Leadership in Union

Leadership in Union is a custom made leadership programme designed & delivered by Ashridge Executive Education to help you become the best possible leader you can be for your Constituent Body and the game.

This personal leadership training will increase your ability to lead within senior leadership roles with greater confidence and with a broader range of capabilities, through a richer understanding of yourself and your impact on others.

It will challenge you to review and set goals, and help you to achieve these with the support of Action Learning sets and Virtual Ashridge (Online Learning Resource).

As part of the programme, you will complete feedback sessions and attend three residential weekends at Ashridge.

Duration & Time Commitment:

The course runs over a rugby season. 

  • Virtual launch - July 2017 - Induction video
  • Module 1 - Who are you under pressure? - 29th & 30th September 2018 - Residential
  • Module 2 - Where are you going? - 26th & 27th January 2019 -  Residential
  • Module 3 - How will you get there? - 25th & 26th May 2019 - Residential
  • Action Learning Sets - November - February - April - Conference calling
  • Virtual Ashridge – Online Learning Resource - dates at candidate's discretion - Ongoing

All accommodation and course materials are included for successful applicants. Candidates are only required to cover their travel expenses.

Ashridge has contributed to the success of thousands of individuals, teams and organisations by helping to develop their leadership capabilities. Ashridge is consistently ranked among the best business schools in the world and has created a custom made Leadership Programme to enable Constituent Bodies leaders to excel. The programme will offer candidates a fantastic opportunity to learn, reflect and develop for the benefit of rugby. 

What previous candidates say?

“I highly recommend involvement in the Leadership in Union programme.  Having experienced other senior leadership programmes, the difference Leadership in Union brings is that it focuses on you, your values and challenges you to reassess who you really are.  At times this is uncomfortable as we naturally build up layers through life experiences, but ultimately it is a very rewarding journey.



"The Leadership in Union has helped me re-calibrate my leadership style and I know this has improved my performance. 

John & Ian create a safe learning environment and show you the doors to personal development, you just have to be brave enough to open them! You are not alone as they are with you every step of the way. The strength you draw from fellow students helps tremendously. You soon realise that though the name of the CB is different, we all face the same challenges!

Always challenging, at times uncomfortable but hugely worthwhile.”

Paul Fountain

Chair Community Rugby - Yorkshire RFU

“After the Leadership Academy the Leadership in Union programme really is another superb opportunity to flex the mind in an invigorating rugby arena of incredible volunteers who are all making a phenomenal amount of difference in the game today! There is a lot of work to do out there on the rugby landscape and the opportunity to bring such an abundance of likeminded individuals together, each with different opinions and approaches to similar challenges is both stimulating and empowering! A perfect opportunity to work hand in hand with the best mentors in the business and most importantly alongside the RFU to produce the true 'grassroots' leaders of the future.”

Becky Davies

President - Staffordshire Rugby Union


We are looking for individuals with the potential and drive to take on the senior leadership roles within a Constituent Body.  Review the candidate checklist – click for details.

To apply please send a relevant CV (including work, rugby & life experiences), a 500 word statement on why you should be selected (assessed against the candidate checklist) and gain an endorsement from an officer in a Constituent Body or club to julietlafferty@rfu.com by 4th June 2018.

For further information contact Alex Thompson, Club Management & Governance Manager – 07894489756 – alexthompson@rfu.com