NExT Director scheme - supporting tomorrow's non-executives


We’ve designed the NExT Director scheme to help find and support the next generation of talented people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities to become non-executive directors in the NHS.

Diversity survey

Our recent national survey of the diversity of all trust boards has revealed that while 48% of executive board members are women only 38% of non-executive board members are; if the NHS is to achieve the 50/50 by 2020 board gender diversity goal, we need to ensure that more women are appointed to trust boards, particularly into non-executive roles. The survey also revealed that only 8% of board members are from the black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.

Initial launch in London and Midlands and East regions

The aim of the NExT Director scheme is to help people from these groups with the senior skills and expertise necessary to make a real contribution to NHS to take that final step into the board room. The scheme, which has been likened to a board apprenticeship, was successfully piloted last year by eight NHS Trusts in London focusing on people from BAME communities. The scheme is now being expanded to so that all providers in two regions can participate. The Midlands and East will focus on supporting women, and in London the scheme will be aimed at people from local BAME communities.


Individual NExT Directors will be offered a placement with a provider trust in their area for up to 12 months, depending on each individual’s rate of progression. This will provide the opportunity to learn first-hand about the challenges and opportunities associated with being a non-executive director in the NHS today.

Suggest a candidate

We're now working to identify potentially suitable candidates for the scheme. Do you know someone who you think has what it takes to be a non-executive director in the NHS and has the motivation to commit to a placement as a NExT Director? 

Host a placement

Provider chairs in the Midlands and East and London regions are really supportive of the NExT Director Scheme, and many organisations have already signed up to offer placements.

Could you and your organisation take part in the scheme by hosting one or two NExT Director placements?

Participating trusts will be asked to:

  • provide their NExT Director/s with access to board and committee meetings and papers (including an opportunity to review and analyse meetings with board members) as appropriate
  • allocate an experienced non-executive director mentor for the period of the placement who can provide their NExT Director with regular feedback and advice on his / her development
  • encourage their NExT Director to shadow key senior staff and meet staff and patients’ groups

If you would like to suggest a candidate and/or host a placement please email our Head of Non-executive Development,, or our Senior Non-executive Development Manager, by Thursday 31 August 2017. 

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