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Shaping the future organisational design for NICE

SCW has supported the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to deliver phase 1 of their Organisational Design programme. We worked closely with the NICE Executive Team to explore a range of organisational design options, the advantages and disadvantages of each, the extent of change and NICE’s fitness-for-the-future ambitions. 

NICE was seeking support from a partner to review and produce options for its future organisational design that would support the organisation to achieve its strategic goals as set out in its Strategic Plan for 2021-2026. SCW was the successful partner to deliver this support.


NICE has been successfully providing a valued range of services to health and care organisations within the NHS in England for more than 20 years. Following initial development work on its strategic plan for 2021, alongside the changing landscape of health and care in England, and challenges resulting from both the EU exit and the COVID-19 pandemic, NICE recognised a need to review its organisational design to optimise its ability to deliver its strategic goals. Therefore, NICE sought support from a partner with experience and expertise in organisational design to undertake diagnostic reviews and pieces of wider research with the aim of producing a final report with options for its future organisational design, to shape itself as a fit-for-future organisation. 

Following a successful tender process, SCW was appointed as the preferred partner to work with NICE to undertake the review and produce options for its future organisational design. 


SCW adopted a systematic and holistic approach that involved aligning and fitting together all parts of the NICE organisation to achieve its strategic intent using the model below.  SCW’s project team for this programme took a programmatic approach to the delivery of this piece of work, with structured phases of activity, high levels of engagement with senior leaders and broader engagement with staff at all levels of the organisation, and benchmarking conversations with a range of external organisations. This extensive body of qualitative information formed the discovery phase of work. 

Following the discovery activities, SCW was then able to move forward into the definition phase of the programme. The programme team worked alongside Executive Directors and Board members to define the key design criteria that were imperative to NICE to deliver its Strategic Plan. Using these criteria, we were then able to prepare options for a future organisational design. 

We worked closely with NICE Executive Team in the delivery phase of the design programme, to explore a range of organisational design options, the advantages and disadvantages of each, the extent of change and NICE’s fitness for the future ambitions, before preparing a final report of options and recommendations. We presented this report to the Chief Executive, Executive Team members, the Chair and Board members. The depth and breadth of its content was warmly welcomed and acknowledged as a comprehensive programme of work to help inform decision making for the future organisational design of NICE. 


SCW delivered a series of outputs to support decision making on the future organisational design of NICE. These included:

  • A high-level report of the current organisational design in context of the new Strategic Plan aims and objectives
  • A benchmarking analysis including international organisations, reviewing best practice in relation to a variety of organisation design elements including processes, culture, leadership and customer orientation
  • A set of options for building on NICE’s organisation design, to support the delivery of NICE’s strategic plan and to help ‘future proof’ the organisation, without destabilising delivery of key products and services
  • A high-level impact assessment – of the potential risks, dependencies, considerations and impacts of implementing the recommendations identified including the potential impact on Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Partner/Customer feedback 

Following successful completion of the project to review and produce options for NICE organisational design in March 2021, NICE engaged the SCW programme team to support phase 2 the implementation of the Organisational Design programme. The first 9-month phase of implementation of the selected model commenced in April 2021. 

For more information contact Catherine Thomas, Organisational Development Programme Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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