Aspiring Chief Executives

Our Aspiring Chief Executives Programme (ACE) is ideal for busy nonprofit leaders who want to stretch themselves, to learn, and who feel ready to take that step up to develop the skills to become chief executives

Key information

Start date
21 September 2023
mix of online and in person delivery

Programme Dates

This programme will consist of nine workshops on the below dates:

Module 1: Thursday 21 & Friday 22 September 2023  (in-person)

Action Learning Set 1: Friday 6 October 2023  (online)

Module 2: Thursday 16 & Friday 17 November 2023  (in-person)

Action Learning Set 2: Friday 8 December 2023  (online)

Module 3: Thursday 25 & Friday 26 January 2024  (in-person)

Action Learning Set 3: Friday 9 February 2024  (online)

This programme is being delivered with both online and in-person elements.

All modules in this programme will be delivered in-person at Bayes Business School from 10:00 to 17:00 on Thursdays and from 09:00 to 16:00 on Fridays. All Action Learning Sets will be delivered online via Zoom and run from 09:00 to 12:00.

There will also be an evening 'in conversation with' two sector CEOs on a date to be confirmed closer to the time.

Programme Costs

This programme costs £2,795pp. VAT is not charged.

The application process for this series is now open. If you have any questions about the programme, please email

Bursary scheme for smaller charities
The Centre for Charity Effectiveness is keen to make the Aspiring Chief Executives programme accessible to as many organisations as possible, regardless of their size. As a result, we are offering a bursary scheme which would give a maximum of two individuals from smaller charities the opportunity to apply for the programme at the reduced price of £1,995pp.

In order to be eligible for the bursary the applicant’s organisation must have an annual turnover of less than £500,000. The two bursary positions will be distributed on a first-come-first-served basis.

If you would like to be considered for the bursary, please complete the relevant section in the application form.

Who Should Attend

Aspiring Chief Executives has been designed specifically for senior leaders who are already employed within the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, who would like to enhance their senior leadership capabilities or who are considering the step up to a chief executive position.

To be eligible for the programme you will need to be currently in a post reporting directly to a chief executive and leading a team of staff. If you are unsure about your eligibility for this programme please contact us at

Applying for the programme

Applications for this series are now open. Please complete this form to apply for the programme.

Please note that applications are considered in the order they are received and there are a limited number of places on this programme. Applications will close when all spaces on the programme have been filled.

Why choose our Aspiring Chief Executive Programme?

This flagship programme has been designed to encompass a series of engaging, and highly participative, online sessions delivered by CCE's leadership development specialist tutors, with contributions from other subject matter experts and current non-profit CEOs. The programme combines online workshops, action learning sets and other course materials and activities to support reflection, interactive group and peer learning, and the practical application of new thinking to emerging and real-world challenges.

Benefits to you

  • Increase your confidence in your leadership skills
  • Appraise the role of chief executive - understand the behaviour and qualities required of the role
  • Learn how to lead with agility
  • Enhance your presence, communication and relational leadership skills
  • Build an enduring peer support network for your ongoing development and your future career.

Benefits to your organisation

  • Understand how to improve organisational effectiveness through:
    • Operational flexibility
    • Responsive financial leadership
    • Sustainable strategy
  • Learn how to shape an organisation through positive relationships, dialogue and action
  • Understand how to influence the chair and board, to engage stakeholders, and to incorporate diversity, inclusion and equity
  • Widen your organisation's professional network.

"A programme I would very much recommend to colleagues and one I hope to support my organisation's Service Directors to attend in due course."

- Paul Gartland, Horton Housing Association

Programme Leaders

The programme will be co-facilitated by programme leaders Christine Fogg and Preeta Cooley. You will also hear from a range of other external speakers and sector experts.

"It was a truly excellent experience. I have acquired a whole new toolkit that will enable me to be a better leader both in my current role and in any future CEO roles. I have also gained a very valuable network through the course tutors and my fellow participants. I would recommend it highly to senior leaders in charitable organisations looking to progress into CEO roles."

COVID-19 response

The latest information about City, University of London’s response to the pandemic can be found on the students and visitors page.

Our staff, consultants and faculty remain dedicated to supporting our clients during this challenging time; please feel free to reach out with any questions or requests to