Applications are now open to join the October 2023 cohort of the Associate Programme. Register your interest and apply here!

On Purpose

Learning and Development


Learning and development sits at the very core of the Associate Programme. Beyond what is learnt whilst at placements, the Friday programme equips you with a wide range of knowledge, skills and a mindset to enable change. We provide space for peer learning, reflection and an opportunity to network with interesting people working in a wide range of organisations, across different sectors.

Core Pillars

The programme is built around two core pillars, Impact and Leadership, which enable you to:

  • Understand the impact sector and commit to its potential to achieve systemic change
  • Gain comprehensive professional skills alongside social sector knowledge and experience
  • Investigate a range of approaches to defining, measuring, resourcing and scaling impact.
  • Exercise and explore your leadership potential and develop a sense of purpose, momentum and direction

Learning Blocks

The following are fundamental components of our learning approach

  • Defining and Measuring Impact

    What changes do you want to see in the world? How do organisations know if they are realising their mission? Here we first look at defining impact before exploring approaches and tools to measure and evaluate impact.

  • Financing and Resourcing Impact

    Finding funds is an important first step to achieving impact. You explore different types of funding available to purpose-driven organisations, debate their effectiveness and learn how to secure funding.

  • Scaling impact

    Given the enormity of the world’s problems, it’s important for impactful organisations to scale. You will learn about different tools and strategies that can enable scaling, and debate if and when they should be used.

  • The Impact Landscape

    You explore the state of the sector: its challenges, opportunities and the different ways people create change on a local, national and global level. Within this landscape, you consider where you as an individual are best placed to create change.

  • Leading Projects

    We equip you with a range of approaches to deliver innovative and effective solutions. From traditional problem solving techniques to agile working and human centred design, you broaden your toolkit for tackling complex problems.

  • Leading Self

    If you don’t have a good understanding of yourself, it’s much harder to lead others effectively. Here, you improve your self-awareness and ability to manage your time and energy effectively.

  • Leading Teams

    How do you lead a team through uncertainty, challenge, conflict or even opportunity? Here you learn how to create a strong and inclusive organisational culture, listen deeply, and develop others.

  • Leading Societies

    Once you’re equipped with tools for leading a team, we’ll look wider. From vision casting to community building, you learn how to mobilise people in society to join you in creating change.

Many of the sessions in these learning blocks can be seen through the lens of systems thinking (which you will learn about through the year) - helping you to shift your worldview to see how all parts of the system can work together to create a transformation in the economy. We will also look to cultivate the mindsets needed as a leader in the sector - resilience, empathy, humility and more.

We are always re-evaluating and re-iterating our training programme so that it better equips associates to lead systemic change after the programme - so expect some exciting new content in 2024.

Meet Our Trainers

Our learning & development sessions are delivered by a range of different people bringing their expertise to support Associates’ development. Sessions are led by friends from Big Society Capital, Breadwinners, Shift and many more.