Professional development day and AGM

Find out more about the region's Professional Update event and the Annual General Meeting

Professional update day 2017

Around 40 CIPFA members, students and other colleagues gathered at Gateshead Civic Centre on Wednesday 15 March for CIPFA in the North East’s professional update event – ‘Adopting a commercial approach: practical solutions’.

Following a networking lunch, Natalie Abraham, Operations Director of C.Co, CIPFA’s New Consultancy Service, started us off with an introduction to the idea of commercialism in her session ‘De-mystifying commercialism’. Natalie drew on her experience working with local government and other public sector bodies to stress the importance of local insight and understanding your locality and customers in identifying drivers and opportunities.

The next presenter, Colin Scates, Indirect Tax Manager for Mazars, delved into the detail of some of the practical implications of commercial models in his session ‘Considering the VAT implications of alternative service delivery’. Using case studies from the public sector, Colin stressed the importance of carefully considering the structure of any alternative service delivery vehicles to avoid additional costs relating to VAT.

After a coffee break, the final session was a case study from the health sector. Chris Charlton, Pathology Manager for Queen Elizabeth Hospital in his session ‘Commercialisation within the healthcare sector – a Pathology story’ described their experience of adopting a more commercial approach to drive significant service improvements for patients, and developing a lab which is in a position to compete for contracts from healthcare providers around the world.

The day concluded with CIPFA in the North East’s Annual General Meeting, at which the baton of president was passed from Clive Johnson to previous vice president Judith Savage. Jim Dafter was elected as new vice president.