Hands on agile for leaders course

Three-day GDS Academy course on leading across multiple self-organising, cross-functional teams within a service or programme for senior leaders.

Course summary

This GDS Academy course is for senior public service leaders who need to understand how a digital service is designed, delivered and operated, so that they can realise the benefits of digital for citizens, their department and wider government.

Course aims and objectives

The aim of this course is for senior leaders to understand how to lead across self-organising, cross-functional teams, so that they can take responsibility for delivering all aspects of a service or programme.

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • describe the agile principles and methods adopted in government
  • explain the importance of user research and user needs
  • role model the change in culture and leadership that supports agile working
  • demonstrate learning for developing a service and assessing the health of a project
  • explain the government digital landscape


  • Digital capability
  • Ways of working
  • Deciding what to do
  • The people we need to deliver
  • What happens when?
  • Team dynamics
  • Governing digital service
  • Engagement, stakeholders and users
  • The high-performing digital service
  • Leadership revisited


Our courses are available to civil servants, local government employees, devolved administrations and other public servants. You must be Civil Service grade 7 (or equivalent) or above to attend this course.


The course takes 3 working days.

Day 1 - 10:00am to 5:00pm

Day 2 - 9:30am to 5:00pm

Day 3 - 9:30am to 4:00pm


The course costs £540 (plus VAT) for each person.

The charge for this course will be reviewed before classroom training recommences.

You must have a purchase order before requesting a place on the course.

Training locations

The GDS Academy has offices in Leeds and London. We run training courses from both locations.

We also run courses in pop-up locations. You will see these in the:

Ask a trainer to come to you

If you cannot travel to Leeds or London, you can ask a GDS Academy trainer to come to you. For example, they can travel to your office. You will need to pay for the trainer’s travel, accommodation and VAT.

If you want a trainer to come to you, email GDS Academy:

Course dates

Location Date Availability
Leeds 28 to 30 April Postponed
London 16 to 18 June Postponed

New course dates

GDS Academy publishes new course dates approximately 4 times a year.

You can see these in the:

Book a place

You need a purchase order number before you can book a course.

Email GDS Academy

Email, with your:

  • name
  • organisation
  • mobile phone number
  • course name, the number of courses, and the number of places
  • course location
  • course date
  • purchase order number

Tell us how many trainees there will be

You can book for one person or a group of people.

If you want to book for a group, you can choose:

  • an open group (people from other organisations can join the training)
  • a closed group (this is only for you and people you invite)

If you are booking for a closed group, you must include:

  • where you want to host the course (location)
  • when you would like to host the course (date)

Contact GDS Academy

Email GDS Academy:

Published 1 May 2015
Last updated 31 March 2020 + show all updates
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  15. Added information about the new requirement to have a purchase order number at the time of requesting a place on the course.

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  20. We have added the course cost, and the need to have a training agreement with the GDS Academy and permission from your line manager to attend.

  21. First published.