Clinical Leadership

Clinical leadership refers to '…both a set of tasks to lead improvements in the safety and quality of health care, and the attributes required to successfully carry them out' (Victorian Quality Council, 2005). As an Allied Health Professional working in a remote or rural area your role is likely to include a clinical leadership element.

Clinicians can lead in many ways, both formal and informal, as part of their organisational position and/or through their collegiate relationships. There are many ways in which you can act as a clinical leader including:

  • Developing Personal Qualities: Qualities such as self-awareness, self-reflection, self-management, professionalism, and self-development.
  • Working with Others: Developing networks, building and maintaining relationships, team building, developing others, engaging with clients and consumers, and collaborating with other service providers.
  • Improving Services: Ensuring patient safety, critically evaluating, encouraging innovation, evaluating services, improving health care processes, developing new services and roles.
  • Managing Services: Planning, managing resources, managing people, and managing performance.
  • Setting Direction: Identifying opportunities for change, applying knowledge and evidence, making decisions, evaluating impact and outcomes.

Adapted from the Medial Leadership Competency Framework (NHS, 2008).


Clinical Leadership & You

Using one of the competency frameworks identified below, assess your leadership skills. Reflect on the opportunities to further develop leadership skills relevant to your work context and role. Consider:

  • Where are you in your career, and could you be a leader?
  • What aspects of clinical leadership would you like to further develop?
  • How will clinical leadership skills influence your practice and career development? 


Useful Resources