Public Accountability for New Accounting Officers

“A very useful and relevant programme.”

Local Government Ombudsman

Those that are designated as Accounting Officer (or Accountable Officer) for their organisation are answerable for the oversight of the stewardship of public funds, which will result in them being called upon to give an account to Parliament. It is therefore vital that those in these positions, hold accountability for all their working practices.

This course is delivered by one of the UK’s most experienced Accountability trainers, who has delivered AO training across all parts of the UK and provided a thorough grounding in the key mechanisms of public accountability. Past attendees have been equipped with an in-depth understanding of how public money should be handled and how public businesses should be conducted.

This training is tailored to each participant’s personal organisational context and the content is continuously refreshed to provide participants with an up-to-date view of central government accountability and governance arrangements.


This face to face course is from our Accountability & Governance series. At the Civil Service College, we tailor our courses to each attendee’s role and organisations, ensuring that each delegate gets the most out of the training. Our courses and trainers are continuously updated and evaluated to ensure that we are always delivering the best service possible.

Key Training Features

Who Can Attend

Learning Outcomes

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Key Training Features:

  • Practical insight into the roles and responsibilities of an Accounting or Accountable Officer
  • The proper and practical conduct of public business, including operating with regularity and propriety
  • The scrutiny role of the relevant Audit Office and associated Public Accounts Committee (not only in England but also in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with reference to the work of local PACs as well as the Westminster Committee)
  • Financial aspects of public accountability for Departments, Executive Agencies and sponsored bodies.

Who Can Attend:

This Public Accountability programme is suitable for Chief Executives of Arm's Length Bodies and NHS bodies who have recently been appointed as Accounting or Accountable officers, as well as for senior staff who work in supporting the Accounting or Accountable Officer and who need to understand their role in providing support and assurance.

The course is also particularly suitable for senior staff taking up their first post in the central government sector.

Learning Outcomes:

Participants will gain a clear understanding of their responsibilities in dealing with public money and learn to ensure that accountability is pivotal to all working practices. Participants will also acquire a comprehensive insight into the personal responsibilities of an Accounting or Accountable Officer, a deeper understanding of the accountability relationship between ALB and NHS boards and their respective sponsoring departments, as well as an update on current developments in governance and accountability in central government.

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10:00 - 16:00


£625 + VAT


Westminster, London

Face to Face

27 May 2022 Book3

21 September 2022 Book6

9 December 2022 Book4

Lead Trainer

Bill Malloy

Bill Malloy

Bill has first-hand experience of working in a variety of public sector organisations including; central and local government, ALBs, police and NHS Foundation Trusts.

Read Bio
Bill Malloy

Bill Malloy

Bill has significant first-hand experience in the public sector across central government, Arms Length Bodies, Police, local government and NHS Foundation Trusts. He has advised on reporting for the Intelligence and Security Committee and has appeared at the Public Accounts Committee.

He brings the practical knowledge and application of governance and accountability across different tiers of government and public sector bodies.

A qualified public sector accountant (CPFA) with additional qualifications from CIMA and an MBA.


Lead Trainer

Brian Whalley OBE

Brian Whalley OBE

Brian has over 10 years of experience in training senior management and board members on accountability, governance and financial management.

Read Bio
Brian Whalley OBE

Brian Whalley OBE

Brian regularly provides induction and board development programmes for non-executive board members of government departments, executive agencies, Non-departmental Public Bodies, NHS bodies and public corporations. He has run programmes for over 100 Non-Departmental Public Bodies, and other Arm's Length Bodies, and is experienced in working in all UK jurisdictions.

Brian has written guidance material on numerous governance topics such as the management of conflicts of interest, as well as a guide to working in central government for newly appointed non-executive board members of government departments.

On an international level, Brian has delivered programmes on accountability, governance and financial management in Macedonia, Abu Dhabi, Russia, Hungary, Poland and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Brian is a qualified management accountant (ACMA), has a teaching qualification, and holds an MA in Management Learning.


‘A Guide to Propriety for RDA Board Members’, Department of Trade and Industry

‘Working in Government: A Guide for Non-executive Board Members of Government Departments’, Cabinet Office


  • Qualified management accountant (ACMA)
  • Holds a teaching qualification
  • MA in Management Learning, University of Lancaster 

"Great course, relevant materials; covered all sectors in the room."

Dudley & Walsall NHS Trust

"Impressed by the personalisation of the course - research into attendees' organisation was very evident".

UK Atomic Energy Authority

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