CIPFA Students’ News
Introduction from the CIPFA
Welcome to the first issue of the CIPFA students’
quarterly newsletter. This newsletter is here to provide you with a
whole range of content relevant to CIPFA students, including regional
updates and career stories from CIPFA members.
I’d like to introduce myself as Will Goodchild, the
newly appointed President of the CIPFA Student Network. I look
forward to supporting students as we pursue our strategic goals
- increasing engagement
- setting up regional
networks across the country and reorganising the CIPFA Student
- growing our digital
footprint and use of technology.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to point you
towards the health and wellbeing resources available for students on
our virtual learning environment (VLE), which are beneficial during
this period of uncertainty and stress. These are a series of videos
produced by one of our tutors, Alex Wakeham, and are accessible for
UK-based and international students.
If there are any student-related issues that you would
like to bring to the Network’s attention or have any content
suggestions for this newsletter, please let us know at email@example.com.
Spotlight on… CSN
The CIPFA Student Network (CSN) is a committee of
student volunteers with member representation from across the
regions. Our aims are to support students as they undertake their
professional qualifications, raise any concerns or issues, and
promote qualifications and relevant events.
CSN meets throughout the year and also represents
students on other CIPFA committees. We will include any
important notes for students from these meetings in the newsletter.
Your CSN executive team for 2020/21 is:
- President: Will
- Vice President:
- Past President: James
- Treasurer: Sukhie
- Secretary: Kyle
If you would like to get in contact with the team,
please email firstname.lastname@example.org and keep an eye out for us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Introduction to student
The student support team should be your first port of
call for any questions or issues in relation to exams and courses.
They can also help with practical issues such as being locked out of
your online accounts. The team provides customer services in addition
to working on specific projects.
You can contact student support via email at email@example.com or by calling 020 7543 5600.
The apprenticeship team works hard to look after the
administration of records for all apprentices, from application all
the way through to end point assessment. The team supports apprentices,
employers and the work-based learning coaches who guide apprentices
through the completion of their work experience records. The Smart
Assessor platform logs work experience, progress review forms,
important dates and exam results all in one accessible place for
apprentices and their managers, and we book apprentices onto all
their tuition courses.
If you are an apprentice, firstname.lastname@example.org should be your first point of contact if you have any
questions or concerns about your apprenticeship; particularly if
something changes. Make sure you also access the apprenticeship page
in your VLE, which has been updated for Autumn 2020 with all the key
documents you need, including the apprenticeship handbook, guides and
webinars on how to use Smart Assessor and all the key information for
your end point assessment. Your work-based learning coach is also
available for support if needed.
Introduction to training
CIPFA’s training delivery manager oversees all aspects
of professional qualification tuition and is available for students
to contact for advice. The training delivery manager can support you
with tuition issues where you do not feel able to talk with your
tutor, your plans and options for completing your qualification, any
issues that student support have not resolved and general advice.
The training delivery manager can be contacted at email@example.com.
Congratulations to those of you who took exams in June
and passed. For those of you who chose to defer your exams due to
COVID-19, we wish you the best of luck for when you take these exams
in the future.
CIPFA is the only accountancy body in the UK to offer
exams in June. Around 30% of CIPFA students who took exams in June
experienced wait times longer than 45 minutes and some students also
encountered proctors who were inadequately trained.
Many of you logged individual special consideration
forms in relation to this and as your student representatives we
raised these issues with CIPFA at every level possible. These issues
are being taken seriously by CIPFA and we have received assurance that
the student experience will be improved for September exams.
Pass rates for the June exams have now been published
online. There were no
exceptionally different pass rates for these sittings. Those of you
who received the top mark for each module will be awarded at a future
If you have a September exam, whether a resit or not,
revision resit package courses are available to book. These are a
useful resource that focus largely on exam technique. Course dates
can be found here. To book a place, contact student support at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7543 5600.
To those of you who are newly qualified: congratulations!
We wish you the best of luck as you gain full membership and continue
with your career as an active member of CIPFA.
Looking ahead to a new term
The new term starts this month, with some of you already
returning to studies. As you will be aware, all tuition will be
online this term whilst it remains unsafe to request students and
tutors to travel and attend face-to-face classes.
These online courses will be supplemented with smaller
tutorial groups for some courses. The tutorials are not compulsory to
attend. However, these will not be recorded so it won’t be possible
to catch up on their content.
This new formatting for the Autumn term presents
opportunities for students to share experiences and examples with
others from different regions and sectors, which will be particularly
beneficial for discursive modules. Please share any feedback you have
on this new course formatting with student support at email@example.com or 020 7543 5600.
As you prepare for your exams, particularly the more
technical modules, we recommend using the syllabus tests on Calibrand
and making use of your tutors and the forums to raise any issues or
problems you face.
In the regions
we hope our international colleagues are keeping well during this
pandemic. Whether you’re studying now or taking a break, your courses
will be available when you’re ready to continue and we wish you the
best of luck.
North East – to keep up to date
with events in the North East follow us on
Twitter and if you want to get
involved contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
North West –
the North West CIPFA Student Network held it’s AGM on 2 May and
welcomed Victoria Horrocks as the new Student President. We are
looking at running a strategic revision session, facilitated by
volunteers, in August; so watch this space. If you have anything that
you would like to discuss with us or are interested in joining our
group of volunteers please contact email@example.com.
Republic of Ireland – the regional
committee has continued to keep in touch and meet virtually. If you
have any queries or would like to be involved, please email Andree.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scotland – the regional AGM was
held in June via video conference. The class of 2020 who graduated
were named and the usual awarding of certificates and prizes for high
scorers in exams will be held at a later date. The next Scottish
branch meeting is due to take place on 2 September. To keep up to
date with the region follow us on
Twitter or get in touch with
us at email@example.com.
South East –
to keep up to date with events in the South East connect with
us on LinkedIn and if you want to get
involved contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yorkshire and Humber –
the regional AGM was held virtually in July and we are in the process
of establishing a Student Network committee for the region. If you
are interested in helping form this group, contact email@example.com.
If your region isn’t mentioned or you’d like to know
more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In conversation with… John
John Bloomer is the Chief Finance Officer (Section 151
Officer) at Staffordshire Police, responsible for finance and
commercial services with a net revenue budget of more than £200m.
John has been a CIPFA member for 10 years.
How has being a CIPFA
member supported you in your career?
In a number of ways. Firstly, it provides you with a
network of like-minded people and support, so that if you’re facing
problems or difficulties you can find someone who’s already
experienced something similar who can offer advice or guidance.
That’s a real positive.
Throughout the various stages of my career, CIPFA
membership has benefited me in different ways. When you’re a trainee
accountant there’s a lot of support around you – and getting access
to people who are in more senior roles, in terms of experiencing how
they think, act and behave, is really important for your development.
What have been the greatest
challenges you’ve faced, both during your career and within the
public finance sector?
The greatest challenge I’ve faced is within my current
role here at Staffordshire Police. I was responsible for implementing
financial recovery plans at the same time as restructuring the
finance team – and this was while I was finding my way in a new job
in a new sector. However, precisely because it was very challenging,
I really enjoyed the experience. I’ve discovered throughout my career
that I’m a person who enjoys meeting challenges and actively seeks
We successfully turned around our financial situation;
the organisation is in a strong financial position now, and we have
forged a cracking team that was nominated for the national Public
Finance Awards 2020.
What’s the best piece of
advice you’ve been given or would give?
The best piece of advice I’ve been given is: “Jump in
when you’ve got the opportunity – don’t be afraid.” I’ve carried that
through school, university and my career.
I would also give that advice to someone beginning their
career. The beginning of your career is actually a great time to make
mistakes, and mistakes are really important as they provide fantastic
Everybody’s expecting you to make mistakes as part of
your learning journey when you’re a trainee, so it’s a good time to
be brave. It may heighten the risk of getting it wrong, but the time
to do it is at the start of your career when others expect you to
make mistakes and are there to support your learning.
Read more about John’s story here.