Hickey in first class for charity accounting diploma

The chief executive of the Charity Finance Directors' Group is among the first people to gain the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales' diploma in charity accounting.

Keith Hickey was one of the 57 candidates who were deemed to have demonstrated the high levels of knowledge and expertise in finance and management needed to earn the qualification. The institute launched the diploma last year, intending it to become the gold standard for finance professionals at the highest level (Third Sector, 8 November 2006). It has now declared the diploma a success.

Hickey said he was confident that the diploma would "raise the quality of finance within the sector and increase trust in finance".

He said he had got a lot out of the process, which entailed having to provide evidence of his abilities in strategy, marketing and governance, as well as financial management.

The institute was pleased with the quantity and quality of applicants. "The indications are that we're going to achieve our aim of providing a badge for those at the pinnacle, thereby identifying and highlighting professionalism within the sector," said Adam Birt, learning and professional development manager at the institute.

The response from charity finance directors and accountancy firms had been enthusiastic, he added.

Of the 57 who passed, about half were working in charities; the other half worked as auditors or consultants.

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