Skip to main content

Apply now for the Future Leaders Academy

Compass pointing to the word leadership

We are pleased to launch our next online Civil Service Local Future Leaders Academy, which opens for applications from today and closes on 15 September.  This 9 month programme will run from 3 November 2021.  The time commitment is explained below.

What is the CS Local Future Leaders Academy Online (FLAO)?

The FLAO is a unique cross-departmental leadership development programme which will provide you with the opportunity to work collaboratively with colleagues from other government departments around the country. It includes a mix of self-discovery, personal development, team building, and leadership, designed to help develop a range of skills required to become leaders of the future. It is open to AA/AO/EO (or equivalent) grades and is for those who have shown the desire to become potential leaders of the future.

Delegates will take part in a range of learning and development sessions before working together in cross-departmental groups to identify a project that they will develop and deliver over the 9-month programme.

Why have a cross-departmental leadership development programme?

The FLAO is designed as another option for civil servants alongside existing departmental programmes. The key difference is that it is open across the whole Civil Service. This enables participants to develop skills that can be transferred between departments and establish networks to develop an appreciation of the Civil Service ‘bigger picture’. The FLAO is designed to create leadership development opportunities and to facilitate collaborative working, encouraging the sharing of good practice.

What is the commitment?

Delegates must be able to commit to the initial learning phase on the dates shown below, as well as the subsequent project work.  The initial learning phase will consist of guest speakers, group workshops and reflection exercises plus approximately a further 1 hour of pre-learning per week. This will culminate in delegates pitching a project idea (as a group) to senior civil servants in a ‘dragon’s den’ scenario. Delegates will then work on their projects for the remainder of the 9-month programme.

Dates and times for initial learning phase:

Online for 6 hours per day (with breaks):

Week 1 - Wednesday 3 November 2021

Week 2 - Tuesday 9 November 2021

Week 3 - Wednesday 17 November 2021

Week 4 - Wednesday 24 November 2021

Week 5 - Wednesday 1 December 2021

Break - Wednesday 8 December 2021

Week 6 - Wednesday 15 December 2021

Dates for follow up project work:

2 to 3 days per month December 2021 to 31 July 2022. That time may be spent face-to-face or on a virtual basis, depending on the ongoing COVID-19 situation and the locations of the group members.

Middle and end of Academy

There will be 1 day sessions to share progress and celebrate achievements. Dates to be confirmed.

Who can apply?

Any UK Civil Servant at AA, AO, EO grade (or equivalent)

Is there a cost?

There is no charge for attending the FLAO, but if there are any travel and subsistence costs during the year, then these must be met by the delegate’s department.

How do I apply?

You must complete an online application form and obtain your line manager’s endorsement. Please click on the link below to obtain the application pack.

What is the deadline for applications?

The deadline for applications is 11:59pm on 15 September 2021 - please ensure you follow the instructions in the application pack for returning the information.

Delivery platform

The initial phase of the FLAO will be delivered on a range of IT platforms including MS Teams, Vimeo & Youtube. If access is not possible on your work device, you should consider and discuss with your line manager the use of a personal device to participate.

If you have any questions or are unable to access the application pack then please email

Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by Lynda Allan MBE posted on

    Very interesting, have emailed my line manager for agreement to apply

  2. Comment by Heather posted on

    Fabulous Lynda, I hope you are provided with the opportunity to join us.

  3. Comment by Teresa Patchett posted on

    Is there anything like this for HO's? thanks Teresa

    • Replies to Teresa Patchett>

      Comment by Heidi Stephens posted on

      We are working to develop a middle managers academy aimed at HEO and SEO grade. So please keep an eye on the blog for future updates

      • Replies to Heidi Stephens>

        Comment by Fiona posted on

        Hi Heidi,

        Is this one more appropriate for Probation Officers? I'm not quite sure which Civil Service grade we equate to.


  4. Comment by Ella posted on

    Is this programme open to Scottish Government employees, as well? My colleague remarked that it requires a email address to sign up. Thanks

  5. Comment by Kirsty O'Kane posted on

    Is this an opportunity that is likely to arise again in the future? Circumstances mean I may not be able to commit to these dates but I would be interested in applying if other dates are available in future. Thanks

  6. Comment by Karen Garrity posted on

    Is this likely to become a regular offer? I have some of my team who are interested but are also about to start a 12 month CiPD programme. I would like to be able to let them know they could apply in future if this was going to be a regular event.
    Also - do you have anyone that has been involved in this in the past that would be willing to have a chat with people who are interested in applying. It would be good if they could have someone to ask questions off before applying

    • Replies to Karen Garrity>

      Comment by karen posted on

      interested too , i have found some colleagues locally but need a few pointers regarding the statement

  7. Comment by K Bodamer posted on

    Will the MS Teams, Vimeo & Youtube be accessible i.e. capitions?

    • Replies to K Bodamer>

      Comment by Angela Fisher posted on

      There will be captions, but please contact us if you have any specific accessibility requirements so that we can ensure that these are adequately addressed.

  8. Comment by Steven Robinson posted on

    Do you need to have passed probation to apply?

    • Replies to Steven Robinson>

      Comment by Angela Fisher posted on

      You will need to provide confirmation from your line manager that you can commit to and be available for the entire nine months of the programme.

  9. Comment by Sarah Beaton posted on

    I would be interested in chatting to someone who has completed the FLAO to see how they found it - would it be possible to be put in touch with a previous delegate? Thank you

    • Replies to Sarah Beaton>

      Comment by Angela Fisher posted on

      • Replies to Angela Fisher>

        Comment by Sarah Beaton posted on

        Hi Angela, looks like youve left a reply for me but it doesnt show up any message?

  10. Comment by john posted on

    Have applied and looking forward to finding out if, if i get accepted. My manager has asked if i will find out after the closing date or will it be done as and when you receive them. She only asks as do i need to book the training days off in my diary now.

  11. Comment by Sapna Tavrawala posted on

    Hi, I emailed to my manager about this to get approval, let see what happens.
    Do I get time to do the project work and other acadamic related task from our work (all work should be done in working hours) or we need to spend our own time(out of working hours) to do the assignement. And in this programme are we doing any project work in different departments in real life or it would be just like text book based project work ?
    Thank you

    • Replies to Sapna Tavrawala>

      Comment by Heidi Stephens posted on

      Hi Sapna, you will be given time for the project work and your manager has to agree to that before allowing you to apply. You won't be working in anther department, but with colleagues from different departments on a real project. I hope that helps

  12. Comment by Salman posted on

    i am on a fixed term contract which ends june 2022, can i still apply?

    • Replies to Salman>

      Comment by John Mark Haskey posted on

      Hi Salman, unfortunately, you need to be available for the whole 9-month programme to be eligible. You may want to speak to your Line Manager about any opportunities there may be to extend your contract or if there are any alternative programmes available to you, rgds John.

  13. Comment by umar posted on

    Hello, would I be doing this as well as my maintaining my current job? From reading on the duration, dates and times it suggests I would be on this academy intermittently throughout the 9 months.

  14. Comment by Amanda posted on

    Hi, will there be a requirement to travel to different areas or will it all be done remotely? I'm interested in this but have caring responsibilities which mean I am unable to travel outside of my area

    • Replies to Amanda>

      Comment by Heather Flanagan posted on

      The duration of the FLAO will all be online,however if there is project work following the academy and the Covid restrictions have been lifted there may well be face to face meetings but these will be within your CS Local locality. I hope this helps

  15. Comment by Sabina Kosek posted on

    Hello! My contract is finishing on 30.06.21. Can I still apply?

  16. Comment by Heather posted on

    Re. John's comment above about when we know if applications are successful. I am a Line Manager and my staff member currently has a commitment on one of these dates. We could rearrange that commitment to enable to her attend this learning date but we would need to do that soon.

    • Replies to Heather>

      Comment by Heather Flanagan posted on

      The applications are to be sifted between 20 to 1 October and the candidates will be notified week commencing 4th October

  17. Comment by Stuart Whelan posted on

    Hi, Could you apply as a WC currently on a fixed term contract until June 2022. So a bit of a stretch unless contracts are extended but appears could only be 4 weeks off?


  18. Comment by Robert Carter posted on

    I'm thinking there must be an upper age limit?

    • Replies to Robert Carter>

      Comment by Heather Flanagan posted on

      Robert, the only ask is that you are an AA to EO or equivalent grade with an aspiration to be a leader of the future.

      • Replies to Heather Flanagan>

        Comment by Robert Carter posted on

        The reason I asked is that I have just reached retirement age, I've been in the job for just 4 years, but I still have ambition and love my work so no chance of me retiring! I could be a future leader, yes, but the department would think for how long. So why would they want me? Be honest.

  19. Comment by Muhammad Shoaib posted on

    6 hours of initial phase taken from my work under my line manager approval I assume ?

    Kind Regards

    • Replies to Muhammad Shoaib>

      Comment by Heather Flanagan posted on

      Muhammad, all participation in the FLAO requires line manager approval for workforce planning purposes.

      • Replies to Heather Flanagan>

        Comment by Muhammad Shoaib posted on

        • Replies to Muhammad Shoaib>

          Comment by Muhammad Shoaib posted on

          Hi I am back again - My line manager refused to give me her approval for this :(.

  20. Comment by Meresa lewis posted on

    It mentions travel and subsistence, my LM is asking what this looks like, if there is any travel, where is the travel likely to be?

    • Replies to Meresa lewis>

      Comment by Heather Flanagan posted on

      The FLAO will all be online however if there is project work following the academy and the Covid restrictions have been lifted there may well be face to face meetings which would then attract travel costs, this however will be within your CS Local locality. I hope this helps

  21. Comment by Adam Thomas posted on

    Is this open to agency staff employed on a temporary contract at AO level?

  22. Comment by Naeem Patel posted on

    Hi - is this suitable for an EO on TDA to HEO as a team leader?

  23. Comment by Charlotte Hodge posted on

    I am interested in applying, I am part time but I work 6 hours a day Mon to Fri so potentially not a prob. Just checking if the hours are set or is it 6 hours a day regardless of times. I am restricted to school hours and usually work 8:30 to 2:30

    • Replies to Charlotte Hodge>

      Comment by Angela Fisher posted on

      Hi Charlotte, thanks for your query. The hours are set as you would need to be available participate in group work.

      • Replies to Angela Fisher>

        Comment by Charlotte Hodge posted on

        Thanks - what are the times, as the information merely states 6 hours. If that is the case that excludes an awful lot of people with caring responsibilities. That is a shame given we are a family friendly workplace. I hope that this can be looked at in the future at accommodate us parents who would like to be part of these programmes

  24. Comment by Kirsty Scanlan posted on

    I have looked at his again this year hoping the dates may be different . I work term-time so unfortunately am excluded due to the dates of commitment required. Is there going to be anything similar that can accommodate part-time/part-year workers ?

  25. Comment by Julie posted on

    What happens if you get promoted, change department, etc during the course of the programme?

  26. Comment by Lewis Clark posted on


    What time is the deadline for applications on 15/9, please?

    • Replies to Lewis Clark>

      Comment by Angela Fisher posted on

      The deadline for completed applications is 23:59 on 15 September.

  27. Comment by Karece posted on

    I would have loved this opportunity but have been informed that due to being on a FTC, I am unable to apply. Such a shame that theses opportunities are not available to colleagues who have joined DWP on a FTC with a hope of finding permanent roles and progress within DWP. Feeling quite let down and disappointed.

  28. Comment by Anita Cottam posted on

    I have applied good luck to everyone who has.

  29. Comment by Elizabeth Knowles posted on

    Hi, I am having issues uploading my line manager's endorsement. I have whittled it down just to the statement and the document is still over 250kbs. Could someone please contact me as soon as possible as I do not want to miss the deadline.

    • Replies to Elizabeth Knowles>

      Comment by John Mark Haskey posted on

      The upload size limit has been increased and you should have no problems uploading it now - let me know if there is still a problem, J

  30. Comment by Louise Tetlow posted on

    I have a fixed term contract employee who wishes to do the course? Are they able to or do you have to be permanent member of staff

  31. Comment by Sadhna Nurmahomed posted on


    I have completed the online application. Do I receive a confirmation to say that you have received my application?. What is the timescale of knowing if you are successful or not?

    Thank You

  32. Comment by Tessa Pratt posted on

    Hello, I was just wondering if we receive a confirmation email for our application?

    • Replies to Tessa Pratt>

      Comment by John Mark Haskey posted on

      Tessa, those who have completed the form should have received an email earlier today