Scottish Quality and Safety Fellowship Programme

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The Scottish Quality and Safety Fellowship (SQSF) Programme is a quality improvement and clinical leadership course managed by NHS Education for Scotland (NES), working in partnership with Healthcare Improvement Scotland and NHSScotland. 

Programme Objectives

To develop clinical leaders capable of improving the quality and safety of health and healthcare for the people of Scotland.

To enhance knowledge of the science and methods for improvement amongst clinicians who have enthusiasm, experience and skills to:

  • Support the development of safety programmes
  • Spread improvements both within their organisation and nationally
  • Establish a learning support network for transformational leadership for Quality Improvement
  • Complement wider improvement capacity building programmes within NHSScotland while supporting NHSScotland workforce development
  • Strengthen cooperation and collaboration with important overseas healthcare providers in Europe and beyond
Programme Content

The programme content will support you to navigate and lead change in complex systems. Just a selection of sessions covered are: quality improvement science, human factors, service design, leadership, leading teams, communication, working with data, measurement, influencing teams and leaders.

SQSF programme overview. The image has 5 sections: improvement science; systems thinking; psychology and leadership; human factors and ergonomics; and service design.
Why Apply?

Every element of the programme has impacted the way that I think in my role, the way that I work in my role, the way I interact with others, and I can't underrate just how valuable this programme is

Nic Richardson, Cohort 13 Fellow

Listen to the SQSF Why Apply podcast to hear from alumni as they discuss their experience on the programme. 


Listen to Why Apply on Spotify

Who Can Apply?
SQSF alumni infographic

The Fellowship is open to healthcare staff who currently undertake clinical practice and have a direct influence on improving the delivery of safe patient care, as well as staff in clinical professions (e.g. medical, nursing, pharmacy, AHP, healthcare scientists, ambulance) who do not currently deliver hands-on care but do have a role in improving patient care or safety.

SQSF is proud to have alumni from a range of professions

The SQSF programme is funded for Scottish applicants by NHS Education for Scotland and partner organisations meaning there is no charge to NHS Boards or participants.

Programme Overview
SQSF programme timeline
Programme Recruitment

Recruitment for cohort 16 is now closed. Recruitment for cohort 17 will start in January 2025.

Content updated January 2024