Cancer workforce: clinical leadership guidance

Information for cancer service colleagues across NHS Scotland on opportunities for developing clinical leadership skills. The guidance highlights tools to help identify leadership development needs and how to progress these at all career stages.

4. Development Assessment

The development assessment stage is the key to determining a bespoke learning pathway and ideally should be regularly repeated to assist in continuous professional development. There are a number of self-assessment tools available to assist with this. These tools encourage critical self-reflection and assessment in order to determine individual strengths, interests and development needs and often signpost towards further learning and development options based on the results (e.g. Project Lift – see tools table below for details).

Diagram 3: Strategic Approach
Diagram 3 is a venn diagram comprising two overlapping circles. The circle on the left is coloured green and titled ‘individual needs.’
The circle on the right is coloured purple and titled ‘departmental needs.’ 
Below the area where the two circles overlap is an arrow pointing to a grey box titled ‘Diagnositc tools’ with an icon of a spanner and screwdriver. The box contains four bullet points with examples of diagnostic tools. These are ‘leadership and management zone,’ project lift’, ‘360 tool’ and ‘QI project approach.’

Capacity pressures on health service staff is often the main barrier preventing participation in learning and development opportunities, acting as a deterrent for staff or restricting the clinical time that can feasibly be released. Discussions with managers about the strategic fit of individual needs with departmental needs can help to overcome this. Some of the tools we have highlighted below encourage this.

A good example of this strategic approach in practice is the work of the ICU department at University Hospital Crosshouse to embed a team-based approach to learning and development. See Appendix A for a case study.

Self-assessment tools to assist in identifying leadership learning and development needs and priorities are summarised below. Note that all hyperlinks are correct at the time of writing (March 2022).

Table 1: Example Self-Assessment Tools

Tool/ Resource


Self-Assessment and Development Planning (NES)

Self-assessment tool to identify current knowledge and skills in relation to the attributes of an effective practitioner. Based around NES's four Pillars of Practice, one of which is Leadership. Individuals are asked to assess and provide evidence around their current level of effectiveness. Assessment assists in identifying next steps and creating an action plan.

Effective Practitioner (

Leadership and Management Zone (NES)

Designed to assist and develop leadership and management practice throughout your career. For staff at all levels and from all disciplines. Includes a number of 'getting started' resources to encourage individuals to consider their own interests and needs and self-audits to flag strengths and areas of development.

Leadership and Management Zone | Turas | Learn (

Project Lift

(SG with NES and health and social care stakeholders)

App (accessed online via TURAS) includes self-assessment questionnaire to identify your career aspirations and how to develop your leadership approach to reach them by linking individuals with the Project Lift framework based on responses. Find this in the 'get started' tab.

Note that some course conveners (e.g. NES's Leading for the Future and New Horizons) use the Project Lift self-assessment results to directly contact candidates who may be suited to their courses. Other conveners are considering using this tool in the future.

Home - Project Lift

Leadership Capabilities 360 Feedback Tool


Tool designed to help health and social care professionals reflect on their leadership capabilities. Aligning with Scotland's Health and Care's six leadership capabilities there is direct read across with the content of the Leadership & Management zone (Leadership Foundations modules specifically). Tool requires individuals to rate their own performance and assimilates feedback from colleagues to provide in-depth 'rounded' assessment of strengths and development needs. Feedback facilitator will assist in working through the results. Free to access via TURAS dashboard home page.

Leadership capabilities - 360 feedback tool | Turas | Learn (



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