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Scottish Improvement Leader (ScIL) programme

The Scottish Improvement Leader (ScIL) programme is a key part of Scotland’s innovative approach to address increasing demand for lead level Quality Improvement capacity and capability across our public services. It develops individuals who are in key roles to be able to design, develop and lead improvement initiatives, generate support for change and provide expert support and advice.

The content of ScIL has been developed with the demands on Scotland’s public services in mind. It includes emphasis on the people element of change and how to lead and influence for improvement, interlinked with the core concepts of Improvement Science: Systems thinking, building knowledge through testing, understanding variation and using data to support improvement, and the human side of change. The learning outcomes for the ScIL programme can be found on the Quality Improvement Zone.

Developed by a range of Scottish Public Service Improvement Partners it is sponsored by Scottish Government, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and NHS Education Scotland.

What are the benefits?

Participants are brought together from across Scotland’s public services to encourage cross-learning, which is frequently cited as a key benefit of the programme. By completing a project, participants demonstrate skills acquired, and the impact the work has had, focusing on the people who benefit.


  • gain the knowledge and confidence required to apply thinking and techniques that result in improvement
  • Become equipped to provide expert support and advice to others on improvement
  • Build supportive relationships and networks
  • Report that they have fun in the process

Quote from one head teacher who improved the playground experience in their school:

“Being on ScIL and using the methodology has helped us to make a difference to the emotional well-being of individuals and created a cohesive team – where staff, parents and ultimately pupils worked together

Who is it for?

The ScIL programme welcomes applicants from:

  • Health and Social Care staff including people working on Person-Centred Care Programmes, Integrated Services and third sector organisations
  • The Children and Young People Improvement Collaborative (CYPIC)
  • Scottish Government and Executive Agencies

We welcome a limited number of participants from outside Scotland to build international connections.


ScIL is a highly interactive, participative programme that uses a blended learning approach. Participants apply learning to a workplace project over a 10-month programme which includes residential workshops, project surgeries, WebEx sessions, mentoring, peer support and an annual celebration networking event. There is also an element of self-study with core reading materials provided.

For more information

Contact qualityimprovement@nes.scot.nhs.uk for more information on the Scottish Improvement Leader (ScIL) programme.