Sponsorship Programme

Career support for high-potential finance staff from under-represented groups at director level.

The Sponsorship Programme is aimed at:

  • female colleagues
  • individuals of Black, Asian and minority ethnicity
  • individuals with disabilities
  • individuals that identify to the LGBTQ+ community

The sponsorship relationship is a reciprocal one that requires dedication and attention from both parties. It is the sponsee’s responsibility to deliver to a high standard and be trustworthy; they must also drive the relationship building by proactively organising meetings and shaping conversations in line with what they want to get out of the programme. In return the sponsor gives advice, feedback, creates space for their sponsee to connect with other influential professionals, and advocates for their sponsee to have access to career enhancing opportunities.

Find out more

Watch our overview animation explaining how the Sponsorship Programme may benefit you.

Watch Here

Is Sponsorship the right support for you?

Sponsorship, Mentoring, and Coaching all differ and each have benefits. Read on to see some of their key differences that may help you identify the right route of support.


  • It is a formal working relationship between you and your ‘Sponsor’ who will be someone senior to you within your organisation, or ICS / region.
  • Aimed at finance staff with Protected Characteristics (please see info above).
  • A Sponsor advocates for you, brings you into their networks and connects you to other senior leaders – helping you to ‘get your name out there’ and have exposure to influential people within NHS finance.
  • Signing up to the Sponsorship Programmes includes an expectation of you to join and take part in regional and national network meetings.
  • As a Sponsee you are responsible for keeping up momentum of the working relationship by organising meetings, ensuring actions and objectives are delivered / met, and to get the most out of the relationship you must be clear on what you are looking to achieve via Sponsorship, and to be open with your Sponsor.


  • Can be a more informal relationship and usually works best when you are supported by someone more senior to yourself.
  • A mentor does not have to work in the same organisation / region as you.
  • A mentor shares their knowledge, skills, and experiences, helping you to develop and grow
  • A good route to take if you are looking to move organisations and want support in developing certain skills ahead of an interview.
  • For more information contact your regional Skills Development Network Manager


  • Is usually a service provided by a professional which can cost money
  • Coaching is usually focused on performance, and the working relationship can be steered towards helping an individual improve their on-the-job performance
  • It can aim to provide guidance on your goals and to help you reach your full potential
  • One-to-one coaching sessions deliver key learning and insights that can be put into practice immediately
  • HFMA offers coaching dedicated to healthcare leaders: the HFMA’s coaches are experienced professionals with extensive backgrounds in healthcare finance leadership

If you think the Sponsorship programme is for you, please read the below documents before contacting finance.academy@nhs.net to apply.

I’d like to be sponsored

A handy writable e-workbook to help you assess whether sponsorship is right for you, and walks you through the process getting you ready for your first meeting with a Sponsor.

Download here

I’d like to be a Sponsor

Use this Sponsor Toolkit to see if sponsoring someone is right for you, including guidance on how to navigate the Sponsorship relationship.

Read here

Sponsorship Programme Overview

Find a general outline of the programme here

Download here

Sponsorship Videos

Watch all our videos on Sponsorship here.

Watch Here