System Dynamics Modelling

An Analytics Applied Learning Programme

  • Dates to follow (2024/25)

System Dynamics Modelling

System dynamics is an established and powerful technique that models the behaviour of complex and interconnected systems over time.  It’s been around since 1961, but its use in complex health and care systems has been limited.

This programme aims to widen the use and capability of this modelling technique by providing analysts with the skills required to develop system dynamics models that can provide insight and improve decision-making. This is an exciting opportunity for analysts to learn new skills and have the support, over 6 months, of subject experts.

What you will learn

The programme will be a mixture of knowledge building, developing your skills in building SD models using Stella Architect, and project support as you work on a project idea for your own organisation. The early stage of the programme will focus on learning about modelling using system dynamics, then as the programme progresses the balance will shift and more time will be given for you to apply this learning to your own project.

The learning sessions will be delivered by Douglas McKelvie, a leading system dynamics modeller, and supplemented by talks from external speakers. Project support will be provided by Douglas and simulation modellers Stacey Croft and Sally Thompson from the Strategy Unit.

There will also be sessions on complementary related topics to aid with project support e.g. problem structuring, project planning and management, facilitating participative model building workshops, model validation and interface design principles.

See a recent Midlands Analyst Network Huddle which gives an introduction to system dynamics (Douglas McKelvie) and also an overview of this training (Stacey Croft).

Midlands Analyst Network Huddle – 14/07/22  – Using system dynamics to gain insight into domiciliary care and launch of new system dynamics training programme


Who is it for?

The programme is aimed at analysts within health and care in the Midlands who are interested in using system dynamics to map and understand aspects of the health and care system.  Analysts don’t need any prior knowledge of systems dynamics.

Taking part in this programme will be a considerable commitment, both for the organisations/Integrated Care Systems and the individual participants. In order to give each project the best chance of success we are asking for the Intelligence Function Lead of ICSs, or their equivalent in other organisations, to nominate analysts and propose the issue or problem to be modelled.

The Demand and Capacity programme and The Integrated Urgent Emergency Care (iUEC) Programme at NHS E/I are testing strategic demand and capacity modelling for Urgent and Emergency Care Services (UEC) using a System Dynamics approach for NHS ICSs. As part of this we are able to offer enhanced support for up to 3 ICSs taking part, but the programme is open to all organisations working in health and care in the Midlands.

For more information on the programme please see the flyer below. The programme will start on the afternoon of Thursday 8th September, and all subsequent sessions will also be held on Thursday afternoons, between 13;00 and 16;30. Participants are asked to block these dates out in their calendars (more detailed timings will be shared with participants once the programme has been finalised).

For more information on the programme please see the  System Dynamics Applied Learning Programme flyer System Dynamics Applied Learning Programme flyer

Your trainers

  • Douglas McKelvie, a leading system dynamics modeller, supplemented by talks from external speakers.

Project support will be provided by

Duration and start date

  • 22 half days
  • 20-30 days
  • presenting  learning and project outcomes 


  • To follow (2024/25)


  • Online

Applications for the 2023 Programme will be invited shortly.

If you have any questions about this programme please contact: or



For more information about this course, please contact: or