NewPublic Accounting for Academy Trust Accounting Officers

 Those who are designated as the Accounting (or Accountable) Officer for their organisation are answerable for the oversight of the stewarship of public funds, which will result in their being called upon to give an account to Parliament. It is therefore vital that those in these positions hold accountability at the heart of all their working practices. This programme deals with the role of the Accounting Officer, set firmly in the Academy Trust context.

Key features:

  • The role of Treasury in setting the rules for the stewardship of public funds
  • The expectations of Parliament and the role of the Public Accounts Committees
  • Managing Public Money (Including reference to Chapter 3) and how this document applies to Academy Trusts
  • The role of the Departmental and ESFA Accounting Officers and their relationship with an Academy Accounting Officer
  • The oversight role of the ESFA
  • Examples of cases where government departments have been held to account for failing to exercise effective oversight in relation to bodies operating "at an arm's length"
  • The departmental Accounting Officer's Accountability System Statement
  • Reference to documentation such as the Academies FInancial Handbook and annual Dear Accounting Officer letter
  • What is meant by regularity propriety and value for money with real life case studies to demonstrate where public bodies have failed to ensure a culture of compliance. Some case studies deal specifically with topics such as avoidance of waste and extravagance, management of conflicts of interest and novel and contentious expenditure.
  • The scrutiny role of the National Audit Office

Designed for:

This course is suitable for the Accounting Officer and those supporting them. 

Learning Outcomes:

The programme runs for approximately 4 ½ hours (including breaks) and is a mix of formal presentation, discussion based on case studies, and video extracts from the Public Accounts Committee. We can run this course on your premises and at a time to suit those attending. This course is suitable for the Accounting Officer and those supporting them. 



10:00 - 15:30


Price on request


Available to be delivered In-House


In-House Option

This course is available In-House and can be tailored to meet your individual training requirements.


Lead Trainer

Brian Whalley OBE

Brian Whalley OBE

With over 10 years of experience in training senior management and board members, Brian is one of the most experienced and authoritative trainers in accountability, governance and financial management in the UK.

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 

In this Series

Accountability and Governance for Arm’s Length Bodies
Tailored in-house training

Civil Service College can deliver In-House training within your organisation that is exactly tailored to meet your individual training requirements.

Book a course

Call 020 8069 9000 to take your booking or for advice on choosing the right course for you.

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