Training Details

CIPFA Diploma in School Financial and Operational Leadership C35 (London) – September 2023




COVID-19: We continue to monitor government guidance about running face-to-face training events. The face-to-face sessions on this programme may run as online sessions. The safety of our trainers and delegates is very important to us.

The CIPFA Diploma in School Financial and Operational Leadership has been developed by ISBL and CIPFA for current and aspiring chief finance and operations officers.

It recognises the importance of school business business professionals, especially in Academies and Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) and aims to ensure that you meet the highest professional standards when it comes to overseeing (amongst other things) finance, corporate governance, risk management and strategic procurement.

This innovative programme is underpinned by the ISBL Professional Standards and is recognised by the Department for Education.

The Diploma has been mapped by CIPFA as broadly equivalent to a level seven (post-graduate) qualification in relation to degree of challenge.


What will you study?

There are 9 modules and the areas that the programme covers include:

  • financial management and reporting
  • the education funding environment
  • writing business cases and taking investment decisions
  • governance, accountability and assurance
  • procurement and contract management
  • liaising with, and providing information to, internal and external auditors.


How long is the programme?

12 months


How is the programme delivered?

It is delivered using a blended approach, of face-to-face sessions, practical assessed assignments and remote tutor support. This cohort is completed virtual and there are no face-to-face sessions. Delegates have access to the CIPFA Learning Platform and use this to upload their assignments.


Two routes to accreditation

There are two route available on this programme and each cohort contains a mix of delegates taking these two routes.

  • Full programme (Foundation)
  • Practitioner programme (offers exemptions to the full programme based on prior accountancy qualifications that are held)

Find out more about the options available, click here.

One of the benefits of being an ISBL member is being able to access the member rates for training and conferences. If you are not a member, you can find out more about joining ISBL here.

To be able to access the ISBL member rate, your membership needs to be active before you book your place on the programme.

We do not offer any payment plans. The full cost must be paid in full before you start the programme.



“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.”


“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.”


Foundation programme costs
Member rate:
£2950.00 +VAT
Non-member rate:
£3540.00 +VAT
Practitioner programme costs
Member rate:
£2050.00 +VAT
Non-member rate:
£2460.00 +VAT
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