Micro Modules

Do you need to understand what Net Zero means? Or want to know how to be assertive in a negotiation?

Our micro modules are free of charge and offer quick introductions to a range of topics. Prepared by CIPFA’s subject matter experts, they deliver key information in an easily digestible, online format, plus tips on where to access further information and learning.

The modules have been designed to fit around busy schedules and can be completed on the go – on trains, over breakfast, or before meetings. To access each one, you will be asked to let us know your name, email address and job role, to help us understand the popular topics and guide what we produce next.

Reflecting on the variations of council tax levels in England: This module looks at findings from CIPFA's Council Tax Survey 2024, highlighting the variations in Council Tax and giving CIPFA revenue advisor Adrian Blaylock's assessment of what could be done to reform the situation.

PPP/PFI Arrangements and Expiry: an overview of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) and Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs) covering their history and expiry.

Competitive advantage - VRIO: The VRIO Framework is a tool to evaluate resources and capabilities to determine what type of competitive advantage, if any, each resource and capability brings.

Building Personal Resilience: how to develop your personal resilience and maintain high levels of energy and engagement in your work life.

Managing an Intergenerational Team: This module aims to provide managers in charge of staff of different ages, skills and techniques on how to get their teams to work effectively and productively.

Digital Business Models: What are digital business models? This module explores some of the models currently in use and the building blocks defined by Osterwalder and Pigneur.

Leading Through Change:– VUCA – Tips and Techniques: practical tips for leading and managing people in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) environment.

Using Assertiveness in Negotiation: how to negotiate in an open, honest and empathetic way and to seek a win/win situation for both parties, where possible.

The value of "constructive conflict": Conflict is not always a bad thing, and handled well, can have a positive impact on business performance. This module is about helping managers invite the positive aspects of conflict, to harness it in creating a rich and varied working environment and enhancing business opportunities.

Coaching skills for managers: A consensus exists that modern managers must be equipped with coaching skills. But how do we define coaching and what is its practical application for you the manager? This module aims to explain how coaching is going to be useful to you, but also gives you a few quick easy techniques to get you started.

Managing the hybrid team:- The COVID pandemic has change the way many organisations operate. Most notably the time now spent in an office. This module focuses on what managers can do to ensure best practice is fully realised.

Problem solving and decision making: Problem-solving is a logical process to reach a solution; decision-making is about trying to decide between alternatives. Problem-solving can be a part of the decision-making process. In fact, trust in in the problem-solving approach leads to faith in that the best decision has been made.

Change Management: Here we look at responding to and overcoming change. How to manage others through change and how to do this with an emotionally intelligent approach.

Data Presentation: Visual Description or Visual Deception: tips and techniques on how to avoid misleading your audience when presenting data visually.

IFRS 16: Fundamentals: The new international accounting standard IFRS16 Leases, fundamentally changes the way leased assets are accounted for. Especially for the user of the asset. This module explores these changes.

Accruals & Deferrals: The Fundamentals: This module is intended for budget holders and those working in non-accounting roles who are responsible for, or provided input to, the completion of accurate management accounts.

Sustainable Development Goals - the Fundamentals: an introduction to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they act as guiding principles for all public sector organisations.

ESG Concepts: In this module we introduce the main concepts around Environmental, Social and Corporate governance and how it relates to public bodies.

ESG Reporting - the Fundamentals: an introduction to ESG, or Environmental, Social and Governance – the areas that are increasingly being used by organisations to measure and report on their impact.

ESG Investment and Strategy: In this module we consider ESG investment and strategy drawing on guidance publish by the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) covering "commercial models and attracting investment".

Net Zero - the Fundamentals: an introduction to Net Zero – what it is, what it aims to achieve and the role of the public finance professional.

Climate Finance - the Fundamentals: an overview of 'climate finance' - what is meant by this term and how it supports action on climate change.

Green Finance: The UK launched the Green Finance Strategy in July 2019. This module looks to explain what green finance is and introduces its concepts.

Fraud - the Fundamentals: an introduction to fraud – how it is defined, the different types of fraud and the consequences of fraud for public bodies.

Risk Management - the Fundamentals: an introduction to why risk management is important for public finance professionals and key definitions.

Good governance in local authorities: This module defines the principles that should underpin the governance of each local UK government organisation. The framework discussed provides a structure to help individual authorities with their approach to governance.

Corporate Governance: This is the system by which companies are directed and controlled. This module explores the principles and responsibilities covered by corporate governance.

Audit objectives and types of public sector external audit: Using INTOSAI standards, this module explains the process of establishing and audit objective to identify which type of audit methodology and standards should be applied.

The use of IT in audit: This module has been designed to support CIPFA's Audit and Assurance module of the Professional Accounting Qualification. It explores the use of CAATs to assist with sampling and testing, as well as auditors and "Big Data".

Public Sector External Audit - the Fundamentals: an introduction to the general principles of public sector audit as an important link in the chain of accountability.

Internal vs External Audit: an introduction to the differences and similarities between internal and external audit and how these functions complement each other.

Mandates of Supreme Audit Institutions: This micro-module looks at the critical role played by SAI's in holding leaders to account through oversight and transparency and how they promote the international Sustainable Development Goal's of the United Nations.

Assessing Materiality in the Public Sector External Audit: Materiality is a relevant issues for all audits and must be regarded by an auditor at all stages of the external audit process. This module explores how this is assessed using ISSAI principles.

Roles and Responsibilities of Internal Auditors: Internal auditors can offer most value to their organization when they are trusted, competent, and aligned with organizational priorities. This requires appropriate positioning of the internal audit function, strict adherence to a code of ethics and professional standards, a risk-based approach, and a commitment to quality and improvement. In this module we take a brief look at these principles.

Roles and Responsibilities of External Auditors: Through compliance, financial, and performance auditing, external auditors evaluate the economy, effectiveness, and efficiency of an organization’s operations, and ensure honest and reliable reporting of the financial performance, position, and prospects.

Quality Control and Quality Assurance in Public Sector Audit: Quality is a factor for all individual audit engagements and for audit providers as a whole. Using ISSAI and IIA standards in this module look at quality control and assurance in the Public Sector.

Internal Audit: Internal audit is and essential component of organisational governance. It has many important similarities to and differences from external audit with which it shares a broadly common purpose. In this module we take a brief look at this using IIA principles.

Internal Control in Public Sector Organisations: Internal controls are integral to and organisation's governance and risk management. Their purpose in general terms is to ensure an organisation achieves its purpose in an appropriate manner. In this module we explore this further and look at the internal control framework.

Understanding Assurance Engagements: In this module we explore the need for assurance and the levels of assurance.

The Regulatory and Legal Environment: What are the regulatory requirements and legal framework relating to public sector audit? This modules takes a look at these questions by looking at some of the key legislation important for public sector audit.

Asset management and its challenges: What are public sector assets and what challenges does the industry face today? This module provides a brief introduction into the history of public sector assets, and considers some of the pressing challenges in asset management today.

Strategic Asset Management: Asset management is about delivering the corporate objectives and priorities of an organisation through the management of assets. However, a good asset management framework does not necessarily make an organisation good at asset management. It also requires effective leadership. In this module we explore this further.

Preventative Investment: what investing in prevention means for the public sector and how it can help to avoid future costs, reduce demand for services and improve financial sustainability.

Defining the Business Needs Section in a Business Case: how to draft a short, clear business needs statement as a basis for a good business case.

Big data: Big data is revolutionising the world of business, government, transportation, and healthcare enabling organisations to operate more efficiently and to have a much deeper understanding of the needs and behaviours of their target clients. This module explores what big data is and it's uses.

Blockchain & Cryptocurrency: This module defines Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, its uses and the guidance set out by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Cloud Technology: When moving to the Cloud an organisation needs to decide whether to deploy using a private, public or hybrid cloud and which of the following models are best able to meet its needs: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), or Software as a Service (SaaS). These aspects are considered in this module.

Levelling Up - the Fundamentals: an introduction to levelling up, a key UK government policy with links to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Health and Social Care Act 2022: A new architecture for integrating care: In this module we look at how the 2022 Act has put ICSs on a statutory basis from 1 July 2022, each consisting of an Integrated Care Board (ICB) and an Integrated Care Partnership (ICP).

Outsourcing vs Insourcing: Budgetary pressures faced by local authorities in the UK are encouraging many councils to review their service delivery arrangements. This module aims to look at the advantages and disadvantages of both outsourcing and insourcing.

Benchmarking: In this module we look at Benchmarking as a fundamental tool in the public sector. Benchmarking offers a vital compass for organisations navigating limited resources and intense public scrutiny. By comparing their performance against peers and industry standards, public sector agencies can drive accountability, transparency, and efficiency. This module is brought to you in collaboration with NHS Wales Finance Academy.

If you have any questions or would like to provide feedback and suggestion for further content, please contact CIPFA's Training Development Project Manager Phil.Thompson@cipfa.org.