Published: 24/02/2005, Volume II5, No. 5944 Page 1

Welcome to HSJ's annual supplement dedicated to training and development matters. In this publication we will be trying to cover the whole range of policy, practice and people that make up this multi-faceted area.

We begin with what is the central policy issue in education - the strange life and death of the NHSU (see pages 3-7). How did a Labour manifesto pledge run aground so quickly? And what lessons does it hold for its replacement, the NHS Institute for Learning, Skills and Innovation?

Was it the unfair victim of the review of arm's-length bodies or a hopeless case fatally injured by a lack of support from strategic health authorities? Has the dream of greater access to learning at all levels of the NHS workforce been abandoned, deferred or confirmed?

Meanwhile many black and minority ethnic managers know all too much about dreams deferred. On pages 19-21 we examine progress made on increasing diversity of opportunity and ask whether the Breaking Through programme is having an effect. And two BME managers tell their own story of overcoming obstacles to develop their full potential.

Another group who are increasingly making their presence felt are clinical coders (pages 9-13). Once they were the underpaid poor relations of information governance. But in the wild west world created by payment by results, this often overlooked group could be the new sheriffs in town. But how do you train staff for the radical new role?

Other features include developing the potential of non-executive directors on trust boards (pages 27-29), using training to increase the confidence of service users and carers (pages 34-37), using innovative techniques from the worlds of theatre, espionage and eastern mysticism (pages 23-25), and how three managers went from student to teacher and carved out a new career in the process (pages 15-17).

And the special edition of Good Management (pages 34-37) brings together a range of good practice and expert opinion on a diverse range of topics - from the nasty games some managers play to retraining combat technicians.

Finally, HSJ is making its own contribution to development by creating a scholarship for the new postgraduate diploma in clinical management implementation offered by Durham University's School of Health. This is an exciting opportunity for a manager or clinician who wants to engage with the challenges at the heart of healthcare reform. The HSJ scholarship covers all tuition costs for the two-year course.

To find out more both about the course and the scholarship see the article in the Working Lives section of this issue; or call 0191-334 0386 or e-mail CCMDpostgraduate@durham. ac. uk.

The deadline for expressions of interest is 28 March.

.Alexis Nolan is HSJ's features editor. Do you have ideas for contributions in the area of training and development?

Every week HSJ's Working Lives section brings together useful, thoughtprovoking and entertaining articles on this and other subjects. If you want to get involved e-mail hsjworkinglives@emap. com