CIPFA loses top slot

CIMA has overtaken CIPFA as the leading provider of accountancy qualifications for students in the National Health Service, dealing a massive blow to the public sector institute.

Accountancy Age has learned that figures to be released shortly by the NHS Executive will show that the management accountants have overtaken CIPFA, which has fought hard in recent years to stem CIMA’s growth in the public sector.

Last January, figures revealed that 47% of students currently working in the NHS were studying with CIMA. The new figures for January to June 1999 will show that the total is now above 50%.

Ken Gill, the CIPFA education and training director, said: ‘CIPFA has recognised that its pre-eminence in terms of student numbers training in the NHS has deteriorated over the last five years. CIPFA is still pre-eminent in terms of having a majority of qualified senior finance professionals in today’s NHS, including the finance director of the NHS, Colin Reeves.’

A CIMA spokesperson said: ‘This shows that the wide range of management skills offered by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants qualification makes it particularly effective in large diverse organisations like the NHS.

‘The increase in recognition of CIMA within the whole public sector is reflecting what industry as a whole has known for some time – what is required for business is a rounded individual with strong management skills, together with financial acumen.’

At its annual conference last month, CIPFA re-launched its professional qualification with significant changes, including a 60% reduction in the price of the course, unique public policy and accountability and health service financial reporting topics, and syllabus and assessment techniques designed to produce accountants who can transfer their skills across boundaries.

‘These enhancements will ensure CIPFA comes out fighting to regain the ground lost in the NHS,’ Gill said.

– The NHS Executive has appointed a deputy to finance chief Colin Reeves.

CIPFA member Christine Daws, who joins the Executive in mid-September, previously worked as director of finance and acute services at Buckinghamshire Health Authority.

She replaces Richard Douglas who joined National Savings as finance director in March.

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