IPS Grow Lead (London)

Salary: £46,200
Location: Mixture of remote and onsite working
Closing date: 24 June 2024 

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We are seeking an experienced IPS professional with recent IPS team leadership experience at a Team Leader, Senior Employment Specialist or Service Manager level to cover the London region. The role will have a focus on working with regional and national stakeholder to support the national expansion of evidence-based employment provision within health systems. This will require the post holder to lead by example helping services translate research into on the ground practice, with a focus on quality and good performance. 

IPS Grow is a national programme designed to support the expansion of Individual Placement and Support (IPS) services in mental health, primary care, and drug and alcohol teams across England. The programme is led by Social Finance in partnership with the Centre for Mental Health. It is funded by NHS England and Improvement (NHSE/I), the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID).

A core element of the programme is the expert assistance provided by a team of IPS professionals, known as IPS Grow Leads, to support providers to improve their fidelity to the IPS model and achieve better employment outcomes for their clients.

Key responsibilities

The key requirements of the role are: 

Leading by example — providing effective IPS technical support to drive evidenced based employment practice and increased job outcomes.

  • Assessing organisational readiness to implement IPS by understanding the needs of all stakeholders.
  • Meeting with IPS services, clients and health service leaders to review how services are delivered.
  • Provide feedback on organisational practices and organisational structures and make recommendations to help services prepare for IPS implementation, or support organisations to transform practice to IPS if other approaches are in place.
  • Work alongside IPS teams to model new skills and help solve problems. This will include coaching IPS specialists / Team Leaders as they meet with employers; attending vocational unit meetings or clinical/​treatment team meetings; and conducting case reviews.
  • Make regular virtual and in person visits to services to support them to achieve good fidelity using the IPS fidelity scale.
  • Mentor IPS Team Leaders in their role of supervising IPS specialists.
  • Educate stakeholders about IPS and recovery through on-the-groundwork and training.
  • Join local IPS steering committees where needed, and capacity allows.

Driving performance in partnership with stakeholders

  • Put in place effective communication with the NHS England & Improvement Regional Leads, OHID, DWP Regional Engagement Leads, and local commissioners to support performance for each IPS service/​NHS Trust.
  • Build effective relationships with the above stakeholders to ensure that KPIs, targets and resources are aligned to NHS Long Term Plan commitments, Drug Strategy policy, and the Universal Support employment programme.
  • Work with services and stakeholder to improve the integrity of data reported to national systems.
  • Create accurate and timely reports including evidencing the impact of our work as required by internal and national stakeholders. This will include producing case studies to demonstrate impact.

Delivering fidelity reviews in line with national policy to drive quality and inform technical support practice.

  • Lead on IPS fidelity reviews with a second reviewer, participate in consensus scoring, and organise follow up guided reviews in line with the policy.
  • Produce impactful and accurate fidelity reports within an agreed timescale.
  • Ensure that active measurable fidelity action plans are put in place and monitored regularly.
  • Encourage services to carry out their own self-assessment.
  • Identify system barriers to IPS delivery, including services or practices that conflict with the evidence-based approach. Work with NHSE/I Regional teams, OHID, DWP, commissioners, and IPS and health service leaders to overcome barriers.

Skills and experience


We are looking for candidates with experience of leading IPS teams as a Team Leader, Senior Employment Specialist, or Service Manager and driving these teams towards high fidelity and high-performance delivery. Candidates should also have a passionate belief in evidenced-based employment practice.


You will have experience of providing on-site modelling of IPS practice – although full training will be provided. You will ideally have managed virtual IPS teams, provided field mentoring to model good practice, and be experienced in reporting to senior staff and/​or commissioners. Ideally, you will have experience working closely with NHS, Local Authority, and other stakeholders at operational and strategic levels. Ideally, you have worked on large, fast-paced projects with a mix of strategic and operational responsibilities.

You will be passionate about changing people’s lives for the better but with a strong business sense and motivation to support effective operational delivery. Successful candidates will be able to demonstrate:

  • Shared values: We have a passionate belief that helping people to achieve appropriate employment can transform their lives. We hope you will share this, as well as our other core values.
  • Ability to deliver tangible results in an IPS service environment: You should have experience of leading in an IPS service and demonstrated an ability to drive tangible improvements in operational outcomes with a strong focus on performance management. You should have a deep understanding of the IPS approach and how it applies in practice. You should be familiar with the IPS evidence base and be able to talk convincingly about the benefits of IPS to different types of stakeholders. You should have a deep understanding of the challenges of implementing IPS in practice and a track record of implementing successful strategies to overcome them; this will include modelling the practice with staff by offering field mentoring, training, and coaching.
  • A track record of change management, improving quality and performance within the IPS context.
  • The ability to influence others: You will not directly manage services so your success will depend on the strength of your relationships with IPS providers, NHS Trusts, commissioners, OHID, DWP, and other local stakeholders. 
  • IPS Technical knowledge and leading by example: helping services translate research into on the ground practice. This will involve providing on-site technical support to drive quality and increased job outcomes e.g. field mentoring, workshops, coaching and case reviews to demonstrate practice.
  • Training experience: ideally you will have experience of delivering workshops and providing on the job training.
  • A thirst for learning and self-development and sharing that learning with services and stakeholders: This will include capturing and sharing learning – in written form, developing tools/​guides and training.
  • Strategic planning and organisational skills: You will be able to manage your own workload, and able to deal with multiple and competing priorities using analytical skills to prioritise and meet deadlines (internal and external).
  • Teamwork: You will be able to work effectively in a remote large, cross-functional team. 
  • Problem solving skills: You will take a structured approach to solving problems and will have a high tolerance for ambiguity. You will be able to respond and adapt to the complexities within a rapidly changing landscape and develop creative and innovative solutions to overcome challenges.
  • Creativity and the ability to self-manage: You will be able to demonstrate an ability to deliver results working with limited supervision, ideally in a remote working / virtual team environment. You will have strong communication skills and an ability to use a range of standard tools (such as Microsoft SharePoint, Zoom) to support virtual team working.
  • Motivated to have impact / self-starter: You will be able to demonstrate high levels of initiative and personal leadership. You will be committed to your own development, including keeping up to date with IPS and leadership practice. You will be continually curious and open to learning.
  • Evidencing your work: You can provide timely reports and case studies to evidence your work and impact.
  • Commitment to travel: The role will likely involve significant travel to build relationships and provide hands-on support as well as meeting with IPS Grow team members from across England.

Working at Social Finance

The fixed salary for this position is £46,200 per annum.

Working for a mission driven organisation is more than just what we pay though, it’s about our culture, our approach and what else we offer. Read more about working at Social Finance. 

Equity, diversity and inclusion

We actively encourage applications from under-represented and minoritised groups, including those with lived experience of the social issues we are working to address. We are an equal opportunities employer and support a range of flexible working options.

How to apply

Social Finance are using Applied, a platform developed by the Behavioural Insights Team, to record your application. Applied uses behavioural and data science to improve hiring decisions and minimise unconscious bias in the recruitment process.

You will be asked to respond to situational based questions which will allow you to express your ability. Your answer to each question will be viewed in isolation. Please therefore ensure there is enough detail in that single response, without any references to your other responses. 

NB: While we are asking for your CV, please note that we will not be viewing your CV during the initial sift process. The selection panel will not have access to your CV, so it is therefore essential that you respond to each question fully.

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