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NHS finance staff make sure sure that our budgets are spent wisely and for the benefit of our patients.
Training and qualifications required
Finance staff in the NHS will usually work towards a finance qualification. You can either enter as a trainee (you usually need at least 2 GCSEs including English and maths, or equivalent) and study while you work, or take a finance qualification and apply to join the NHS. Employers may also ask for IT skills. They may expect some customer service or office experience.There are apprenticeships in finance departments.If you join the NHS with a finance qualification this could be one from the Association of Accounting Technicians or Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. If you have a degree in a non-finance subject, you can apply for the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme and work towards professional accountancy qualifications. Finance trainees are encouraged to take further qualifications.
Expected working hours and salary range
Most finance staff (except the most senior managers) working in the NHS are paid on the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay system. You will typically start in a post at AfC band 2. With further training and experience, you could apply for more senior positions such as finance offer at band 3 or team leader at band 4. There are managerial roles in finance at more senior levels. Finance staff in the NHS work standard hours of around 37.5 a week. Terms and conditions will usually be different for clinical support staff working outside of the NHS.
Desirable skills and values
Finance staff have to be interested in figures and money, accurate and methodical, honest, able to work to deadlines, able to follow instructions and procedures and willing to use IT-based systems. You'll also need excellent numeracy skills, IT skills and organisational skills.
With experience, finance staff can become team leaders supervising the work of other finance staff. They can progress to become managers responsible for a department or area. Some progress to senior roles such as head of finance or finance director.
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