UCL Human Resources


People Management Essentials

People Management Essentials equips UCL people managers with the knowledge and skills to manage teams and individuals effectively. It can be completed as an online-only or a blended programme.

At UCL, we believe our people managers across research, teaching and professional services play a vital role in driving organisational success through developing, supporting and engaging our staff. The People Management Essentials Programme provides consistent information and skills in a bite-sized and convenient format.

Enrol on the People Management Essentials online programme

Express your interest in the blended programme

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Our teams deserve to have managers who understand their role and responsibilities and are equipped to lead them effectively. This programme will provide you with a great opportunity to invest in your professional development as a manager and to influence our individual and collective success at UCL.

Dr Michael Spence, UCL President & Provost

About the programme

People Management Essentials programme aims to:

  • Provide accessible, practical training in day-to-day people management
  • Clarify the role and responsibilities of people managers and what UCL expects of them
  • Signpost key guidance, policies and procedures as well as further opportunities for development
  • Encourage reflection on managing people and how to navigate common people management challenges

The People Management Essentials programme can be completed as an online-only programme, or a blended programme for which there are limited places. For more information see the programme information sections below or contact us at leadershipprogrammes@ucl.ac.uk


Information for the online-only programme

The self-paced online programme component of People Management Essentials is open to all staff with people management responsibilities. Aspiring managers are also welcome to complete the programme.

Enrol on the People Management Essentials online programme

We strongly encourage everyone who manages people to complete the online programme. It takes approximately 5-7 hours to complete.

Overview of the online programme modules:

  1. Preparing to manage the UCL way - What does it take to be an effective people manager at UCL.
  2. Motivating and engaging your team - How to foster an open and inclusive team culture where your people feel empowered.
  3. Working well and being well - Keeping people safe and well at work and protecting a healthy work-life blend.
  4. Tackling difficult situations with confidence and compassion - Practical guidance on managing conflict and tackling difficult issues proactively.
  5. Developing teams to fulfil their potential - Enabling high performance through one-to-ones, appraisals and effective talent management.

The programme workbook and programme resources required to support your learning can be accessed below:

      81% of managers completing the online-only programme would recommend it to colleagues


      Information for the blended programme

      We strongly encourage anyone new to line managing people or who has never attended management development training to complete the blended programme. Managers requiring a refresher will also benefit from the programme.

      The blended programme provides the opportunity to practice critical management skills, build confidence as a people manager, and to develop a network of supportive peers in 4 live online and face to face sessions. We run 3 cohorts of the blended programme over the academic year. We’re enrolling participants for the October-December cohort from now until 1st September 2023. Places on the live programme are limited, so sign up quickly.

      Express your interest in the blended programme

       Overview of blended programme live sessions:

      1. Programme launch - The launch pad for enhancing your people management skills. (90 mins in person session)
      2. HR drop-in: Ask the HR experts - Find out what you really need to know before you really need it. (90 mins live online session)
      3. Having courageous conversations: A skills mission - Let's show you how. (180 mins live in person session)
      4. Supporting performance and developing your people: A skills mission - Managing performance can be both rewarding and challenging. Let’s help. Programme review and bold next steps - Mission accomplished, but what now and where to next? (240 mins in person session)

      Below are the live session dates for the 2023-24 cohorts of the blended programme:

      EventCohort 1 datesCohort 2 datesCohort 3 dates
      EnrolmentJuly 2023 - September 2023September 2023 - December 2023December 2023 - March 2024
      Programme launch17 October 20237 February 202418 April 2024
      HR drop-in1 November 202321 February 20241 May 2024
      Having Courageous Conversations28 November 20236 March 202422 May 2024
      Supporting and developing your teams5 December 202313 March 202418 June 2024
      Review session24 January 202410 April 20242 July 2024

      95% of managers completing the blended programme would recommend it to their colleagues


      Frequently Asked Questions

      Below you will find some of the most frequently asked questions about the online and blended programmes. 

      Is this programme recommended for academic, clinical and technical staff?

      Yes, whether you are in academic, professional services, clinical or technical role, managing one person, a small team or leading a large department, this programme has been designed to provide you with knowledge and skills to help you support your colleagues to the best of your ability.

      Can I complete the online-only programme without attending the live sessions?

      Yes, the online self-paced course element of People Management Essentials is open to all staff with people management responsibilities. We strongly encourage every staff member who meets the eligibility criteria to complete the online course.

      Can I complete only the online modules I am interested in?

      You can complete the online programme modules in any order, but we strongly encourage you to complete the entire programme.

      As an aspiring manager, am I eligible for the programme?

      The programme is primarily targeted at people with current line manager responsibilities. However, anyone with aspirations towards management who would like to explore what it involves and what will be expected of them can enrol on the online programme. We also recommend visiting our Lead at UCL resource hub where you will discover a whole range of relevant management, leadership and professional development related resources.

      Can I enrol if I am acting up or on secondment with line management responsibility?

      Yes, we would recommend anyone acting up into a line management role to enrol on the programme. You may find it particularly useful to undertake the People Management Essentials in advance of taking up your secondment as it will prepare you well for your new role. 

      How can I find out more or ask a question about the programme?

      For more information or questions and queries about this programme contact us at leadershipprogrammes@ucl.ac.uk

      I'm having trouble accessing the online programme

      Contact our digital team for assistance at uclmandatorystafflearning@ucl.ac.uk