Finance: Finance route for non-specialists

Graham Willgoss

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy has launched a new qualification for people who work in charity finance but are not accountants.

The Certificate in Charity Finance and Accounting has been created in conjunction with London South Bank University, which will teach and assess the programme. Cipfa will act as the awarding body.

"The course is intended for peoplewho are not qualified accountants," said Chris Harris, chair of the charities panel at Cipfa. "If you work in a charity and are thinking of becoming an accountant, but find the curriculum too business-oriented, then this certificate is for you.

"It gives people valid accountancy training in a charity environment and allows the sector to grow its own finance staff rather than rely on people coming in from the private sector."

Harris said the qualification had been influenced by the growing demand from government to professionalise the financial management of charities.

The one-year course, which begins in the autumn, leads to a postgraduate certificate from LSBU and affiliate membership of Cipfa. Students who pass will be able to use the letters CCFA after their names.

The course will have input from the Charity Finance Directors' Group and is supported through funding from the Workforce Hub.

"We're looking for the hub to help the pilot begin and work well, but also to allow us to make the qualification available to people throughout the UK, not just in London," said Harris.

The certificate will include class time of one afternoon or evening a week and will be assessed by a mixture of examination and course work.

Modules that will be covered in the first semester are charity finance and accounting and voluntary sector financial management.

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