Future Leaders: FAQs

Are you thinking about applying for Future Leaders, but want to find out more about the programme? These frequently asked questions might help.

Who is Future Leaders suitable for?

Future Leaders is for anyone who has the right attitude and who aspires to be part of the next generation of heads and directors of communication.

LGcomms is committed to creating an inclusive future for public sector communication- representing, valuing and celebrating diverse backgrounds and experiences.

We particularly welcome applications from anyone who believes they are from an under-represented group.

How much experience do you need before you can apply?

A certain level of experience in a communication role is necessary, but that doesn’t mean you need to be at a certain job role or have a set number of years of experience under your belt.

Previous cohorts have been made up of people from a range of ages and backgrounds, with experience levels ranging from communication officers who had been in a job for a couple years, to established managers.

How much does the programme cost?

The programme is completely free to LGcomms members. The programme itself is worth around £10,000 in equivalent training costs. We do ask that you organisation covers your travel and accommodation costs though.

To apply, does my organisation need to be an LGcomms member?

Yes, the programme is only open to applications from staff working for member organisations. Annual membership only costs organisations £250 and qualifies you for additional free training throughout the year and discounted attendance at Public Service Communication Academy.

How long does the programme last?

The programme lasts for 12 months.

How big is the time commitment?

The programme takes up around ten days of your time over the course of a year. How much additional work you put in, for example as part of the mentoring scheme, is up to you.

What does the mentoring involve?

You will be matched with a mentor who will be an established, senior communication leader. How often you meet is up to you- but both mentor and mentee will be asked to sign a mentoring agreement which outlines the minimum expectations on both people for a successful mentoring relationship.

What if I can’t make certain sessions?

Some sessions- such as an academic study on communication leadership and a visit to Whitehall are compulsory.

We strongly encourage you to make the take time to attend all of the other sessions, but accept that this may not always possible in extreme circumstances.

Is there any homework to do?

The academic part of the programme does require you to submit a short, written essay. We also ask participants to write at least one blog for the LGcomms website, reflecting on their learning during the programme.

Are the sessions in person or online?

Obviously, recent programmes have been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic meaning many sessions have been delivered online. Previous participants have gained lots from meeting their peers in person though and we expect this year’s programme to comprise of a mixture of online and in-person sessions.

Who covers travel and accommodation expenses?

These should be covered by your employer.

Who do I need approval from to be able to apply?

Given the implications on your time and expenses, you must have approval from your line manager and/or head of communication before applying to this programme. We will contact the managers of all applicants to ensure this has taken place.

Do I need to prepare for the programme if I am accepted on?

Though there isn’t any compulsory preparation you need to do, it’s important to think carefully about what you want to gain from the programme to ensure you get the most out of it.

What are you looking for in the application process?

Attitude and drive are the most important things, as well as how you think the programme will help you to develop and raise communication standards in your organisation.

You might also be interested in this blog on what you can learn from the successful Future Leaders applications.

What are the benefits of joining the programme?

The programme is designed to prepare you to take the next step of your communication career and to help raise the standard of communication leadership in your organisation and throughout the public sector.

Different people gain different things from the programme- whether it’s the access to industry experts, the mentoring, the academic study or the relationships they build with their peers on the programme.