Quality Improvement Leadership in Healthcare

Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

Quality Improvement Leadership in Healthcare

This is a team- and project-based learning programme, designed to provide learners with leading edge knowledge and skills in aspects of quality improvement, implementation science, patient safety and enhanced leadership capacity. The programme is a key implementation support for the HSE Patient Safety Strategy 2019-2024 in facilitating healthcare teams to identify and address the common causes of harm.

Programme learners apply as a multidisciplinary team of three members who commit to engaging in a workplace improvement project.

This programme aims to provide a transformative experience in terms of personal growth and leadership development. Teams are supported by expert faculty to analyse the systems in which they work and to evaluate, integrate and implement theories and methods of quality improvement.

Entry requirements

You must apply as a multidisciplinary team.

Entry Requirements:
• Teams must consist of three members, all of whom must be working in Irish healthcare setting, whether hospital or community based.

• All three team members must commit to working together for the duration of the programme (12-18 months to include project write up and submission).

• Each team of three will comprise at least one consultant or equivalent senior health and social care professional.

• Teams should be multidisciplinary, for example including:
- Medical Consultant/Medical Specialist
- Chief Executive Officer
- Nursing personnel
- Physiotherapists
- Pharmacists
- Allied Health Professionals
- Operations personnel
- Human Resources personnel
- Communications personnel
- Administration personnel

All team members must:
- be working in the Irish health service.

- have a minimum of 3 years post-graduation experience as an employee in the health service.

- have a minimum Level 8 Honours Degree (Bachelor’s Degree or Higher Diploma).

English Language Requirements:
If English is not a learners first language, they will have to be able to read and write English to a certain level to apply to RCPI.

Applicants whose first language is not English may be required to provide evidence of the following level of English language proficiency:

-High B2 on the (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) CEFRL when awarded by a recognised awarding body.
-An average score of 6.5 on the overall components of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and a minimum of 6.0 in each band on the Academic Version.

Team leadership:
For teams in a hospital setting, the lead/senior person will be the most suitable team member and dependent on the proposed project, this will include a medical or surgical consultant. Some projects may not require a consultant to be part of the team.

For more information, please read our Admissions Policy at https://rcpi-live-cdn.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/29.-Admissions-Policy-and-Procedure-ED-Pol-051.pdf.

Recognition of Prior Learning
There is currently no recognition of prior learning for this programme.

You can access the relevant policies and procedures on our website.

Recognition of Prior Learning procedure.
Access, Transfer and Progression Policy
Access, Transfer and Progression Procedure

Protection of Enrolled Learners
RCPI has procedures in place for the protection of enrolled learners. You can access the information on this through the policy and procedure via our website.

Protection of Enrolled Learner Policy
Protection of Enrolled Learner Procedure

Application dates

Applications now open for 2023-2024 until June 30th.

Teams that are accepted onto the programme will be informed with the decision letter. Scheduling is subject to confirmation for 2023-24 academic year.

About the application form
The application form is completed online. The application process should involve all three team members though only one will submit on behalf of the team. It is possible to complete the form in stages using the SAVE FOR LATER option (see website).

You will be asked to complete sections about your team member demographics and contact details, your experience of QI and you will be asked to explain your workplace improvement idea and why you feel your team should be selected.

Supporting documentation
You must provide the following with your application:
- Letter to confirm executive sponsorship from your organisation’s CEO, Clinical Director, General Manager and/or relevant senior manager for your application.

- Letter to confirm line manager approval for each team members’ application and attendance on the programme.

- A Curriculum vitae may be requested to demonstrate attainment of a level 8 qualification or equivalent and 3 years post-graduation experience.

Application process
One person per team should complete and submit relevant accompanying letter(s) of support.

- Applications are checked and verified. You will be informed if your application is not eligible.

- Eligible applications will be considered by a selection committee in July 2023.

- The outcome of the selection process will be notified to all applicants within one week of the selection meeting.

View the RCPI Admissions Policy and Procedure

You may appeal the admission decision within 10 working days of the decision. For information and assistance in appealing an admission decision, please see the following documents on our website:

RCPI Appeals Policy
RCPI Appeals Procedure

Selection process
Applications are reviewed based on the proposed quality improvement project and whether the project fits in with the six domains of healthcare quality AND whether it addresses one of the common causes of harm. They are also assessed based on their previous involvement in QI (if any) and why the team think it would be beneficial for them to participate in the programme.


Design and Delivery
This programme is delivered using blended learning, which is a flexible way of completing the course that combines online educational materials and opportunities for interaction online with traditional place-based classroom methods and virtual classroom sessions.

The programme is delivered over 10 months and will include approximately 7 full-day in-person sessions, 5 full-day virtual classroom sessions and a series of virtual team calls.

All in-person sessions will be held in RCPI, No. 6 Kildare Street.

The virtual sessions will be held on zoom videoconferencing service www.zoom.us

Enrolment dates

Start Dates:
The dates are based on the 2023-2024 academic year. Successful teams will be informed with the decision letter.

You are expected to aim for 100% attendance and full engagement in the programme.

All course dates can be viewed in the LEARNING SESSION DATES tab at on our website. Scheduling is subject to confirmation for 2023-2024 academic year.

More details
  • Qualifications

    Special Purpose Certificate (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Blended,Daytime,Flexible,Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider