Below is a list of the most frequently asked questions when councils apply to be part of the Design in the Public Sector Programme. If you have a question that is not covered below, contact us on

Programme Information 

What is the purpose of this programme? 

The Design in the Public Sector programme aims to help local authorities and partner organisations to commission and deliver improvements to public health services. Through an intensive cohort-based approach, the programme builds an understanding of how design practices can enable local government professionals to shape and deliver improved services. 

How long does the programme run for?

The programme is delivered over 16 weeks so that the teams can develop real-world, live public health service projects, using strategic design processes and approaches. The programme allows the challenge you take forward to be reviewed and iterated in order to deliver real impact. The programme consists of five one-day workshops spread over the 16 weeks, with half a day’s mentoring time provided by a Design Associate between them. Additionally, your team is expected to take the time it would ordinarily invest in a real-world project.

What is expected of successful applicants? 

It is key that the teams attending are available for each of the five one-day workshops, as well being able to commit the time in-between to take the activities that will help to improve the outcome of the project forward.

In order for the programme to have a sustainable impact, how much resource will we need to dedicate to learning throughout the programme?

The programme brings up to seven project teams together for five full-day sessions, which provides teams with an introduction to the design process, and its role in public and private sector innovation. Each day of the programme introduces individuals to design-led tools and methods which over the course of the programme will be used in practice for teams to discover, define, develop and ultimately deliver their projects. 

Communications and Media 

Can we publicise the fact that we are on the programme? 

Yes, we actively encourage you to share learnings internally within your council and externally via blogs, case studies, social and other suitable media. 

Are we allowed to take photos during the programme? 

Yes, we encourage it. As part of the programme you will be asked to document your journey – this includes capturing insights at each workshop that will provide you with an opportunity to reflect upon the programme, the process Design Council lead you through, the impact the programme has on your chosen projects and the impact of the programme within your council(s). Photography and social media posts can form a part of your journey and add richness to your storytelling.

Practical Information

How do I apply? 

Applications will be hosted digitally via a platform called F6S which both Design Council and the Local Government Association will have access to. For information on how to apply, please visit our Design in the Public Sector page.

How do I know you have received my application?

Once you submit your application, you will receive a confirmation email to the email address you used to set up your F6S profile (please remember to check any spam/junk folders). If you signed up using Facebook or LinkedIn, emails will be sent to the address attached to your account. If you do not receive an email, please contact us and we will be able to confirm whether your application has been successfully submitted.

Who can apply?

Applications must be local authority-led. However, it is key that partners and providers are involved in the process. Please clarify how you plan to secure their involvement in the process and where possible supply evidence of their engagement and commitment to doing so.

How many hours should participants expect between contact days? 

Typically, each team should work towards matching the contact days of the programme. Therefore one workshop day should mean one day's contact time with your team. This can be split any way you wish. 

When is the deadline for the application submitted?

The deadline for each cohort varies.

Cohort one (Leeds) midday, 20 September 2017.

Cohort two (London) midday, 29 November 2017.

What is the scale of project challenge? What should the application put forward? 

The challenge needs to be achievable, connected and pertinent to your organisation, and you need to show how you can make an impact using the programme. Projects put forward should be of importance at both a local and national level in order to provide peer learning for other organisations. Where possible, your application should have evidence conveying to the panel the scale and strategic nature of the challenge.

Can we submit more than one application? 

Yes, a council can submit more than one application; however each application needs to address a different challenge and each must have a separate lead contact.

Would you accept joint application from councils?

Yes, you can form a joint application with another council if it provides the opportunity to deliver a meaningful solution. However, you need to show how both councils will see the outcome and benefit from the programme. We also encourage councils to partner with health partners. 

Do you have any examples of challenges that we can look at? 

Please explore the LGA website for case studies from previous cohorts.

How many people can be in the team?

Four members per team. Applications must be led by the council, however we encourage collaboration with other organisations such as; other councils, CCGs, third sector partners, NHS and blue light services and community groups. If agencies wish to apply, they must partner with a council.

How to involve partners or providers

We are open to how partners and providers should be involved. This could be through attendance at the workshops or through the activity you take forward in-between the sessions.

What are the delivery dates for cohort one (Leeds)?

  • Masterclass for members and senior project sponsors: 25 October 17
  • Day 1-2: 1-2 November 17
  • Day 3: 13 December 17
  • Day 4: 30 January 18
  • Day 5: 7 March 18

What are the delivery dates for cohort two (London)?

  • Masterclass for members and senior project sponsors: 23 January 18
  • Day 1-2: 1-2 February 18
  • Day 3: 21 March
  • Day 4: 4 April
  • Day 5: 9 May

How long does each day run for? What are the expected start and finish times?

Each day will run from 9:00-17:00.

Where will delivery be held?

Delivery will be held at the below locations throughout the programme.

Cohort one: The Studio Leeds, Riverside West, Whitehall Road, Leeds, LS1 4AW.

Cohort two: Design Council, Angel Building, 407 St John Street, London EC1V 4AB. 

Are the dates for delivery flexible?

No, we therefore encourage you to block out all delivery dates as shown in the application form.

Are participants expected to bring anything along to the delivery days?

No, all materials will be supplied to you on each delivery day. 

Who needs to attend from each local authority? Can it be anyone? 

The programme seeks to work with officers within local authorities who are able to lead and influence such service development and redesign. This means that the programme involves participants from a mix of areas, such as centrally located ‘Business Improvement Teams’ as well as those involved in public health services. 

Can the team members change throughout the delivery days? 

No, it is integral to the success of the programme that the core team members make every effort to attend each day of the programme. Naturally, we understand that in unforeseen circumstances this may not be possible. In this instance, we kindly ask each team to arrange another attendee to replace any absent members. 

What ongoing evaluation will there be?

Before, during and after the programme, Design Council will ask you to take impact surveys to measure the progress of your service project. All participants will be surveyed throughout the process and an overall evaluation will be made, taking into account the results of each individual project from each authority, in order for Design Council, the LGA and the councils to share best practice findings.

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