Scottish Improvement Leader Programme (ScIL)

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The Scottish Improvement Leader (ScIL) Programme is a lead level quality improvement course developed by a number of Scottish Public Service Improvement Partners. The aim of ScIL is to develop individuals who can design, develop and lead improvement projects, generate support for change and provide expert improvement support and advice.


About ScIL

The aim of the ScIL Programme is to enable individuals to:

  • design, develop and lead improvement projects,
  • lead and generate support for change, and
  • provide expert QI support and advice in their organisations.

It is aimed at people working in the Scottish Public Service in a role with a significant focus on quality improvement and dedicated time allocated to lead improvement projects. 


The objectives of the programme are for participants to develop: 

ScIL logo
  • An in-depth understanding of core Improvement Science concepts.
  • The ability to apply Improvement Science tools, techniques and methods to improvement projects (including system thinking, building knowledge, understanding variation and measurement for improvement, the people side of improvement and how these factors interact).
  • The skills required to lead and manage change for improvement, generating and maintaining support for change.
  • The ability to facilitate learning and coach individuals and teams in Improvement Science. 



Participants are expected to undertake their own improvement project throughout the duration of the programme to consolidate their learning and apply skills from learning workshops and events into practice.  The content has been developed with the demands on Scotland’s public services in mind. It emphasises the importance of understanding people and relationships in change and how to lead and influence for improvement.



This interlinks with the other core concepts of Improvement Science: systems thinking; building knowledge through testing, understanding variation and using data to support improvement.

As part of the ScIL programme each graduate prepares a poster that describes their improvement project and their key learning over the course of the programme.

ScIL Programme Content

Details of the 2021/2022 and 2022/23 programme:

Based on the testing of a combination of a targeted regional recruitment and national recruitment in 2019 and 2020 this approach will continue in 2021/22 and 2022/23.The aim of a more targeted approach is to support ScIL participants from the same area(s) to complete the ScIL programme together and therefore strengthen local QI links as the graduates return to the workplace.

Key Points

There will be four ScIL cohorts commencing each year. Each cohort will be a blend of national and targeted regional places. Applications will be open individuals working in the Scottish Public Sector across:

  • Health and Social Care (H&SC),
  • Excellence in Care (EiC) and
  • CYPIC/Scottish Government/Other Public Services.

Details of the targeted regions for each cohort are included in the ‘ScIL Cohorts 2021-2023’ document below. Applications will be considered for each cohort from colleagues working in Health and Social Care or Excellence in Care within the targeted regions of Scotland, as well as individuals working in national organisations/national roles. All cohorts are open to all other public sector employees across Scotland, including individuals supporting the Children and Young Peoples Improvement Collaborative (CYPIC).

Please contact the QI team if you have any questions or would like any further information (email:

Following completion of the programme individuals will be expected to contribute to the development of others through either local or national coaching and facilitation of learning events. 


Content updated September 2021