and also a privilege to have the opportunity to develop and implement a change to practice that will hopefully have a positive impact on staff now and in the future.

I have been fortunate to have the support of my managers/ peers and educators throughout the Apprenticeship and am so grateful to have had this opportunity.


"Anyone given the opportunity of an Apprenticeship at whatever level should just go for it!

I have no regrets."