Bitesize short courses – South West Finance Academy

Learn fundamental aspects of healthcare finance in England with free access to up to five HFMA bitesize short courses.

The South West Finance Academy has previously supported NHS finance staff in the South West region to access the HFMA bitesize short course on NHS finance. We are now going even further by providing colleagues access to more courses! There are 5 courses available and you have the option to complete one or more courses, up to 5. There are a limited number of spaces on each course.

Each individual online course is equivalent to three hours of accredited CPD.

What is a bitesize course?
A HFMA bitesize short course is an online course with three hours of accredited CPD. They cater for different learning styles through the use of images, text, video, interactive features and activities. These courses are aimed at all bands and are ideal for:

  • Anyone new to NHS finance.
  • Anyone in a post-graduate or apprentice role.
  • Anyone looking to develop their career and update their training.

What courses are available?

  • NHS finance bitesize
    This short course is accredited by the CPD standards office. On completion of this course you will receive a certificate of completion as evidence of 3 hours accredited CPD for your professional development.
  • NHS governance
    Understand what governance is, why it is important and how it has evolved Overview This course explains what governance is and why it is so important in the NHS. The three key elements of governance are examined: culture and values; policies, structures, processes and control frameworks. The course also looks at good governance in practice.
  • NHS budgeting
    Examine how NHS budgets are prepared, used and managed Overview This course will help you build a greater understanding of how budgets work in the NHS. It looks at what budgets are and how they are prepared and managed. It examines what a typical budget report looks like and how it is used for budgetary control purposes. It also includes an overview of the role and responsibilities of budget holders and explains why this activity is so important.
  • NHS business cases
    This course introduces business cases and how they are used in NHS organisations. It provides those preparing a business case with an overview of their use and how one can be structured. The course considers the importance of managing change and option appraisal as well as the key elements needed for success.
  • NHS capital expenditure
    This course introduces capital expenditure and accounting in the NHS. This course will help you to understand how assets are managed and the impact acquiring and maintaining these assets has on the financial performance of an NHS body. It will also explain some of the terminology used when assets and capital expenditure are discussed.

How to sign up
To request access please email Please include your name, job title, organisation and preferred email address. An organisation lead can send over a spreadsheet with multiple learners at once to be uploaded. New learners will be uploaded on a monthly basis and once you have been assigned you will receive an email from with a link and your login details. You will then have up to 12 months to complete the course(s) before the offer expires.

This opportunity is allocated on a first come, first serve basis.

HFMA Foundation award in healthcare finance (England)  
This award can be achieved by successfully completing all five of the above bitesize foundation courses.
This award will provide you with a basic understanding and awareness of fundamental aspects of healthcare finance in England. The course will give you the opportunity to find out more about specific aspects of finance that are particularly relevant to you and your role. Once completed you will have gained knowledge you need to carry out the financial responsibilities associated with your role.

Each individual online award is equivalent to fifteen hours of accredited CPD.

You must complete all 5 of the above courses within 12 months of being given access to these, in order to achieve this award.

Terms and Conditions
You must sign up for the courses before Friday 13th December 2024 to be eligible. Access to these courses via the South West Finance Academy is only available to those working within finance departments across the South West.

Other information
If you are outside of a finance department in the South West and want to understand how the NHS finance regime works, as well as the wider landscape in which it operates, we recommend to read HFMA’s Introductory guide to NHS finance. This is an open resource and also has 3 hours of accredited CPD.