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Free course

Developing leadership practice in voluntary organisations

Free statement of participation on completion
Developing leadership practice in voluntary organisations

Welcome to the free course Developing leadership practice in voluntary organisations. This course provides an opportunity for people who work within voluntary organisations, as paid employees or staff, to develop energetic, practical and thoughtful leadership practice. 

Please take our survey about this course to give us feedback, inform future work, and have the (optional) opportunity to get more involved if you are interested.  You do not need to have finished studying this course in order to take the survey.

The course will take approximately 15 hours to complete, divided up into 5 weeks, each of which follows a standard pattern to make it easier to plan your time.

As you work through the course, there are some in-text activities to help test your understanding of the material. At the end of the course you will receive a Statement of Participation so that you can share your achievement with others.

The Information and guidance describes each of the weeks, provides information about the learning journal and discussion forum and introduces the course authors. It also includes information about permissions and copyright and it is important that you read this before starting the course.

The course is produced by The Open University's Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership (CVSL). The CVSL was established thanks to the generous support of Mr Anthony Nutt BA.

This course is an update of the course Introducing leadership in voluntary organisations. 

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • approach leadership in a more energetic and thoughtful way 
  • discuss approaches to leadership in relation to a number of pressing concerns relevant to voluntary organisations
  • practise leadership in a more robust way within small teams and with volunteers, through drawing on some key practices
  • offer a critique of dominant approaches to leadership in relation to cases from the voluntary sector
  • discuss and reflect on leadership in the voluntary sector in relation to ethics
  • articulate a form of leadership rooted in practice between diverse groups of people and contexts.

First Published: 09/09/2019

Updated: 12/03/2020

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