Digital Twin Hub > Articles & Publications > Launching the Digital Twins for Senior Leaders course

News about senior leaders’ training in digital twin capabilities.

An important part of our work at the DT Hub, through our governance and operations teams, is to get involved with the community, find out its needs and drive forward projects like the Gemini skills programme that will help make a difference. The Gemini activity is a good example of how we link with DT Hub working groups to realise change.

As a quick recap, the Gemini initiative is being developed by the DT Hub and the community to address the skills gap as a barrier to digital twin adoption.

But how do we know there is a skills gap?

We hear that it is a challenge faced by all industries and at different levels, with the strongest evidence noted in the government response to its Cyber-Physical Infrastructure Consultation in 2022. It reads:

‘Skills was highlighted as a critical enabler across the breadth of technical and non-technical. From data engineers, software and hardware developers, systems architects and security experts, to organisational change, legal, procurement, and cross-domain skills, there was recognition of both the existing and growing needs.’

Not only do we have this, but we also have a directive. The response highlights the convening power of the DT Hub to help advance the cross-sector vision for connected digital twins in its section on Frameworks, guidance and standardisation, and identifies Skills as a critical enabler, using the Cranfield Digital and Technology Solutions MSc as its case study.

This summer, the DT Hub formalised a partnership with Cranfield University, and, building out from Cranfield’s MSc, began a series of discussions with asset owners and infrastructure providers.

The team also went back to the policymakers and consulted with those in the wider industries where digital twins can provide solutions.

In working with these groups, we have been able to create a model that will deliver focused training at different levels. 

You can see from this diagram, how the DT Hub is creating a skills development framework, built on existing skills and competency frameworks, from the Centre for Digital Built Britain and others, to address different depths and scales of learning.

Our recently launched Data and Digital Twins elearning course, and the Gemini skills training course, called Digital Twins for Senior Leaders, sit in the Awareness and Working areas of knowledge development.

Our recent focus has been on leaders and future leaders in roles that will influence decision-making and organisational change.

The senior leaders’ course addresses the digital twin skills gap by creating understanding and consensus in the market about digital twins, aligning demand and supply for digital twin competency and by encouraging systems thinking as a solution.


Of interest to the DT Hub community is how we can take the course and tailor it to specific sectors. We are creating a pilot programme and first cohort of a transport focused course.

The course will deliver the What, Why and How of digital twins, as required by senior leaders in the transport sector as it builds towards key Outputs in the TRIB Vision and Roadmap to 2035.

The training will be a starting element on the route to the Roadmap’s Skills and Capabilities Outcomes, to enable DfT’s vision. It will help leaders understand the critical importance of digital twins, considering areas where they give benefits, for example, infrastructure decarbonisation, autonomous vehicle safety, digital local roads, and how they will help to keep pace with the rate of digital change. 

The support of DfT and the approach we are taking for this pilot will mean that we can focus on sector-specific use cases, and also bring in universal examples of good practice across other sectors. It paves the way for further bespoke cohorts, based on a core curriculum of learning.

The core course works across the Gemini Principles, Gemini Papers and outputs from CDBB, the National Digital Twin Programme, knowledge from the DT Hub community, including case studies and insight, plus research outputs from Cranfield, and recent elearning on Data and Digital Twins.

It brings in knowledge and expertise from academic and industry experts across the international field. Our intention is that this training becomes a baseline for competency in digital twin skills.

A few more words on the pilot and what the attendees will gain from it, far more than the Cranfield and Gemini certificate and digital badge.

The pilot course is bringing together groups of delegates from DfT, Network Rail, Arup and Anglian Water, as examples. Each week it answers important questions and give senior leaders, the skills and knowledge founded on the Gemini Principles and recognised frameworks. At the same time, it will allow them to build a business canvas, a real strategy and a value framework to take back to their businesses, and accelerate change.

The course runs online for an hour and a half each week across eight weeks. It will launch fully on 1 February 2024.

We are continuing to explore needs to structure further training across our skills model.

Please contact me if you would like further information, or register now on the Cranfield website.



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