OD Essentials

Learn about organisational development (OD) models and strategies, and how to lead change in your organisation with our online course.

18 March 2024

OD Essentials is a free, online course designed for HR professionals, learning and development staff, and anyone interested in finding out about OD in the NHS.

The course will also be useful to chief executives, board-level staff and anyone involved in leading or shaping change.

It is funded by NHS England, as part of their commitment to supporting and developing the people profession as outlined in the future of NHS HR & OD report.

What the course covers

During the course you will:

  • explore the origins of OD
  • understand essential elements of OD theory and research
  • learn the definitions and applications of OD in practice
  • discover the role of OD in enhancing the effectiveness of systems through interventions that improve people’s ability to achieve shared goals
  • understand the importance of the self in OD practice, and the impact of OD on the quality and safety of patient care.
  • OD Essentials is a five-week course, with approximately six hours of learning required per week. Previous cohorts have commented that this is a significant time commitment and many fell behind with learning. We ask that you only apply if you can dedicate the time to the study.

    The course requires you to give examples of how you can use the learning in your role or examples of what you have already done. It is not suitable for people not currently working in OD.  

    Study hours are completed in your own time - there are no specific times (apart from the virtual sessions, which aren’t compulsory) that you need to be available. We run new cohorts of learners every two months.

    To register for the upcoming cohort taking place in August, please complete this form. Please note that the April and June cohorts are now full.

    We have been working on the course and the learning methodology to ensure we support you as much as possible during your cohort to keep you up to date with your learning. We hold two optional virtual meetings for learners so you can build relationships with others on your cohort and ask questions or offer support.

  • If you are unable to commit to the full five-week OD Essentials course or are not currently working in OD in NHS or health and care, our Essential Elements course is now open for enrolments.

    Essential Elements offers an introduction to OD. It helps you discover organisational development models and strategies as well as develop your OD skills to boost performance and improve culture.

    The course lasts three weeks from the date you enroll and requires around two hours of study per week.

    Register for the Essential Elements course