Place to be

Place to Be is a programme for senior public health leaders working in the Public Health workforce no matter where they are in the system; no matter what their role or title and to ensure we all pull in the same direction with a shared sense of vision and the values.

About the programme
Place to Be


Programme Overview

The initial cohort will focus on senior public health leaders as current key advocates for leadership for Public Health in Scotland.  It is planned that the programme will then be extended to focus on emergent leaders and the wider public health workforce in development with key stakeholders.

Who is the Programme For?

Directors of Public Health; Consultants in Public Health; Directors for whom Public Health is part of their role; Consultants in Public Health (Medicine); registered Public Health Specialists; Senior Public Health Managers / Programme Leads e.g. Health Promotion Managers; Academics.

What Will the Programme Entail?

In preparation for the programme, you will be asked to reflect on your own leadership characteristics and experiences in the context of your public health leadership role (this will entail approximately 4 hours of preparation including a coaching conversation for which there will be guided support).   

The 3-day programme will focus on core concepts and core practices to extend your repertoire and impact as a public health leader and will concentrate on: 

  • Being in uncertain times – observing the impact of complexity and uncertainty on you and public health 
  • Being in systems – ‘seeing’ the systems you are in and how this influences your approach and experiment with ways to expand your ability to work effectively with difference within and between systems  
  • What it takes to Be a leader of and for public health – understanding what to change or alter in how you conduct yourself to enhance your contribution.

How Will Participating in the Programme Benefit You and Your Organisation?

The programme will: 

  • Improve your agility in negotiating and working through complexity
  • Create capacity to build wider alliances for change 
  • Find better ways of doing things, allowing your creativity to arise in the interactions you are having leading to better decisions and outcomes  
  • Begin to design ways of bringing what you are learning into your current work priorities.  

This is a new and exciting development and you will be asked to contribute to the evaluation and further development of the programme.

Outcomes Framework

Learning and Evaluation Framework for Public Health Leadership Programme

This document provides a brief overview of the Learning and Evaluation Framework for the Public Health Leadership programme. This is an integral part of the three components which make up the programme: 

  • Personal Development Review with a coach 
  • Place to Be – What does it take to be a public health leader? 
  • Personal Development Plan.

Action Inquiry (AI) describes this ‘learning by doing’, through the act of seeking or searching, of expressing curiosity and of asking questions, exploring understandings and testing out new ways of thinking and acting. AI brings discipline to the learning process, in ways that improve both the quality of the process of working together and the outcomes for health and care integration.

This approach to learning offers participants a chance to:

  • Talk about purpose and outcomes: have conversations about their focus and ambitions for their own developing leadership and the impact that they hope it will make
  • Check-in on progress: routinely ‘check in’ to explore the extent to which they are ‘walking the talk’ and the difference they are making
  • Show the difference learning is making: seek evidence of the changes emerging and check that they are an improvement
  • Sustain learning: continue to learn beyond the programme, as they take forward their leadership for public health.

In this way, learning is both individual and collaborative. It helps to support the give and take of critique, brings practical results and provides evidence of learning for the programme.

This approach expects that individuals take responsibility for their own learning and for gathering evidence of the difference that it is making through on-going reflection and action. The role of the programme facilitators is to help embed this approach to inquiry and learning with individual participants and across the programme as whole.

This framework can accommodate different approaches and ideas about inquiry, dialogue and facilitation, with the expectation that as relationships and confidence develop, participants will be more able to support and challenge each other and begin to embed new ways of thinking and acting within their own work settings and wider spheres of influence.  This approach to inquiry will effectively embed learning and evaluation into the programme and will support on-going programme review and redesign.

Talking About Outcomes: What Does it Take to be a Public Health Leader?

The learning framework does not prescribe a standardised approach or expect participants to develop predetermined standard outcomes. This section gives participants a flavour of what to expect when working with their coach or facilitator. Each participant is encouraged to use the Outcomes Model to identify the outcomes they hope to see as a result of their involvement in the Public Health Leadership Programme, and the indicators of outcomes of successful leadership at individual, team, organisational and community levels, depending on what is appropriate.

The check-in model is then used in an ongoing basis to review progress and support the practice of gathering feedback and evidence of change. Recording and sharing practices will be discussed and agreed between the participants and the facilitator. Stories will only be shared with the consent of the relevant parties.

Outcomes Model: Outcomes and Spheres of Influence

The outcomes model shows four levels of outcomes from the Public Health Leadership Programme. It is a theory-based approach to outcome identification that builds on the idea of spheres of influence and is interested in the articulation of contribution towards outcomes, rather than direct measurement and attribution. The model is a visual device to enable conversations about different layers of outcomes, whether with individuals or groups.

Outcomes Model diagram

The Check-in Model

The 4 stage Check- in Model is a simple reflection tool to help participants become more confident and attuned to actively seeking and interpreting evidence that their leadership is making a difference.

Facilitators will support people to notice a difference in themselves and others and to look for what surprises them, as well as to be curious about resistance.

Four-stage check-in model diagram

Check-in model: checking in and gathering evidence

1. ELICIT: We know that it can be hard for participants to see emerging difference in themselves and in others, so it’s good to routinely start by asking about what’s changing, however small or tentative those changes might be.

2. EVIDENCE: Evidence of these changes can be drawn from a number of sources and participants will be encouraged to seek evidence to give their own emerging sense of change a stronger and credible basis. This might include feedback from a 360 feedback process or some other local evidence gathering processes, for example, bringing in the perspectives of people that use services or staff that are not taking a direct part in the programme.

3. RESOURCING ACTION: This stage explores the conditions that are supporting the changes and the next possible steps that might enhance and sustain those changes in order to plan further actions on the basis of this emerging evidence.

4. START AGAIN: This stage encourages people to ‘think forward’ and imagine what changes could happen if their actions are successful; this should help people consider where they might seek feedback and what they can reasonably expect to notice for next time.

Public Health Leadership Programme Components

Personal Development Review

Way to Be

Existing Leadership programmes:

Public Health Leadership and learning:

Leadership Topics

Self-awareness and self-management:


If you want to take a test, click here, or speak to your OD or Training manager.

Effective team working:

Corporate responsibilities and whole system working:

Place to Be Resources

Outline programme for 3 days (focus and outcomes):

Slide pack:

Programme resources:


Personal Development Plan

Public Health Skills and Knowledge framework

Mapping Public Health Leadership and Management Competencies and Skills

Mapping public health leadership and management competencies and skills diagram

A Vision and Values for Public Health Leadership Development


To create a supportive environment through which the public health workforce in Scotland (no matter where they are in the system, no matter what their role or title) are inspired and focused to make a difference in public health, have the skills and courage to act and with a cohesive and effective voice.

We each have values that underpin our practice and our leadership styles whether these are personal, agreed as groups, professionals or organisations. The working group felt it important to define those values that are seen as the most important for our collective public health leadership endeavour (these focus on improving public health and those that should underpin leadership development).

Our key values focus on a commitment to:

  • Our communities (and individuals) and is population based
  • Protect and promote health through prevention and the pursuit of health equity through co-production, asset-based approaches, action on social determinants and early intervention
  • Develop collaborative and equal partnerships
  • Human rights
  • Thinking globally, acting locally
  • Influencing
  • Multidisciplinary working and approaches
  • A whole system, collaborative and distributed approach to leadership (not solely focussed on a few leaders) and across the whole system that promotes and protects population health.

These values are borne out through our actions, key activities which demonstrate this include for example: acting as roles models/walking the talk; championing change; authenticity; and a commitment to lifelong learning and growth.

Competency frameworks reviewed:

Faculty of Public Health

Good Public Health Practice Framework

GMC Good Medical Practice Guide

Knowledge Skills Framework KSF describes the knowledge and skills NHS staff (except doctors and dentists) need to apply in their work.

Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management

Public Health Skills and Knowledge Framework (PHSKF) (previous and revised versions) describes the range of functions that individuals working in public health perform in their work. It can be used to help identify individuals' development needs, either in their current post or with a future career in mind.

Skills for Health Statements of Competence

UK Public Health Register

Firestarter Festival 2018