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Target Operating Model Development


The Context

In 2020 the Nursing and Midwifery Council published a new strategy that fundamentally changed how the organisation needed to function. The vision was for a ‘safe, effective and kind nursing and midwifery practice, improving everyone’s health and well-being’. The strategy clearly clarified its primary functions. The organisation’s core role is to regulate; to regulate well, they made the commitment to support professions and the public; regulating and supporting our professions would allow them to influence health and social care delivery.


The NMC’s previous iteration of the Target Operating Model, written in 2018, was now outdated. The Council had already begun to change its approach to delivery, by initiating an organisational restructure, to better deliver the new strategy; however, to help the organisation re-set how it regulates, supports and influences, the NMC needed a new Target Operating Model.

The Requirement

Human Engine were engaged to work with the Nursing and Midwifery Council to develop a new Target Operating Model. We worked with the NMC, focussing on the following deliverables:


  • An organisational blueprint for delivery which sets out the main principles about how the organisation will deliver its strategy and the implications for change

  • A target operating model which reflects the delivery blueprint and which highlights the key organisation design principles

  • A high-level delivery plan for the implementation of the above, including the key activities and decision making that would be required to move the organisation from current state to future state


The Programme

Our team led a range of engagement and development methods to engage, co-design, refine and deliver the TOM. Working with the NMC, we followed the following process:


Data Gathering and Fact-finding – We conducted over 25 hours of 1:1 stakeholder interviews, reviewed key organisational policy and strategy documentation and analysed organisationally critical datasets

Design Principles and Approach – Co-produced and agreed on a set of organisational design principles that helped guide the programme team when making important decisions. The design principles guided us towards the sort of Target Operating Model we needed to create

Operating Canvas – We used an operating canvas approach to cover all the key aspects of the TOM.  This built on the strategy and organisational restructure work already underway

TOM Development: We lead 24 hours of workshop activity across 4 working groups, and using online collaboration boards to gather additional colleague engagement, before we drafted the TOM, building on the TOM components identified in the Operating Canvas

Review and Approve – We lead a series of additional workshops and follow-ups with subject matter experts to refine the TOM, before it was shared and approved with the Executive Group

The Outcomes

The Target Operating Model, and supporting Implementation Plan, provided the building blocks for the NMC to deliver their current strategy, which expires in 3 years, but also provides the foundations for the organisation to transform and deliver against its new Regulatory Redesign requirements.

  • The Target Operating Model bridged the gap between strategy and delivery, configuring the organisation’s resources and ways of working in a way to best support the delivery of the strategy


  • The TOM was structured into two delivery phases:

    • The first was making the NMC function better across the same size and shape of organisation

    • The second will change the shape of the organisation; growing it’s influencing function, and reducing it’s regulation capacity​


  • For NMC Strategy, the TOM provided the framework for leaders to be more comfortable interpreting high level outcomes and translating these into clear, measurable actions

  • For NMC Governance, the TOM provided the blueprint for a new Accountabilities Framework

  • For Internal Communications, there is a roadmap a towards creating a Centre of Excellence

  • For Customer Access, a new model to better manage demand was created for Registrants, there is a programme of work to improve registrant experiences

  • For data management, the TOM provided a maturity model and development pathway for better data management and insight

  • For talent management, there is now an environment to create a feedback culture and a blueprint for a career roadmap throughout the organisation

  • For employer brand, we developed a shared vision that meant the NMC is recognised as a great place to work, including external recognition

About Us

Human Engine is a Financial Times top-ranked management consultancy with specialisms in strategy, change, digital, commercial and projects.  

It was founded in 2018 with a belief that the public sector deserves better than it gets from traditional consulting firms – more human, more personal and more knowledgeable of the reality of delivering modern public services.

We have worked with dozens of public sector organisations to help transform their strategies, operations and cultures to be more agile, commercial and entrepreneurial in order to achieve financial sustainability and improved outcomes for customers and communities. 

Our mission is to help individuals and organisations to do the best work of their lives.  We do this by blending first-hand experience of the problems we help our clients solve with award-winning consulting expertise and an approach based on trust, collaboration and partnership. 

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