The National Finance Leaders Talent Pool

A development programme & network that supports Deputy FDs in progressing to board-level Chief Finance Officer or Finance Director in the NHS.

The next intake is 2025, applications will open at the end of 2024.

Who is the National Finance Leaders Talent Pool for?

The National Finance Leaders Talent Pool is suitable for Deputy Finance Directors (or equivalent) who are ready-now to advance in their careers to board-level Chief Finance Officer or Finance Director.

The pool is supported by the Finance Leadership Council, NHS England’s Regional Finance Directors, and the NHS Leadership Academy.

“Our aim is to build a diverse pool of talent that improves the number and quality of applicants for finance leadership roles that reflect the populations that we serve.” Cathy Kennedy, Director of Operational Finance, NHS England

Selection into the Talent Pool is through a competitive application and interview process designed to reflect board level FD/CFO application procedures.

Find the full brochure here

Programme Objectives:

This is a two-year programme that involves in-person events and ongoing support and mentorship. 

National Talent Pool participants benefit from: 

  • Individually tailored support and development to prepare you to apply for suitable senior roles, including Finance Director (FD) and Chief Finance Officer (CFO).
  • Development of a personal development plan to help you focus on your strengths and areas of improvement.
  • In-depth understanding of a board recruitment process, including CV writing, interviewing and presentation skills, giving members of the pool the best chance of success in future applications.

A core part of the programme is a three-day residential development centre. Participants will experience:

  • opportunities to reflect on how to build and maintain resilience when under pressure
  • finding the balance between your professional life as a corporate director and your personal life
  • support to connect with a sponsor, mentor or coach
  • action learning sets and national masterclasses
  • a range of personal development masterclasses
  • first-hand experience of the operation of an NHS Board
  • networking opportunities with peers, senior leaders and regional finance.

You can learn more about the National Finance Leaders Talent Pool by downloading the brochure here.

How to apply 

The programme has a biennial application and admission cycle, with applications for the 2023 pool now closed. Applications for the next cohort (2025) will open at in Winter 2024.  YOU CAN REGISTER YOUR INTEREST FOR FUTURE COHORTS HERE.

The programme includes a competitive application and interview process designed to reflect CFO application processes.

When submitting an application, the provided application form with questions based on the NHS leadership competencies must be completed and submitted along with your CV and a letter of recommendation / supporting statement from your current CFO.

Applications will open in Winter 2024.


Free for all NHS finance staff who qualify. Travel and expenses are not included.