Management and leadership courses

If you’re keen to develop your people management skills, improve your professional standing or are taking your first steps into management, we have courses for you.

The demand for new farm and horticultural managers is increasing, to cater for an ageing workforce. AHDB runs two Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) accredited courses, to help new and aspiring managers and supervisors to develop their skills: the 14-month Professional Manager Development Scheme (PMDS) and four-day Effective Manager Programme

We also offer the AgriLeader programme for those leading farms and businesses to develop the skills they need to push their business to the next level. This initiative includes a yearly conference, online training events and social networking.

Effective Farm Manager Programme

This four-day course is designed for members of staff aiming to develop abilities and seeking to move into the next level of management. It's also useful for managers who have not previously received any formal training.

As a result of this course, participants will:

  • Improve their confidence
  • Develop better relationships through effective communication
  • Gain new skills that will be transferable across the business
  • Use the skills in their team more effectively
  • Achieve an ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management

What's in it for me?

This course is designed to create results for the individual:

  • Gain a range of key management skills
  • Build a foundation of leadership capabilities
  • Further develop confidence in motivating and engaging team members
  • Provide a base level of training, enabling people to progress to the Professional Manager Development Scheme (PMDS)

This course is relevant to people who:

  • Have some supervisory/management responsibility but also carry out daily tasks
  • Make decisions that have some resource implications, i.e. require additional staff or some budget
  • Are involved in the supervision/management of other people (e.g. be involved in, but not make decisions on recruitment or disciplinary matters)
  • Operate with a degree of independence
  • Plan work several days or weeks ahead

This course will be running digitally from February - April 2021. We are accepting applications until Friday 29 January 2021.

Download more details about the Effective Farm Manager Programme

A discounted rate of £200 +VAT is available for owners and employees of an AHDB levy-paying business. This includes registration, accommodation for the first session, tutor, refreshments during the day and ILM accreditation fees. Non-levy payers are allowed to apply but will be required to pay the full cost of the course – £550 +VAT. Invoices will be sent, once attendance on the course has been approved and confirmed.

Places are strictly limited to a maximum of 12 people. To ensure the right person undertakes the training, potential delegates will be required to complete an expression of interest form. Following this screening, places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please note a maximum of three people per company can attend the same course. There is no prerequisite in terms of qualifications to take part in the programme, but applicants must be able to complete reports and commit to attending all training sessions. Fees will be charged in full and are not refundable for failure to attend the full course.  


PMDS has been designed to support managers and owners in implementing positive change in their businesses, through a combination of management training sessions, work-based projects and networking opportunities. Delegates are challenged at every step by ten unique sessions running over a 14-month period.  It has three key objectives; to increase:

  • Productivity, by using people (employed and external) more effectively
  • Level of communication and people skills
  • Confidence in dealing with difficult situations and problem-solving

If you work in agriculture, you can apply for a place on this course. It is open to everyone and will be of particular interest if you’ve been promoted into a management role or have been given new staff responsibilities.  

What’s in it for me?

  • You will receive a formal qualification – an ILM Level 3 Certificate in Leadership and Management
  • It will help you grow as a person, developing your management skills and abilities
  • It could help you reduce business costs and save money
  • You will learn how to communicate more effectively with your staff and colleagues
  • It will help you determine priorities within your business and show you how to focus your energies on the things that will make a difference

Previous delegates on the PMDS scheme have seen wide-ranging benefits from attending. These include improved:

  • Production, efficiency and subsequent reduced costs of production
  • Time management, allowing them more time to concentrate on their own job
  • Communication between staff, contractors and external people

The application window for 2019/20 has now closed. If you would like to register your interest in future courses, please email

Read a case study from a previous PMDS delegate


Owners and employees of businesses paying the AHDB levy are eligible for discount to attend the PMDS course. Courses will cost approximately £1,000 +VAT and will include registration, tutor and hotel fees. Non-levy payers can apply but will be subject to the full cost of £4,500 +VAT. All applicants must have the full support of their employer to attend.

Places on this course are allocated via a two-stage selection process. There is no prerequisite in terms of qualifications to take part in the programme, but applicants must be able to demonstrate how they have used previous training and must be able to complete reports and commit to attending all training sessions. Fees will be charged in full and are not refundable for failure to attend the full course.