Academy aims

The Academy has set out regional priorities in a three-year strategy, outlining a number of key aims under three central workstreams.

Developing our people

To promote NHS finance as a career
The South West Academy aims to attract talent into the finance function in the South West through an inclusive and engaging process. This will include working with local schools, colleges and universities to establish initiatives that will enable us to promote the benefits of working within NHS finance to students and graduates.

To develop our people and nurture talent
The South West Academy aims to support staff in their development opportunities and to take an inclusive and consistent approach to nurturing talent, allowing people to fulfil their potential and navigate their way to success in the areas important to them. The Academy will focus on career and talent development for staff in Band 8B and below. The Academy will also look to the future and aim to understand what the future skills of the finance function will look like in order to support the right progression and growth in our staff.

To support growth in finance, innovation and leadership skills
A core finance curriculum is being developed nationally to ensure high-quality structured learning and development is avaliable to all, and to identify personal competencies and behavioural characteristics needed at the different stages in people’s careers. The South West Academy aims to provide learning and development opportunities for the region to meet this curriculum and the local needs analysis, as well as developing the skills needed in finance teams to work collaboratively in Integrated Care Systems. The Academy will also focus on identifying and promoting innovations in the region and sharing best practice.

Championing equality, diversity and inclusion

To improve equality, diversity and inclusion in recruitment
The South West Academy aims to ensure the finance function in this region has a diverse workforce across all bands that is representative of the population we serve. This will focus on improving our recruitment and secondment processes and building more inclusive cultures in our finance departments to make NHS finance a great place to work regardless of any protected characteristics individuals may have.

To ensure there is equality, diversity and inclusion in organisational culture and career development
The South West has conducted a review of the finance workforce profile for the region, along with reviewing training offerings and development approaches. The South West Academy aims to provide inclusive opportunities for finance professionals to develop their skills and provide equal access to aids for career progression and building professional networks. The Academy will work with delivery partners to introduce and implement innovative programmes to ensure NHS staff have equal opportunities to thrive and that they are fully supported to deal with any discriminatory behaviours they or their colleagues may face.


To increase the networking, sharing and collaboration opportunities across the region
The South West Academy will support and increase its Value Maker network, empowering those in the role to engage with the region and share best practice. The Academy aims to provide networking opportunities and support staff in gaining experience across Integrated Care Systems by creating networks that connect up people in similar job roles from different ICSs and parts of the region. The Academy will work as the ‘One NHS Finance’ function across the South West, collaborating across organisations, systems and nationally to share knowledge, ideas, innovation, experiences and learning. As well as networking and collaboration there will be a focus on the health and wellbeing of staff.