OU – Developing Leadership Practice in Voluntary Organisations

Free leadership courses for everyone

Did you know that the Open University’s Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership offers free online leadership courses that provide an opportunity for everyone who works within voluntary organisations to develop energetic, practical and thoughtful leadership practice?

Are the courses relevant to me?

Both courses provide an opportunity for people who work within voluntary organisations to develop energetic, practical and thoughtful leadership practice. You don’t have to be a leader to join the course.

Developing Leadership Practice in Voluntary Organisations

Collaborative Leadership

North Yorkshire learning club

The Open University and Community First Yorkshire have launched a learning club to enable voluntary and community sector employees across North Yorkshire to start and finish the OU’s FREE online courses together and share their learning.

The first cohort of the learning club has been meeting online since February 2020, exploring thoughts and experiences based on course modules and discussing a course activity as a group.

Join the OU’s virtual learning club

A virtual UK learning club is starting up in June 2020. Places on the course will be limited to 12-15 people and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Find our more here.

Start your own learning club

By starting and finishing with others, and sharing face-to-face, you will support each other’s learning along the way, and broaden your peer network.

Why not start a club with colleagues in your workplace, or fellow volunteers in your community group or project? You can explore together how to put what you learn into practice.

A learning club is a peer-led group so you can decide how and when to run your virtual meetings, take it in turns to facilitate and take notes of your conversations and agree which activities to discuss.

For a facilitation pack offering guidance and support on running a club, contact Dr Fidèle Mutwarasibo at the Open University Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership.

Who are the courses for?

The Developing Leadership Practice and Collaborative Leadership open access courses are suitable for anyone wanting to learn more about taking a leadership approach to working with others in the voluntary sector.

Whether you are a new-in-post leader, or interested in moving into a leadership role, delivering projects or services, leading staff or volunteers, or a community leader or trustee, you can develop your leadership and collaboration skills and learn from others in the Open University’s discussion forum or start your own learning club.

What do the courses offer?

Across 15 hours of online study (around 3 hours a week), the first course introduce the theory and practice of participative, reflective leadership in voluntary organisations.

The Collaborative Leadership course provides 24 hours of study across 8 weeks.

You will receive a statement of participation and digital badge demonstrating your achievement on completing each course.

What will I learn?

The 5 module course provides an introduction to the practice of leadership, and leads into the 8 module OU online course on Collaborative Leadership.

  • Module 1: Understand the difference between management and leadership and the significance of a leadership approach for the voluntary section.
  • Module 2: Explore the concept of leadership ‘traits’ and characteristics, and gender and race bias. Do we value a particular type of leader in the voluntary sector?
  • Module 3: Assess whether transformational leadership is a helpful approach and suggest alternative leader models for the voluntary sector.
  • Module 4: Identify the role that ethics and values play in your organisational aims, culture and leadership purpose.
  • Module 5: Reflect on your organisation’s leadership practice through its processes, spaces and technologies and suggest what you will do differently as a result of your learning.

How to register

Find out more about the OU’s Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership online courses here.

You may also be interested in the OU’s free course on Involving Volunteers.

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