Project Bid Guidelines

Project Bid Guidelines

Guidelines for submitting a bid for funds to support the identification of leadership needs, the development of leadership behaviours and proposed ways to address these through the vehicle of a service-based project.

Download the application form


In recent years the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) has publishedcampaign material to support the relevance and contribution of occupational therapy inaddressing some of the challenges facing health and social care delivery. Improving Lives:Saving Money (RCOT 2016) provided evidence of how occupational therapy is a costeffective intervention which supports people to live life at an optimum level. Living notExisting (RCOT 2017) demonstrates how active engagement in daily tasks supports thecontinued participation of people in occupations that they want and need to do to maintainhealth and well being.

The Elizabeth Casson Trust (ECT) has been equally active during this period, inencouraging occupational therapists to develop their leadership skills both soft and hard.Such skills are aimed at equipping occupational therapists to embrace opportunities todevelop and change services that enable the strategic intentions of the RCOT and the ECTto be enacted and implemented through effective leadership.

The ECT Strategy and Objectives can be found at the following link:

Enabling the implementation of the ECT strategic intentions will require strong leadershipbehaviours and skills at all levels of the profession and the ECT leadership project sets outto support the development of these.

Through this Leadership Project the Elizabeth Casson Trust continues to work in collaboration with the Royal College of Occupational Therapists. There is synergy between the leadership intentions of each organisation in facilitating further development of occupational therapy services for the future; the RCOT has developed the CareerDevelopment Framework (2017) as a vehicle for identifying capability and future learning needs while ECT is concentrating on the development of leadership behaviours and skills.

Project Objective

To support innovation within occupational therapy practice, occupational therapists can bid for funding to lead and deliver on a project that addresses current and/or prospective leadership challenges within their service. Through the project the successful candidate(s)will develop and consolidate leadership skills and behaviours to achieve the changes required which can then be shared more widely within the profession.

Project Scope

The project is open to all occupational therapists across the UK in whatever sector or speciality they may be working. It can include practitioners other than occupational therapists but the project should have a direct relevance to the development of leadership behaviours and skills for occupational therapists.

Proposed Approach

Bids will be invited for funding to enable occupational therapy services to address a current leadership challenge that broadly addresses the RCOT campaign messages and the ECT Leadership Strategy in the specific context of leadership development. Challenges may include: waiting lists, hard to reach populations, delays in treatment, developing co-production, joint working across agencies and transitions between services. Service redesign, workforce and skill mix issues and interagency solutions are other possible areas to consider. The nub of the bid must show the need for service development that requires the growth and execution of leadership skills in order to address these challenges.

In formulating a bid, the following points should be addressed:

  • The nature of the project bid, what it is, why it needs to be addressed, what the key issues are and how the project complements the RCOT campaign messages and the ECT Leadership Project.
  • The aims of your project, anticipated outcomes for service and users and measures of success. What you expect to be different/achieved. What are your outcome measures?
  • Identification of current leadership behaviours and skills and those you feel you need support to develop to enable you to successfully lead on the project.
  • Evidence of investigation to understand if others have successfully addressed similar issues through literature searching or benchmarking, for example, and what can be learned from that.
  • A project timeline with planned actions, points of review and anticipated measures of success. What will success look like? How will it be sustained?
  • Identification of key members of the team required to deliver the project including links with a leadership mentor, coach, buddy or peer learning group for ongoing support through the project. The identification of key personnel in your organisation/ other agencies to enable the planned development/change e.g. commissioners; managers; other agencies with which you need to work in partnership. February 2018
  • Identification of the team and individual learning needs and how the project and other resources will help address these.
  • Consideration of other resources required to deliver the project. These may include online resources, team development opportunities, strategies for backfill staffing, as examples.
  • Projected and itemised costs to deliver the outcomes of the project which could include backfill costs, team development, payment for coaching.

On completion of the project the bid team will be expected to produce a report
focussing on leadership behaviours and skills that have been developed, and which
identifies and reflects on the following:

  • The challenge(s) addressed and how this was achieved.
  • The outcomes of the project, positive and negative.
  • The impact on practice delivery and occupational outcomes for service users.
  • Measures of success e.g. increased efficiencies and cost effectiveness, quantified where possible.
  • Lessons learned (how or what actions you would do differently next time and what elements/ skills you would apply to future projects).
  • Leadership behaviours and skills that were needed and have been developed.
  • Dissemination of learning, behaviour and skills development, sustainability and ongoing development.

The report could be developed as an article for publication, form part of a wider research project and should be used to promote and support the added value that greater involvement and inclusion of occupational therapists in health and social care provision can bring.

The report could be developed as an article for publication, form part of a wider research project and should be used to promote and support the added value that greater involvement and inclusion of occupational therapists in health and social care provision can bring.

The next deadline for application will be late summer 2019. Please check back in the Spring for the exact date. 

Download the application form

If you would like funding to access leadership development resources, not as part of a larger project, apply through our CPD funding.

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