Government and academia have reached a significant milestone in developing its project delivery capability with 1,000 people undertaking the Project Leadership Programme (PLP).

Since June 2015, project leaders from across government have taken part in the programme run at Cranfield University, supported by PA Consulting and The Project Academy.

The programme was initiated by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) and is designed to develop leadership capability to support the delivery of major government projects across a range of sectors, from infrastructure and IT to defence and transformation programmes. To date, this has involved 23 cohorts with participants from over 30 ministries, departments and arm’s-length bodies with over 500 people already having graduated.

The PLP forms part of the vision to develop project leadership skills across government and create a new cadre of project leaders. With a duration of over 12 months development activities range from face-to-face teaching run at Cranfield to online content. It also includes specific electives such as creating effective business cases and delivering transformation and coaching.

The programme provides opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and networking, as well as the opportunity to apply the learning back in the workplace. Participants are also required to undertake two 360-degree feedback exercises for personal development, complete two assignments focusing on their work and reflect on the learning with their head of profession.

Fiona Spencer, Director for the Project Delivery Profession at the IPA, said: “A thousand people enrolled on the PLP is a great achievement. We are growing a cadre of strong, capable and confident project leaders, who are improving the delivery of our projects and enhancing our flourishing profession.”

Craig Ogilvie, one of the participants said: “It has been a brilliant course – I have really enjoyed my time at Cranfield and on PLP more generally. It gave me some much-needed thinking time, while also providing access to a new and exciting network of project professionals from across government. I am really pleased to say the programme also encouraged me to go for a recent deputy director post. The good news is I got the job and PLP helped!”

Professor Mike Bourne, Director of the programme, said: “Cranfield is delighted to be running this programme with PA Consulting and the Project Academy. We have been highly impressed with the calibre of participants and are extremely encouraged by the progress they make over the course of the programme.” 



Notes for editors

PA Consulting

An innovation and transformation consultancy, we believe in the power of ingenuity to build a positive human future in a technology-driven world. 

As strategies, technologies and innovation collide, we turn complexity into opportunity. 

Our diverse teams of experts combine innovative thinking and breakthrough technologies to progress further, faster. Our clients adapt and transform, and together we achieve enduring results.

We are over 2,600 specialists in consumer, defence and security, energy and utilities, financial services, government, healthcare, life sciences, manufacturing, and transport, travel and logistics. And we operate globally from offices across the Americas, Europe, the Nordics and the Gulf. 

The Project Academy

The Project Academy was founded in 2010. It has grown to become a high-performing team of skilled, multi-disciplinary specialists in the development of project management capability. The team’s strength comes from its ability to listen, empathise and really understand an organisation’s environment and the business challenges.

The Project Academy’s expertise supports the pre-and post 360-degree assessment of participants, based on a bespoke PLP competence framework. The framework is hosted on our new generation online competence and capability management software. Our senior PPM professionals are experienced coaches and PLP participants benefits from a 1-2-1 coaching regime to tackle live project leadership challenges. A key objective of the coaching is to ensure that learning is implemented in the workplace, to the benefit of greater project success. The Academy also delivers an elective based on personal thinking style and collaboration, in the context of project leadership and transformational change.

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA)

The IPA is the government’s centre of expertise for infrastructure and major projects. Its purpose is to continuously improve the way infrastructure and major projects are delivered, in order to support government priorities and improve people’s lives. The organisation was formed on 1 January 2016 when it brought together Infrastructure UK (IUK) and the Major Projects Authority (MPA). The IPA reports to both the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury. 



About Cranfield University

Cranfield is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.