ILM Level 5 Leadership and Management - Fionnuala's Story

ILM L5 Fionnuala

What did you enjoy most about the course?

The course gave me an opportunity to meet staff members across the health board with similar career objectives. The variety of job roles in our cohort provided a brilliant learning environment, in which our differing experiences contributed to a wider understanding of leadership and management and how that is embodied within the NHS.

How have you applied the learning into your role?

There has been some incredibly value tools that have been shared with me during this course. I now use a stakeholder analysis during each development stage of the service I work in. This analysis provides a framework to identify power and interest of stakeholders and allows me to communicate effectively based on their individual needs. I also utilize The Coaching Spectrum presented by Myles Downey to reflect on the approaches I can take in response to a coaching opportunity. The spectrum is a visual way of identifying the varying degrees of directiveness within coaching and can be a great way of recognising what approach is needed to best support the needs of the team members you are leading within that area of work.

What impact did the course have on you personally/professionally, or both?

The course has given me the confidence to step into managerial roles within the health board and has fostered life-long skills that I hope I will take with me throughout my career. It has also allowed me to expand my personal and professional network with staff members that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do so otherwise. This has developed positive working relationships between teams across the health board which I’m pleased to be a part of.

Why did you choose the apprenticeship route?

The apprenticeship seemed to be the best route to pursue because it allowed me to continue working in my current role within the health board. The course had various learning methods which I was able to adapt into my work schedule, including classroom-based learning, written assignments and developing a portfolio of evidence. It allowed me to learn on the job which I believe is essential for a leadership and management qualification. The health board and university have been extremely supportive of me to complete my studies whilst working full time.

How do you think the programme helped you to gain your recent promotion?

The programme has undoubtedly provided me with the skills and understanding of what is required to become an effective leader. Amongst many interesting topics, creating an environment that encourages innovation was a prominent area of learning for me, and this in particular, I believe helped me gain my recent promotion into role that requires leading an ‘All Wales’ expansion of an online NHS service.

What would you say to someone thinking of joining an apprenticeship programme with USW?

I have had a great experience during my time studying with USW. Every staff member at the university has been incredibly helpful, from the lecturing staff, administrative staff, and my programme assessor. There has been clear communication throughout the course and have always felt supported during my studies.

How were you able to manage the commitment to the apprenticeship programme as well as your role within PTHB?

The course was very adaptable, with certain modules identified specifically for me to complete due to the relevance of my role. My assessor helped me utilize the work I was producing for my service to use as evidence of leadership and management, which satisfied a lot of the course criteria. Although I complete the written assignments in my own time, the health board was supportive of my attendance to the classroom-based sessions and meeting my assessor via Teams to complete the QCF modules.

My assessor always worked around my busy work schedule and for that I am very appreciative of.  I am almost finished my ILM5 course, and I would definitely recommend this route for those with management responsibility or aspiring leaders.

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