The National Finance Leaders Talent Pool

A national programme that develops and supports deputy directors (or equivalent) in enabling them to step-up into director positions in the near future.

Applications now open for 2023 intake

Download the brochure to find out more

Download the Talent Pool brochure to find out more about the programme and how to submit your application.

Download it here

The National Finance Leaders Talent Pool is made up of Finance Leaders across England who are ready now, or in the very near future, to become Finance Directors or Chief Finance Officers in the NHS.

Supported by the Finance Leadership Council – the board that sets the strategic direction for finance skills development in the NHS in England, 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 and NHS Improvement

Selection into the Talent Pool is through a competitive application and interview process designed to reflect FD/CFO application procedures. Successful candidates are enrolled onto the National Finance Talent Pool for a 2-year period, where they gain access to:

  • Individually tailored support and development to identify and apply for suitable finance director and chief finance officer roles and support to produce a personal development plan.
  • In-depth understanding of a board recruitment process including CV writing, interviewing and presentation skills, giving members of the pool the best chance of being successful in future applications.
  • A three-day residential assessment centre which will provides participants with:
    • a range of personal development masterclasses;
    • opportunities to experience at first-hand how an NHS Board operates;
    • networking opportunities with peers, senior leaders and regional finance directors;
    • time to reflect on what helps finance leaders to build and maintain resilience when under pressure in a corporate director role, including managing work/home balance.
    • support to connect with a sponsor, mentor or coach.
  • Action learning sets and national masterclasses.

How to apply 

Download the Talent Pool application form here.

To apply for the Talent Pool, please email with your CV and completed application form outlining your motivations to join and describing how you meet the capabilities outlined in Appendix One (Max 400 words per section).

You will need to provide a short supporting statement from your current Director of Finance or Chief Finance Officer (or in exceptional circumstances an alternative board level director) supporting your
readiness now, or in the very near future to lead the finance function of an organisation and to operate
at board level.

If you have any issues with providing a supporting statement from your CFO or board level director or
have any questions on the application process please get in touch with the One NHS Finance team at

Important dates

Applications for the 2023 intake will close on 15th January 2023. If successful, participants will be invited to a virtual interview taking place throughout March 2023.

On application please ensure that you are available to attend the development centre on 14th, 15th and 16th of June 2023 in London.