SAS Leadership Programme

SAS (2)

The RCP’s SAS Leadership Programme is tailored specifically for SAS doctors seeking to enhance their career development and leadership skills. As highlighted by the GMC's Workforce report of 2022, SAS doctors are poised to become the largest group in the medical workforce by 2030, signifying the importance of specialised support for this cohort.

The programme is part of RCP Education's 'Clinicians as leaders' theme and the comprehensive year-long programme, developed by the RCP Education team and RCP SAS Committee, offers a unique opportunity for SAS doctors to delve into crucial aspects of their role and professional growth.

Through a series of interactive sessions, participants will explore diverse topics, including self-reflection on the SAS role, leadership styles, effective communication, accountability, EDI, and strategies for wellbeing. The workshops will be supported by RCP faculty and guest speakers who have experience of being SAS doctors alongside leadership experience.

The programme aims to empower SAS doctors to navigate challenges, capitalise on opportunities, and forge a fulfilling career path through practical advice and theoretical underpinning of leadership concepts. 

Dates of the programme

Day 1: Face to face: London, Wednesday 11 September 2024 or Liverpool, Monday 16 September 2024.

Developing yourself and your role: Reflect on the SAS role, assess strengths and areas for development, and develop an action plan for the upcoming year. Information on the accreditation opportunity.

Day 2: Online: Tuesday 19 November 2024.

Leadership and culture: Analyse the role of the SAS doctor as a leader, explore leadership styles and understand the importance of fostering a positive organisational culture.

Day 3: Face to face: London, Wednesday 5 February 2025 or Liverpool, Wednesday 12 February 2025.

Working with others: Recognise the significance of effective communication, learn strategies for managing challenging conversations, and explore the benefits of supervision and mentoring.

Day 4: Online: Thursday 3 April 2025.

The NHS, improvement and efficiency: Discuss accountability, addressing complaints effectively, explore legislative frameworks, and understand the principles of leading improvement initiatives.

Day 5: Face to face: London, Wednesday 11 June 2025 or Liverpool, Thursday 19 June 2025.

Equality, inclusivity and understanding difference: Examine discrimination and privilege in healthcare, experiences of IMGs, diversity, and inclusion principles, and learn how to challenge microaggressions.

Day 6: Face to face: London, Wednesday 16 July 2025 or Liverpool, Tuesday 22 July 2025.

Autonomy and preparing for your onward journey: Develop autonomous practice, explore career pathways, prioritise wellbeing, and prepare for the next phase of your professional journey. Delegates will also be given the opportunity to share their completed presentations/posters for accreditation.

Teaching days will be interactive allowing learners to work together and explore specific areas important to the role. Supportive resources and reading lists will be supplied through the RCP Medical Education Resource Centre throughout the programme.


Delegates of the programme can submit a presentation or poster on Day 6 of the programme to receive the RCP Leadership accreditation. The accreditation will match a project you are currently involved with at your trust, to the skills learnt on one of the areas studied on the programme for your presentation. Time will be given in the programme for looking at trust-based projects and how they can be supported with the tools you are learning.

Application information

The programme is aimed at those SAS doctors who have decided not to go down the Portfolio Pathway (previously known as CESR) but still wish to pursue leadership opportunities in their trust as an SAS doctor.

We do have a Six-step course for the new consultant, which is suitable for post-Portfolio Pathway doctors.

Additionally, we have a short course in leadership as an introduction for those early in their careers. Please email if you are interested.

Programme cost

The cost for the year-long programme for SAS doctors not applying for a funded place is £2,000 (£1,800 with our 10% member discount) which can be split over 2 financial years, and we encourage use of study budgets and trust top-ups to fund this.

We suggest you ask your medical director or trust to support this programme and to support you in applying for a funded place. We are happy to contact them and discuss how this might be possible, contact us at

Leverhulme funded places 

We have secured 40 funded places for the 2024/25 cohort.

How do I apply?

Applications for the upcoming 2024/25 cohort have just closed, but we are accepting expressions of interest for a new cohort. Please complete the form below if you are interested in joining the programme and we will get in touch when we have more information.

When applications do reopen the following information will be required as part of the application:

  • Information about previous job roles (last 5 years)
  • Information about any previous leadership training
  • Information about any prior leadership experience
  • Personal statement highlighting motivation for joining the programme (max 500 words)
  • Contact details of line manager to be able to confirm consent for participating in the programme.
  • Complete the expression of interest form to be notified of new programme dates.


EOI form