Clinical Leader Professional Certificate

Certificate Overview

The Clinical Leader Professional Certificate is designed to help emerging and current leaders navigate complexity and create a supportive and productive organizational culture, through formal leadership skills such as communication, empathy, mentorship and motivational skills.

Equip yourself or your organizational leaders with valuable “T-shaped skills” – Broad, cross-disciplinary skills that intersect with specialized depth of expertise.


Now in its 10th year, this robust 8-day leadership program has been developed by an internationally recognized faculty, including industry experts and professors currently teaching at the Faculty of Health and the MBA program at the Schulich School of Business at York University, and the School of Nursing at Queen's University.

This course offers unique and applied learning experience including a workplace-based action learning project and role play simulations with actors.

How You Will Benefit:

  • Practical and applied learning that relates directly  to your working context through a workplace-based action learning project and mentoring
  • Gain new leadership skills and reinforce skills through roleplay simulation with patient actors
  • Learn how to become an inclusive, responsive, and inspirational leader within collaborative care and inter-professional teams
  • Access and apply The Complexity Framework™ - an evidence-based framework for best practices in health care leadership
  • Receive a professional certificate can be displayed on your LinkedIn profile and digital pages to represent your new skills and competencies

What You Will Learn:

By the end of the course, you will be able to

  • Manage day-to-day clinical operations for continuous quality improvement
  • Enhance collaborative care and working relationships within an inter-professional team environment
  • Communicate effectively to manage diverse, multidisciplinary teams, and external stakeholders
  • Balance competing priorities of clinical outcomes and business/organizational goals
  • Clarify success and relevant “metrics and measures” to address a real issue

The program aims to upskill participants with key career development skills to help them expand or assume a new leadership role. This course will focus on building your personal leadership style to open up the possibility of assuming a variety of leadership roles.

Who Should Take This Course:

Participants are formal and informal, emerging or experienced leaders at all levels in acute care, front-line hospital service organizations, long term care, social services, non-profits, family health teams and more. This includes:

  • New and aspiring health professionals who are looking to take the next step in their career. This includes directors, managers, administrators, front-line clinicians, and other healthcare professionals across the health care, social services, and the non-profit sector
  • Experienced healthcare leaders who would like to refresh their approach and update formal knowledge
  • Individual providing collaborative care within diverse, inter-professional or multi-disciplinary teams

Professional Certificate

You will earn a professional certificate and a certificate of completion from York University upon successful completion of this course and the action learning project.

professional certificate highlights a skill group related to an area of professional expertise. Professional certificates awarded by the Health Leadership and Learning Network do not include any academic credits and cannot be applied towards a degree program. Upon completion of this course, you will receiving your professional certificate as a digital badge*.

Program Content

Course Outline

DAY 1 -

  • Course overview and readiness to learn
  • Introduction to clinical leadership and complexity
  • Introduction to the Action Learning Project
DAY 2 -

  • Introduction to The Complexity Framework™: an evidence-based framework for best practices in health care leadership
  • Leading change using a complexity lens
  • Crisis/conflict resolution and response strategies
DAY 3 -

  • Quality improvement management model
  • Overview of key clinical leadership skills and models such as reflective listening, continuous clinical improvement
  • Monitor and improve employee engagement and workplace performance
DAY 4 -
  • Increase influence and persuasion
  • Understand how people think, respond, and make decisions
DAY 5 -
  • Create better work environments through collaboration, healthy dialogue and debate, relationship building
  • Stakeholder relations: conflict, coaching and improvement
DAY 6 -
  • Understanding systems including constraints and contradictions, and what is non-negotiable
  • The role of policy and culture
  • Understanding and using measurement
DAY 7 -
  • Live roleplay with actors
  • Facilitated simulation based on learning outcomes from previous modules
DAY 8 -
  • Presentation of action learning project

Curriculum and course outline is subject to change without notice at the discretion of York University. Registered students will receive a final course outline



Deborah Tregunno - R.N., PhD

Program Director, Associate Professor - Queens University

Portrait of Deborah Tregunno in a Circle Frame

Deborah Tregunno is Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Queen's University. She holds a PhD (Health Policy, Management and Evaluation) from the University of Toronto, specializing in the field of organizational behaviour and performance measurement.  She completed post-doctoral work in the Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, and is the recipient of a Ministry of Health and Longterm Care (MOHLTC) Senior Nurse Research award (2009-2011). Prior to her academic career, she held a variety of clinical and managerial roles, and developed extensive knowledge and competencies related to the design, management and delivery of health care.

Her program of research focuses on patient safety with a particular interest in the relationship among managerial positions, work environment and the delivery of safe care by nurses and multidisciplinary teams. In specific studies she has explored safety culture, organizational learning and safety failures, non-technical behaviours of obstetrical teams and high risk outcomes using high fidelity simulation, and the experience of internationally educated nurses and the delivery of safe care.

Chris Irwin - Bcomm, MBA

Measure of Success Inc.,  MBA Program - Schulich School of Business

Portrait of Instructor Chris Irwin in a Circle Frame

Chris Irwin is a Principal at Measure of Success Inc., a consultancy that partners with organizations to support, monitor and improve performance by clarifying priorities and aligning activity. He also teaches negotiations and stakeholder management in the MBA program at Schulich School of Business." He brings his insights into collaboration as a trainer and speaker with the Supply Chain Management Association (formerly PMAC) and its provincial institutes. Chris has an MBA (Schulich, 2006) and a BCom (McGill, 1994).

He speaks French and Japanese, and lives in Toronto with his wife, three kids and one pug.
Chris spent the first years of his career living and working in Japan where he was involved in training and development (skills/language/cultural training and curriculum development), as well as in communication (stakeholder management, writing and translating). This included time at the Disney entity that oversees Tokyo Disneyland. He has worked in the not-for-profit environment, as well as in the private sector in sales/business development and as a consultant. His industry experience also spans Media/Publishing, Financial Services, Health Care and Technology.

Louise Hartley - PhD

Director, York University Psychology Clinic

Portrait of Louise Hartley in a Circle Frame

Dr. Louise Hartley is director of York University's Psychology Clinic. She is a registered psychologist and also holds a corporate coaching certificate. Dr. Hartley has expertise in the field of organizational development which includes both individual and team interventions designed to build healthy, engaged work environments. She is a frequent presenter at conferences and is past president of the Employee Assistance Society of North America (EASNA).


Peter Gardiner-Harding

Executive Director/Co-Founder - playsthatwork inc.

Portrait of Instructor Peter Gardiner-Harding in a Circle Frame

Peter is a corporate actor and learning facilitator.  He co-founded playsthatwork inc. in 1989 and produces experiential-based training products which bring the spirit of theatrical discipline to business. As well as taking on such traditional stage roles as actor, director and producer, Mr. Gardiner-Harding's theatrical career in corporate theatre has encompassed a variety of projects including writing and performing scripts and characters used in corporate training activities.

Clients of playsthatwork inc. come from academia, construction, financial services, acute & long-term healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, professional associations, professional governing bodies, trade unions, etc.


Message from the Program Director

A Message From the Program Directors, Deborah Tregunno & Chris Irwin

People who work in health care are motivated from an inner sense that their contributions make a difference to those we serve. The Certificate in Clinical Leadership is about these people, about trust and relationships. Leaders clear the way for people to find and unlock their potential, urging them toward certain actions. Influential leaders continuously explore leading practices and develop new knowledge and skills.

We invite you to examine and enhance your leadership capacity through the Certificate in Clinical Leadership. You will experience the power of a leadership centered culture that values and fosters adaptive decision-making in the context of uncertainty. The program will provoke your thinking about leadership knowledge and practices. You will examine a variety of models of leadership and change, explore complexity and interdependence, autonomy and accountability, and ways of generating high energy responses to change and innovation. You will learn about motivating and inspiring people through your response to basic human needs for achievement, recognition and self esteem.

You will complete this program equipped with new leadership practices as you face greater ambiguity, urgency and uncertainty in today's health care environments.

Are you ready for the challenge? If you think you are, we'd like to work with you. Please consider our invitation today!

Certificate/Digital Badge

You will earn a professional certificate and a certificate of completion from York University upon successful completion of this course and the action learning project.

professional certificate highlights a skill group related to an area of professional expertise. Professional certificates awarded by the Health Leadership and Learning Network do not include any academic credits and cannot be applied towards a degree program. Upon completion of this course, you will receiving your professional certificate as a digital badge*.


Accommodation Information

Schulich Executive Hotel on Campus

• The Executive Learning Centre features:
• 60 executive style guest rooms on 12 floors each with a queen size bed
• Complimentary high speed internet access
• In room coffee/tea maker
• Wheelchair accessible

Call Reservations (416)-650-8300 book on-line: or



Funding Sources

Please note that these funding sources below are listed here for your information only. York University or HLLN does not directly provide this funding or apply for grants.

Nursing Education Initiative

Nurses taking the Certificate in Clinical Leadership may be eligible to receive reimbursement of up to $1500 from the Education Initiative offered through the RNAO. You do NOT have to be an RNAO member to apply for the funding. Please visit the RNAO website, Education Funding, for more details

The Allied Health Professional Development Fund

Allied Health professionals taking the Certificate in Clinical Leadership may be eligible to receive reimbursement of up to $1500 from the Allied Health Professional Development Fund offered through HealthForce Ontario. Please visit the HealthForce Ontario website for more more details

The Canada-Ontario Job Grant

Through the Canada-Ontario Job Grant you may be eligible to receive up to $10,000 in government support per person for training costs.
The Canada-Ontario Job Grant can be used to purchase training for your employees. York University/The Health Leadership & Learning Network is an eligible training provider and the grant can be applied to all of our offerings and for in-house training.
You can apply at any time. Employers can apply for one employee or for a large group of employees.

If you are an employee or employer and would like more information visit:

Please note: Not all employers are eligible to apply, please consult the Canada-Ontario Job Grant website for more details.



“This course provided so much content that will provide me with tools to be a better manager/leader. The format of lecture and group work was great; very nice balance for learning. I also learned new models to manage conflict & topics for communication.”
Bobbie Ivankovic,, RN MN CPMHN, Clinical Manager, Ontario Shores Mental Health Sciences.

“My last five days have been a transformational learning experience. The course met my needs as a busy, front line clinical manager. I needed this information to be effective and successful in my career”
Uchenwa Genus, Manager, Pharmacy Services York Central Hospital

“Lead instructor effectively facilitated a community of learning and a community of supportive colleagues and possibly future collaborators”
Erin Rajca, Early Intervention Manager, Child Development Institute

“Friendly, inter-professional worth continuous course with great facilitators”
Dr. Louay Hussain Alkhamis, Geriatrics, Palliative Care & Medical Education, Riyadh Military Hospital, Saudi Arabia

“I thoroughly enjoy the passion, spirit and expertise of the course instructors. This allowed me to be open and comfortable to learn and profit for my organization and myself so that I can continue to be the best I can be”
Michelle Dupee, Manager Canadian Mental Health Association

“It’s a creative program that implements and reflects leadership. The instructors and speakers have passions of improvement for improving healthcare to the public”
Yan Gao, Executive Director, Don Mills Family Heath Team

"It was an amazing experience. The instructors presented interesting material in ways that allowed me to open my mind and think of different ways to approach situations"
Nancy Smith, Associate Director, Federation Education & Guidance Services



What is clinical leadership and how does it differ from traditional leadership or management?

Clinical leadership focuses on using effective communication to build positive relationships. Instead of a more traditional management or leadership model based on hierarchy and command, clinical leadership is emergent and responsive to the needs of a cross-functional and interdisciplinary workplace.

Does clinical leadership apply to my workplace?

Clinical leadership applies to clinical leads, management, administration, and operations of any health services, health-focused, or social services organization. Our program model can be applied broadly across disciplines and roles, and cross-functionally within the health and social services sectors. At the same time, the course is designed to be relevant and specific to the context of your current workplace.

Who should take this course?

This certificate is open to an interdisciplinary and cross-functional audience of professionals, managers, and leaders within the health, social services, and public health sector.

Do I have to attend all five days? Can I just pick the day and module I want to cover

Yes, all 5 days should be attended. The learning modules may not be instructed in a linear way and attendance of all five days is required in order to capture the overall objectives of the course.

What are the program requirements?

There are no pre-requisites to register for this program

How much does the program cost?

The program cost $2,900 plus HST for the 5-day course

Is there a payment plan?

Yes. Please contact for more information.

Are there program discounts for York Alumni?

Yes. Discounts are available for York Alumni only. Please contact for more information.

Are there any scholarships for this program?

Unfortunately no, as this is a non-degree and non-credit certificate program.

I live outside of the GTA and will be commuting. Are accommodations available?

Yes. Accommodations are available at the Schulich Executive Hotel on Campus. Reservations can be made by phone at (416)-650-8300 or email at