Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module HEAS40330: Principles of Clinical Governance and Performance Management

Department: Health [Queen's Campus, Stockton]

HEAS40330: Principles of Clinical Governance and Performance Management

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2007/08
Tied to B9K112 &B9K109


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • This module is designed as a Level 4 module and is the first in the proposed suite of Clinical Management programmes. In general terms the aim of the module is to introduce the fundamental cocepts and principles required for both understanding the complex task of clinical management and for undertaking this task in the highly politicised environment of NHS organisations.


  • The Module opens with an examination of health policy initiatives in various health care systems that are directed at encouraging clinicians to take more direct responsibility for managing the clinical, organisational and resource dimensions of clinical work. The recent paradigm shift in public sector governance (from administration to management) underpinning these inititiatives will be considered.
  • The general principles of governance, accountability and performance management will be examined. The implications of these for the governance of professions and clinical work at societal, organisational and clinical unit level will be considered in the light of the intrinsic political activity of the arena model of organisation. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the strategies, policies and structures for extending accountability within healthcare in the UK (such as NICE, CH (A)I, the GMC and others), organisational accountability structures for clinical performance, and performance targeting.
  • In critically appraising different approaches to extending clinical accountability, students will consider their impact upon clinical effectiveness, quality, service integration and value for money in service design and delivery. They will consider in detail the structures and processes that are recommended for instituting clinical governance at level of individual clinical units and will assess to the extent to which these provide clinicians with both the incentives and the means for taking the lead in implementing and conducting clinical performance management within their work place.
  • They will reflect on their own work experience in clinical and managerial settings in light of research findings in various literatures including governance, public administration and management, labour process theory, the sociology of clinical practice, the sociology of professions in health and organisation change.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • on completion of this Module students will have gained an understanding of:
  • the social, economic, organisational, informational and political contexts of health service organisations;
  • the way the role of clinicians in health care delivery is being affected by changes in these contexts;
  • principles of governance, accountability and clinical performance management;
  • policies, structures and practices relating to accountability for clinical work in the UK and other health systems;
  • the social, political and interpersonal dimensions of introducing change in clinical settings;
  • professional, ethical, personal and interpersonal issues that arise for clinicians who extend their involvement in managing the clinical, resource and organisational dimensions of care.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • the students will have demonstrated skills in:
  • critically assessing the extent to which the structures and processes associated with clinical governance are consistent with other policy initiatives;
  • analysing the profession-based culture change issues that are likely to arise in implementing clinical governance and performance management strategies within a clinical setting and its organisational context;
  • devising strategies for addressing these.
Key Skills:

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • See Appendix 1 of the Programme Specification for details.
  • In general terms, teaching, learning and assessment content focuses on understanding the concepts and principles that underpin clinical management; placing these in a policy context and thinking analytically about how these apply to a particular work setting. Lectures and individual study provide the main means for communicating key concepts, written work provides the means for marshalling arguments and presenting them in a sound and convincing fashion. This process also teaches the student to clarify their thinking in order to present ideas clearly to others.
  • The role-plays and case studies the student will undertake provide means for students to 'put themselves in another's shoes' and thus engage with these principles at an emotive, other-person perspective as well as the purely intellectual level. It teaches the reflexivity needed by a clinical manager to engage with people of different persuasuions and backgrounds in their workplace. These lessons will be assessed via the students' written reflections.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 12 lectures Spread over residential 1.5 hours 18
Tutorials 4 Spread over residential 1.5 hours 6
Seminars 1 One day (Broken into 4 x 1.5 hours) 6 hours 6
Supervised Group Work including case studies and role plays. 4 Spread over residential 2 8
Preparation and Reading Time 262
Total: 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 1500 words 100%
Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2000 words 100%
Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 4000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

See Programme Specification Section 2.1 for details.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University