Describes the range of issues considered in designing a programme of education and development for NHS managers. The programme took the form of a certificate and diploma in management studies with a very work‐based approach using action learning sets and applied theory and techniques. Briefly discusses the recent history and debates in management education together with the tensions caused by academic focus on critical analysis and evaluation and the workplace focus of being effective and making improvements. This programme attempts to recognize and build on the strengths of both approaches and also to add some of the best practice from trainers′ experience of designing personal development plans. Discusses the emphasis on reflective learning and the use of research‐based assignments instead of conventional exams. Concludes with some indications of possible future developments from this model.
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