T Levels: A groundbreaking citywide collaboration

T Level Resource Improvement Projects (TRIPs) are provider-led, action research projects. Through TRIPs, providers identify a problem which would benefit from further investigation and develop proposals for collaborative project delivery. In this blog post, we speak to Robert Cranmer, Project Manager for the Health T Level at Leeds City College, and Helen Thurston, Development Officer at the Leeds Health and Care Academy, about Leeds’s collaborative approach to T Level delivery via the TRIP.


TRIPs are all about developing a citywide approach to the implementation of the Health T Level in Leeds. By ensuring that employers from across the Leeds Health and Care sector are involved from the beginning, we’re making the delivery of T Levels a truly inclusive and collaborative project, as the qualification is implemented in partnership across the city, which makes what we’re doing in Leeds really unique. Both participating colleges (Leeds City College and Notre Dame 6th Form College) will be timetabling T Levels at exactly the same time, so both colleges can be taught together and industry representatives can interact with students at both colleges in a single session.

Hopes and plans

Bringing together the expertise of clinical and educational practitioners is a challenge. However, to ensure the success of the Health T Level, it is essential that this happens. By doing so, we will ensure that the Health T Level is integrated into citywide pathways to health and care careers, and that the T Level is viewed as a high-quality programme that’s truly valued across the city of Leeds.

Activity so far

An active and effective partnership of both education providers and health and care providers has been established by working with the Leeds Health and Care Academy. This is a sustainable partnership which has already been able to achieve so much more than it would have if the providers were working individually. By pooling time, resources and key expertise, we have been able to create a unique and successful platform for the Health T Levels in Leeds.

Key achievements so far include:

  • Raising awareness and understanding of the Health T Level across the city with health and care providers.

  • Generating agreement across education providers on recruitment and enrolment strategies for the Health T Level. Activities will include input from health and care employers at student engagement days, plus a summer school.

  • Developing jointly agreed marketing strategies for the Health T Level, which includes the creation of engaging video content from Chief Executive Officers from a range of health and care providers across the city.

  • Reaching citywide agreement on the implementation of the Health T Level industry placement, including a confirmed delivery model and high-level agreement on under 18s undertaking placements.

  • Developing a curriculum resource mapping document, as well as individual curriculum resources that have clinical expertise input, to ensure that they’re relevant and reflect up-to-date practice within the health and care sector.

Excellent progress has already been made with securing placements, and we look forward to developing this further over the next few months.

Lessons so far

Developing a completely unique way of working will always have its challenges, as you’re navigating a new landscape. We’re really pleased by how engaged and positive both our health and education partners have been during the development of the T Level and its implementation across Leeds, however a couple of lessons that we’ve learned along the way are as follows:

  • The importance of generating buy-in at a senior level. It’s important to engage with representatives from key organisations within the steering group, who can influence citywide decisions and communicate the T Level activity with their teams and colleagues.

  • As this is a new way of working, it’s important to develop working groups with clearly defined roles, to ensure that project activities are completed efficiently, and that there’s total clarity in the responsibilities and deliverables attributed to each person working on the project.

What’s to come?

Now that plans are in place for the industry placement, the project is developing a ‘work-readiness curriculum’ to ensure that students are fully prepared to get the most out of their industry placement. This work-readiness curriculum will include health and care employers working with students across the education providers throughout the first year of their T Level programme, before they commence their placement towards the end of the year/beginning of the second year.

There will also be further work on jointly developed curriculum resources to ensure that the delivery of the Health T level across the city is high quality and reflective of current practices and processes within the health and care sector.

More about the contributors:

Robert Cranmer headshot   Robert Cranmer is Project Manager for the Health T Levels. He works very closely with the Leeds Health and Care Academy, Leeds City College and Notre Dame 6th Form College to develop curriculum resources with a clear focus on clinical knowledge using his experience in community nursing, primary care nursing and working with the development of apprenticeship students. This ensures that T Level delivery is as effective and relevant as possible, to maximise student learning. He also works with the employers in readiness for the industry placements
Helen Thurston headshot   Helen Thurston is Development Officer for the Leeds Health and Care Academy. She works very closely with Leeds City College and Notre Dame 6th Form College, along with employers from the Health and Care sector within Leeds, to ensure that they are aware of, and on-board with, the T Level journey, helping them to find participating students and provide high quality and meaningful industry placements.


For more information, visit our TRIPs page.

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