Diploma in Finance Skills for Public Sector Managers

A course designed for budget and cost centre managers working in non-finance roles and focused on the knowledge and skills you need to effectively and efficiently manage your area's finances.

CIPFA believes everyone who manages a budget or cost centre in a public sector organisation has an important role to play in ensuring all resources are used as efficiently and effectively as possible. As a response to this, we have developed the Diploma in Finance Skills for Public Sector Managers.

The diploma has been designed specifically for those who have no formal qualifications in finance or accountancy but who, as part of their job roles, need to understand robust governance, budgeting and financial management and best practice in procurement and fraud prevention.

It offers a broad and solid grounding in the key areas that make up public financial management. 

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The Diploma is made up of the seven modules listed below - full details can be found in the course brochure

  • Governance and Accountability – an insight into best practice governance principles that can be applied to any public service organisation
  • Budget Management and Control – exploring financial management activities and financial decision-making
  • Developing a Business Case – an in-depth understanding of preparing a business case
  • Fraud Awareness – a comprehensive introduction to fraud awareness
  • Procurement and Contract Management – how to manage procurement activity in a practical manner to help achieve real value for money
  • Risk Management and Assurance – how the various areas of business risk impact on the corporate governance of an organisation
  • Commercial Awareness – essential guidance to support the decision making process around commerciality of public services

Each of the modules can also be purchased individually, ideal for those who don't wish to complete the full diploma but who have an interest in specific areas.


You can choose to complete the diploma:

  • wholly online via CIPFA's virtual learning environment
  • in-house, at your location, which will be cost-effective for organisations interested in training a number of individuals or whole teams.


The Diploma will take seven to ten months to complete. Each module requires approximately 14 hours of work – four hours for the core content plus 10 hours to complete the mandatory assessment.

If you choose to complete the Diploma online, you will have access to all of the learning materials for 18 months.


For each module, you will be asked to submit a written assignment in which you demonstrate your understanding of the learning and your ability to transfer it to your work place and into your own work practices.

Your assignments will be marked against assessment criteria which will be shared with you. Whether studying online or taking part in an open course, your tutor will be on hand to provide support and guidance throughout.


On successful completion of all seven modules and the related assessment, you will be awarded the CIPFA Diploma in Finance Skills for Public Sector Managers.

In-house delivery

The programme can be delivered in-house. This is especially cost-effective for organisations interested in training a number of individuals or whole teams. It also allows us to tailor the course content to your organisation's unique needs and context.

For more information about running the programme in-house, contact us at: InHouseTraining@cipfa.org


The online Diploma costs £950 + VAT per person.

The cost for delivering the diploma in-house will be agreed with you based on your location and the number of delegates taking part.

CPD hours

The diploma carries 98 CPD hours.