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The Open University's Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership provides learning opportunities and resources to help you develop and strengthen your leadership practice in the voluntary sector.

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Developing leadership practice in voluntary organisations

This course helps people working in voluntary organisations to develop energetic, practical and thoughtful leadership practice. 

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Collaborative leadership in voluntary organisations

This course will help you to reflect on and develop collaborative leadership practices that will make a difference.

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The OU and Volunteer Scotland present: Involving volunteers

This course is about the essential things you need to consider to ensure a positive experience for individuals engaging in volunteering.

Leadership Pathway

If you have started exploring our free courses and are unsure where to go next for further study, take a look at this short Leadership Pathway document to guide you through further free leadership courses.

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Learning independently: CVSL online courses

CVSL’s two online leadership courses are informed by research and contemporary leadership ideas to offer a fresh take on leadership.  The courses are free and open access to provide leadership development for all. We have also worked with partners to create further free learning and can signpost you to other free leadership and management courses on the OpenLearn platform.

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Learning with others: Leadership Learning Clubs

Sharing your learning journey with others in a Leadership Learning Club can extend your online learning and provide a supportive environment for study.  Built around the online courses, CVSL designs and delivers bespoke leadership development experiences for groups of learners. CVSL colleagues can also support you to develop your own version of a Leadership Learning Club in your organisation or community.

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Lifelong Learning: Your leadership journey

Here at CVSL we believe that developing leadership practice is a journey rather than an event.  To support you on that journey, we host webinars, workshops and conferences, provide resources and courses, and facilitate learning opportunities.  You may also be interested in exploring the OU’s flexible qualifications, including the BA (Hons) Business Management (Leadership Practice) and the MBA.

Contact the team for more information

What is it like to study a CVSL course?

Jonathan Ellis, Project Director for Detention Forum and National Chair of City of Sanctuary UK, shares his experience of engaging with online courses developed by the Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership.

What is a Learning Club?

The following extract features Louise Ennis, formerly Hubs Development Manager at Community First Yorkshire and Dr Catherine Oakley, Executive Director at The Rowntree Society. In this video, they describe what a Learning Club is.

Why is collaboration important?

Louise and Catherine's conversation continues in the following videos as they discuss the benefits of collaboration.