Scottish Improvement Leader Programme (ScIL)

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak we will delay the commencement of the four ScIL cohorts planned for 2020/21 (Cohorts 28, 29, 30 and 32) and the delay of recruitment to Cohorts 30 and 32 which was due to commence in April 2020.  

Details will be posted on the QI Zone and via social media when recruitment is open again. 

The Scottish Improvement Leader (ScIL) Programme is a key part of Scotland’s innovative approach to address increasing demands across our public services by developing QI capacity and capability.


About ScIL
ScIL logo

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. 

Scottish Improvement Leader Graduation Poster Exhibit 2019

The objectives of the programme are for participants to develop: 

  • 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. 
Scottish Improvement Leader - Jan Adair

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.

Details of the 2020/21 programme:

We will be continuing to test a more targeted approach to ScIL recruitment following the delivery of two cohorts in 2019/2020 that focused on the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area and the Grampian/Tayside areas of Scotland.

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 work place.

There will be four cohorts of ScIL commencing in 2020/21, each with a different area(s) of targeted recruitment.

Applications will be considered for each cohort from public sector employees working in the specified local area/s (e.g. within a specific health and social care partnership, local authority, school or health setting etc.) Please see attachment below outlining the areas targeted for each cohort.

For public sector employees working in national organisations applications will be considered for any of the four cohorts.

Further information regarding recruitment timelines and key cohort event dates are included in the attachment below.

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

Programme Information:

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.