What are you waiting for?

by Chris Brown

01 February 2018

In my previous blog entry, I spoke a little about my time on HFMA’s Financial Management Training Scheme [FMTS] thus far, from starting at Birmingham Children’s Hospital two years ago through to my most recent placement at Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group.

As we shove our Christmas trees back into the loft and we dust down the healthy meal recipe books we ceased reading long ago and we all prepare for the start of a new year; those of us in the final few months on the FMTS start planning for our futures beyond the scheme and begin to plot our next course in the NHS. Aside from future planning, it is also the time when we can reflect on our journey, and hopefully pass our experiences and insight on to future cohorts.

A myriad of people will read HFMA’s website and publications, from a range of different backgrounds, but if you are reading this blog you are probably toying with the idea of studying a chartered accountancy qualification, my honest contention is to go for HFMA’s FMTS.

Throughout finance, in both the public and private sector, you will come across people studying towards a chartered qualification and you will note that many have no choice but to fund their own study and attend colleges late in the evenings. The FMTS not only funds your studies but you are given ample study leave to pursue your chartered accountant status in a manageable fashion - we are incredibly lucky.

Further, you will experience the NHS across its entirety. With time spent in hospitals, CCGs, mental health trusts and CSUs. That doesn’t just ensure the scheme stays fresh throughout, but it gives you invaluable experience across our health service.

You will also attend HFMA training days, which will harness your potential and bring out skills that were perhaps under-developed or latent. I have spoken in front of large audiences at HFMA events such as a student seminar and an Introduction to NHS Finance event; mostly because of the training days teaching us everything from presentation skills to controlling self-doubt and nerves.

Sure, there will be darker times throughout the scheme. You will have to put hours of hard study into the qualification. You might have periods at a placement where you have to really fight to get involved; but these incidents build your character, make you a better person and a better finance professional in the NHS.

I have no regrets on entering the FMTS, quite the opposite. HFMA’s FMTS has set me up with a range of skills and experiences that will undoubtedly benefit me in the future wherever I find myself. If you’re reading this and you want to take that next step. I’d ask you one thing – what are you waiting for?

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