Discusses the impact of a self‐governing hospital trust’s accredited management development programme designed for health‐care professionals responsible for managing natural clinical groups. The programme was a dual qualification: a level 5 national vocational qualification in management, and a diploma in management. Identifies key issues resulting from this type of programme. Discusses participants’ evaluation of the two different formats for management development. Highlights the reservations of health‐care professionals in respect of competence‐based management development, particularly regarding assessment of their work performance. Recognizes that when a group of senior health‐care professionals are involved in a long‐term in‐house management development programme, they may be perceived as a threat by senior management. Concludes that health‐care professionals will only engage proactively with management development activities which they perceive to have value for them.
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