Engage Academy

A year-long training programme for public engagement professionals.

Applications for the Engage Academy for 2020-21 have now closed.  Thank you for your interest.

Applications for the 2021-22 cohort, starting in May 2021 will be open from December 2020. 

Our dynamic, year-long professional development programme for the public engagement sector, enables you to become more confident in your role, develop a strong and supportive network, and embed high quality engagement in your organisation.

The great range of practical tools the NCCPE team has equipped us with on this academy is something I’ll take with me and use extensively. These range from facilitation techniques to the many different evaluation tools shown to us.” Diogo Gomes, Public Engagement Coordinator for the School of Clinical Medicine and Biological Sciences, University of Cambridge


Apply now

Are you working to foster a culture of engagement in your organisation? Whether you work in a Higher Education Institution or for a charity or public sector organisation the Engage Academy is for you if your role primarily involves supporting others to engage.

Over the course of a year the programme supports participants to develop a strategic approach to engagement for their organisation. We look at high-quality practice for enabling engagement, embedding it, rewarding it, and evaluating it. Curated by NCCPE, with innovative and inspiring examples from sector leaders, the Engage Academy includes expert-led workshops, peer support, mentorship, as well as an online space to connect with peers throughout the year.


Covid-19 Update

In these uncertain times, we wanted to reassure you that we are currently committed to holding the Academy this year and to continue to provide the richest learning experience we can offer you. This professional development programme provides an opportunity to build relationships, navigate the current context and problem solve together, and we think this may be a much needed space for public engagement professionals to come together to grow their knowledge, skills and expertise.  

With all of our safety in mind and following current guidance regarding Covid-19 we will definitely hold the first two day session in spring/summer online, using Blackboard Collaborate.  This versatile tool allows us to give you an interesting and engaging learning experience using many formats, from speaker sessions and Q&As to having options to breakout and work in small groups and to share your ideas interactively. We have experience of generating rich learning and networking environments online, and are keen to work with participants in this way.  

We hope that following the first session we may be able to provide face-to-face sessions, if this is considered advisable at the time, but if not we will continue to offer sessions online.  We will support you to engage as fully as possible with the Academy and help you with using the technology and tools that we will use to help you all connect with us and each other.  In light of the climate in which we are operating we have decided to give people more time to make their decisions about the Academy and so the new application deadline will be 5pm on Friday 1st May. 

If you have any further questions please contact Anja Dalton, Engage Academy Coordinator: anja2.dalton@uwe.ac.uk or 0117 328 7061

Course structure

The Engage Academy cohort comes together (in Bristol when face-to-face) for three two-day sessions over the course of a year, exploring the role of purpose, process and people in underpinning good engagement practice. Each session combines presentations from individuals prominent within the engagement, funding and policy communities; practical workshops; and opportunities for peer-supported learning. Delegates take home practical tools to put into practice in their own institution. Mentors with expertise in public engagement strategy, culture change, evaluation, and community engagement are also available to provide one-to-one support.

Read our blog post highlighting the experiences of the 2019/20 cohort

Have a look at the photos below or in our Flickr album to see what the Engage Academy 2019/20 cohort got up to!

Engage Academy 2019/20


19th - 20th May 2020

22nd - 23rd September 2020

26th - 27th January 2021


Academy session 1:Online

Academy sessions 2 & 3: tbc either online or in Bristol

I’ve realised how much fun there is to be had with public engagement, and have been so inspired by the many examples of outside-the-box ideas to get messages across and achieve engagement" Myra Wilkinson, Research and Engagement Officer, University of Winchester



The Academy price of £990 includes; all learning sessions, provision of a Basecamp group during and after the Academy, daytime catering, one evening meal per workshop, two sets of our partnership work toolkits and access to a mentor.

Bookings close on Friday 1st May 2020 and all applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by 15th May.

A 5% discount is available to NCCPE public engagement professionals' network members. If you're not already a member and would like to join, find out more about membership.

We will also have a limited number of bursaries available (25% or 50% discount), for those who would find the costs of attending prohibitive otherwise. We may also be able to offer an instalment option for payment. If you would like to be considered for any of these options (only one option is available per application), please make a case for this on booking.

NB: participants will need to cover their own travel and accommodation costs to attend the Academy. Please note that places at the Academy are by application, and so a space cannot be guaranteed.  We will inform all applicants of the outcome as soon as possible after close of bookings.


  • Enriched understanding of the wider engagement landscape - including the history, national context, and current and future drivers for engagement, such as the impact agenda
  • Enhanced knowledge, skills and confidence
  • Opportunity to develop a working plan to overcome key challenges
  • Access to mentors, a peer support group, and an alumni network

Apply now

For more information please contact Anja Dalton, NCCPE Project Officer and Engage Academy Coordinator: Anja2.Dalton@uwe.ac.uk, 0117 3287061