MAY 2021

Leading for the Future – ACS&T’s Leadership Development Programme

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Our new leadership programme is well underway and has been developed in partnership with Sissons Associates – who work with clients across the UK to concentrate on leadership and management as well as coaching and wellbeing. The overall objective of this new scheme is to provide our staff with the knowledge to develop a core set of skills, confidence, and competence to be influential and progressive leaders across the business and bring our values and conduct to life.

This course will range over different managerial levels, and we currently have three groups in place. Firstly, line managers, the second being middle managers and finally senior management. These three levels make up 20% of our workforce, and by targeting these three groups, we are investing in our people and hope to concentrate on the whole team and all business areas to build on leadership growth. Therefore, when the course finishes in 18 months, we will have so much more capability in our team than the high standard we already have at present.

This programme will incorporate a blended approach, using a mixture of self-directed, social and experiential group learning – led by expert trainers with experience of these subjects gained from working in various organisations. The course has been designed so, at each level of the programme, behaviours can be acquired to create a leadership culture and build on our five-year strategy – bringing to life ACS&T’s organisational values, policies and practices. 

We have assigned and trained internal mentors engaged with the programme from the offset to encourage progression and success. They will offer additional backing and assistance, and we will also have the support from HR to engage and enable accountability and action.

Each program has been tailored to the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), affording the members studying membership and access to the latest best practice. As a result of the partaking of the programme, participants will gain a qualification, which is well recognised as a high standard of learning and practical leadership development being attained. Members will also be given out-of-hour support and feedback throughout their assignments and tutorials to ensure they succeed in their learning and assessment.

The woman behind the Leading for the Future programme

Vicky Stonehouse, Head of HR. MA Personnel & Development, Chartered CIPD, 20 years within HR.

“I joined ACST in April 2019, and since that time, the world and the business have seen massive changes, and we have had to react and support our teams accordingly.

It was clear to me that our people needed development and consistency of approach across our multiple sites.  I have primarily spent the last 20 years working in Manufacturing and Logistics and have seen the impact that a great programme like this can deliver first hand.  In my role as Head of HR, it’s a great privilege to work with, design and provide such programmes, not only for the business but for the individual participants that could have been in the role for many years without any formal training.

“As a Senior Leadership team, we worked hard to establish our core values and goals, and we wanted to implement those within all levels of the business, and the leadership program was an excellent vehicle for us to do that.

“Having worked with Sissons in the past, I knew the style of delivery and support available, and it was a clear winner for ACST to partner with them. Together, Mary and I and the SLT developed a supportive, challenging programme and will build the business skills for its period of growth whilst also giving many of its employees a chance of further management qualifications through the ILM certification process.

“It’s the early stages of the program right now, but I am incredibly proud of the program already; the support and interaction from the participants are fantastic. Here’s to celebrating completion in the very near future.”

The woman behind Sisson Associates

Mary Sisson, Director of Sisson Associates, is an experienced and highly qualified leadership development coach and trainer – with over 25 years of experience working with a range of clients across Europe.

She has a passion for developing sustainable, excellent leadership practices and encouraging senior leaders to be the best version of themselves.

As a Chartered Fellow of the CMI, Mary was a leading CMI and ILM centre director in the East Midlands for ten years, inspiring her clients to accredit their learning and development programmes and develop their professionalism as leaders, managers and qualified coaches.

As a professional and experienced coach, Mary spends time understanding the required focus of the coaching sessions, getting to know and understanding each unique client to support them on their own personal and professional discovery journey. 

Qualified as a coach to the Post-Graduate level with the University of Chester and Barefoot Coaching Academy, Mary is also a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF).   


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