The CHCR Postgraduate Certificate in Health Communications (PgCert-HC) was launched in 2015. It addresses a partly-unmet UK market need for a ‘gold-standard’ course. One which provides a comprehensive and high-level skill-set for senior communicators in health and social care. Flyer here: CHCR leaflet A4 – Course 03+04
Initially framed for the UK National Health Service (NHS), the course was designed and developed by the senior CHCR team in collaboration with the communications development group at the NHS Trust Development Authority (now NHS Improvement). It is taught in four intensive residential weeks at the University’s Missenden Abbey conference centre. There are regular appearances by senior guest lecturers/speakers from both the NHS and the commercial sector.
The next Cohort (#4) is now fully subscribed and begins teaching in September 2017. The following cohort (#5) is expected to start around end-2017. It is now open for registration and applications.
“The aim of this bespoke course is to professionalise communications in NHS organisations. The course will help improve operational skills and strategic understanding to support NHS organisations particularly Trust and FT Boards and CCGs to crucially deliver Five Year Forward View objectives. Each student will benefit from a significant amount of training and support to better equip them to improve in key areas including: patient, public, community and staff engagement; public consultation and engagement; interpersonal and management communications; STP implementation, stakeholder engagement and so on. Cohort 1 and 2 have clearly shown there are direct benefits to participating NHS organisations by improving understanding of health communications and by providing the knowledge needed to support teams to transform care and therefore improve quality for patients.” (Alison Brown, head of communications development, NHS Improvement)
You can register/apply here.
The course inverts the conventional process which begins with external communications (e.g. media). It recognises that at the highest levels in health and social care, effective communications is always founded at the interpersonal level. The PgCert-HC comprises four modules:
Equips students with the personal confidence and necessary verbal and non-verbal skills to:
- Engage effectively with others
- Build rapport
- Influence, manage and lead teams
- Apply 1-3 collectively at multiple levels including the board
- Communicate change
- Where appropriate act as trainer in key media and communications skills.
Applies the inter-personal skill-set to meet the internal communications’ challenge by:
- Framing a broad ‘stakeholder’ based definition of ‘internal’ which embraces staff, patients and wider community
- Provides models and practical frameworks for organising and integrating communications across all groups
- Introduces concepts and practical applications from social marketing to build locally-based public health campaigns.
Founded on issues management and brand narrative, the final module returns to the external dimension to introduce key models and applications across:
- Corporate communications and reputation management
- Public affairs
- Community engagement (including consultation)
- Social communications (including corporate social responsibility) and
- Risk and crisis communications.
In 2015-16 CHCR completed its first two 15-strong cohorts. Each was dedicated exclusively to senior managers in the UK NHS and achieved a 100% success rate. Cohort #3 concludes in Autumn 2017 while #4 begins in September 2017. Further cohorts are open now for registration and applications.
Equips the health communicator with the necessary competencies to act as senior/board level adviser in health and social care organisations including:
- Governance: the legal and ethical framework
- Engagement & Influence
- Strategy: how to formulate and how to integrate communications with corporate- or business-level strategy
- Services: application of strategy in service improvement and service-line marketing and communications
- Measurement: linking communications activity in a structured way to the delivery of clinical and operational goals.