Detailed guide: Digital leadership course

Government Digital Service

February 24
17:52 2021

Course summary

Digital Leadership is a new course aimed at Senior Civil Servants who do not currently work in a Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) role or have a technology background.

Its purpose is to give public sector leaders an insight into the critical role they play in supporting and governing digital transformation programmes, while demystifying digital jargon and working methods.

This is a highly-interactive course comprising 6.5 hours of training. It is delivered online in two half day sessions.

The course covers the standards digital service teams adhere to and explores the challenge of maintaining oversight and accountability of teams working in an agile way. It gives delegates an overview of the current digital priorities for government to 2030.

All course content is policy and data informed and has been sourced from or validated by senior members of the DDaT profession across 30 government organisations. It has been rigorously tested on SCS. Case studies and examples are exclusively from the public sector.

Course aims and objectives

This course outlines the key digital priorities and standards in government allowing participants to measure their current levels of awareness, ask questions and identify knowledge gaps. It defines the key leadership behaviours which support excellence in digital service design and agile delivery.

Learning objectives

  • Awareness of the key priorities for digital in government to 2030
  • Awareness of the standards digital teams are held to and how adherence to these can be monitored
  • Understand how a multi-disciplinary team builds user-centred service design and what those digital teams need from leaders
  • The value of agile ways of working and how leaders can overcome governance challenges
  • Know where to access digital support and actions to take to accelerate digital leadership following this course


Digital priorities

What are the digital priorities for government; awareness levels and key questions for leaders to ask.

The Service Standard

Best practice and assurance: what standards should leaders hold digital teams to? Identify typical leadership behaviours which enable - or block - the building of a good service.

DDaT roles and the multidisciplinary team

The multidisciplinary digital team: the roles, their value and what the heads of DDaT community want from leaders.

Agile for leaders

The 4 things leaders need to know about working in an agile way and how to overcome the cultural, governance and reporting challenges. NB this course does not teach the Scrum framework or any other methodology, rather it gives an overview of how agile ways of working support public service design.

All modules include UK public sector examples and case studies, many of which are unique to this course and have been recorded specifically for it.


This course is aimed primarily at Central Government SCS (SCS level 1 and above) working outside the digital function or who are new to Government. In addition, cohorts from Local Authorities and Public Sector Health organisations have found it beneficial as well as arms-length bodies but should be advised that examples and standards used on the course are those applied in Central Govt.


The course provides 6.5 hours of learning over 2 consecutive days. Sessions are usually at 1:45pm - 5pm (day 1) and 9.45am -1pm (day 2). The first 15 minutes each day is spent on tech on-boarding, as courses are hosted on Zoom and use interactive tools Mural and Slido. Full instructions and test boards will be provided in advance.


The 6.5 hour course costs 360 plus VAT for each person.You must have a purchase order before requesting a place on the course.

Course dates

Course dates will be published here once finalised.

Tell us how many trainees there will be

You can book for one person or a group of people.If you want to book for a group, you can choose:an open group (people from other organisations can join the training)a closed group (this is only for you and people you invite)We recommend 12-15 people per course, maximum, to allow for questions and interactions.

Published 24 February 2021

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