Better Business Cases™ Foundation Level

Better Business Cases™ is an initiative from HM Treasury and the Welsh government that aims to increase the skills of those involved in preparing or reviewing business cases.

The training is made up of two parts, the foundation and practitioner levels. They are examined against HM Treasury's Green Book Guidance on public sector business cases, using the Five Case Model. You must successfully complete the foundation level before attempting the practitioner level.

All CIPFA members receive 10% off the price of this course.

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Foundation level

The Better Business Cases™ foundation level offers a comprehensive introduction to developing a business case using the Five Case Model and HM Treasury's guidance. Through tips and advice on good practice, pitfalls to avoid, mock exam questions, case studies and examples, you will gain:

  • insight into developing an effective business case that has public value at its core
  • the ability to better scope and plan investment decisions
  • the skills to develop a robust framework for transparent decision-making and quality spending proposals
  • a recognised qualification to relevant standards

Who is the course aimed at?

The foundation level is aimed at everyone who needs an overall understanding of the process and who will be developing business cases, including:

  • decision-makers and senior responsible owners with responsibility for the successful delivery of programmes and projects
  • programme and project managers, project team members and their specialist advisers
  • those involved in the scrutiny and review of business cases

Study options

You can choose to complete the training in a number of ways:

  • take part in one of our open courses, either in-person or online
  • complete the course online with our e-learning in your own time
  • in-house, tailored to your needs and especially cost-effective when training a number of people; contact use to find out more:

Course outline

Day one

  • The need for the HM Treasury's guidance
  • The Better Business Cases™ Model
  • Developing iterative business cases
  • Strategic Outline Business Case
  • Outline Business Case

Day two

  • Full/Final Business Case
  • Exam preparation
  • Mock exam
  • Final plenary
  • Final exam (if attending in-person)


  • Open course: two days
  • E-learning: a day and a half


The foundation level is assessed via a 40 minute closed-book multiple choice examination, which is accredited and administered by APMG. It is booked via CIPFA on completion of the course. If you are completing the course in-person, you will sit the exam on day two. Those attending online will sit the exam online, at your convenience.


On successful completion of the foundation examination, you will receive an internationally recognised certificate from the accrediting body, APMG.

CPD hours

  • Open course: 14 CPD hours
  • E-learning: 12 CPD hours

All CIPFA training counts towards your continuing professional development (CPD). If you are a CIPFA Chartered Member, you are required to undertake a minimum of 20 hours of relevant CPD activity each year as part of maintaining your professional competence and to develop skills and knowledge.

Find out more about CPD requirements


  • Open course: £880 +VAT per delegate. A 10% discount is available to all CIPFA members.
  • E-learning course: £450 +VAT per delegate

Better Business Cases is a trade mark of Her Majesty's Treasury.

Micro Modules

Our micro modules are free of charge and offer quick introductions to selected topics. Prepared by CIPFA’s subject matter experts, they deliver key information in an easily digestible, online format.

View our micro modules on:

For the full list of our available micro modules, visit