Event Details



Level Seven certificate in school financial and operational leadership c16


CIPFA and ISBL have worked in the past on providing support to SBM professionals and are now partnering to professionalise these roles to meet the new challenges by offering a Level Seven Postgraduate Certificate in school financial and operational leadership for Academy Trust Leaders.

This innovative programme has been running for a year and is receiving fantastic feedback from all 150+participants. Delivered by CIPFA, it provides a pathway for all roles within the finance or business management function in academies, MATs and local authority organisations. The year-long course is designed to support professionals who aspire to be CFO/COOs.  The programme provides a flexible blend of e-learning, workbooks and face-to-face sessions to enable those working in an academy to develop their skills. For more information relating to the programme which could be used as supporting evidence when applying to your school please click here.

Target Audience

The programme provides a pathway for all roles within the finance or business management function in academies or MATs. It is ultimately designed to support professionals who aspire to be CFO/COOs of the future and may be starting their career progression from different points. 

The course has been specifically designed to ensure that it provides a route to a professional accountancy qualification, should participants wish to pursue this in the future and receive exemptions on the CIPFA Professional Qualification or their chosen route of study.

The completion of the programme will also provide necessary evidence against an application for ISBL Fellowship. Successful participants will also be able to apply for CIPFA Affiliate membership.

This programme has been specifically designed to meet the standards as set out in the professional standards.


The course modules: 


Foundation stage

Overview of Academy Finance
Accounting Terminology
Academy Financing
Statutory Duties
Accruals Accounting and the Accounts Direction (including ‘Dear Accounting Officer’ letters)
Layout of the Financial Statements and Annual Report
Overview of Financial Management (Planning, Monitoring and Control)
This stage is delivered through an online workbook and face-to-face training




CIPFA Education & Training Centre 77 Mansell StreetLondon E1 8AN



Launch | 1 July 2019


Foundation | 12 September 2019


Cert FRA | 15 October 2019


Procurement & Cont Mgt | 10 December 2019


Strategic Financial Planning | 08 January 2020


Gov, Assurance and Accountability | 03 March 2020




“I am keen to develop professionally but I do not feel that an accountancy qualification is for me. I do feel that the depth and breadth of the content is beneficial to my role.” Participant from London Cohort December 2016.

“This course is working closely with the DfE and is very current and in line with government policy and thinking. Doing this course means I will have the skills necessary for when my school becomes an academy in the foreseeable future.” Participant from London Cohort December 2016


A delegate on a previous ISBL/CIPFA course said "Thank you for the fantastic administrative support and the superb quality of training and direction. The support provided was outstanding with excellent communication and materials, the training / learning was insightful and interesting." SBM in an Academy Trust


£2950+VAT   ISBL Member
£3540+VAT   Non member

This includes refreshments and lunch at all workshops, plus a comprehensive toolkit and workbooks to assist study and certification fees.

Back to Events