new finance qualification for UN development staff


Courses began last month to train over 150 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) staff from nearly 50 countries in international accountancy qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), helping one of the UN’s largest agencies to manage development spending around the world.

These accountancy qualifications are the first in the world to be based on International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). These standards improve transparency and accountability in public financial management and also allow for greater comparability between countries and public sector bodies.

Last year CIPFA and the UNDP signed a contract for CIPFA and Kaplan Financial to train up to 500 UNDP staff in CIPFA’s international public financial management qualifications. The qualification is available in four different stages, each of which is a qualification in its own right, together the four stages take three years to complete. 150 staff members have begun training with further contingents due to be introduced in the future.

The qualifications, dealing with public services, have been designed to meet the needs of all public sector finance staff from entry level to full professional. At the end of the qualification successful students will be entitled to become full members of CIPFA and use the designation CPFA (Chartered Public Finance Accountant).

Tuition will be provided in three languages, English, French and Spanish, with Kaplan Financial acting as CIPFA's tuition partner for the English language students.

Alan Edwards, CIPFA’s International Director, commented,

“This partnership between the UN Development Programme and CIPFA represents a major step forward in the promotion of high quality public financial management around the world. The CIPFA programme is the first public finance focused accountancy qualification to be made available on a global basis.”

George Kyriacou, UNDP’s Deputy Director of Finance and Resource Management said,

“UNDP is committed to performance effectiveness, accountability and transparency as critical ingredients to trusted development partnerships.

“UNDP’s adoption of IPSAS brings greater transparency to UNDP’s financial information, and greater support for results-based management. UNDP’s partnership with CIPFA will help UNDP maintain these high standards, through the continued professional development of UNDP’s finance staff.”


Contact: Matthew Patterson

CIPFA Press Office

t 0207 543 5787


Notes to Editors:

More information on CIPFA’s international public financial management qualifications can be found here:

About UNDP

UNDP is the United Nations' global development network, it operates in 177 countries, working with governments on development programmes and projects and helping them to attract and use aid effectively.

About Kaplan

Kaplan Financial is the UK’s leading global provider of diverse education and training. Programmes include professional accountancy and financial training, vocational qualifications and Apprenticeships, financial markets, postgraduate and undergraduate degrees.

Kaplan combines 70 years of educational and learning excellence with leading online learning technologies, award-winning study materials and support from the industry’s most experienced tutors and assessors who are dedicated to ensuring students success in their studies.