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Future Focused Finance

Developing a Characteristics Framework
for Directors of Finance and Aspiring Directors


Prospect was commissioned by Future Focused Finance, a national organization whose aim is to provide leadership through a number of action areas to all levels within finance professions in the NHS.


We undertook a scoping into the research of the characteristics and behaviours required at Directors of Finance and Chief Executive levels. This also included a scoping and mapping of leadership competency frameworks within the public and private sectors. This was presented to the steering group and the Finance Leadership Council (the six leaders of finance across the Department of Health, NHS England, Health Education England, NHS Improvement and HFMA)

We developed a characteristics and leadership behaviours framework using engagement and stakeholder involvement workshops. National level involved approximately 200 Chief Executives, Directors of Finance, Deputies, NEDs, audit Chairs and Skills Development Leads from across the UK.

The framework was piloted in a region to test out the framework in practice, including supporting the recruitment for DoF positions. Used as part of the National Talent Pool assessment centres as a competency framework to access the behaviours required of aspiring finance directors, and as a self-assessment for DoFs and aspiring to Director level as part of appraisal and talent conversations.

Prospect developed a ‘how-to-use’ guide for organisations and individuals to support the use of the characteristics framework.


We produced the first characteristics framework for senior finance leaders nationally, and a framework to assess aspiring Directors via the national talent pool

Used by regional skills development networks nationally to support the design and development of leadership development programmes

Used by organisations to support the recruitment and development of those in DoF positions and those aspiring to Director level

100% of those attending the workshops rated them as engaging and effectively facilitated in a positive way to involve them in developing the framework

Please see the following links which outline the framework for senior finance leaders

This was presented at the HFMA conference.

“We were delighted with Prospect’s services in developing this framework. Their approach was innovative, participative and went the extra mile to meet our needs.

Developing the Director of Finance framework was a crucial piece of work both for us and nationally for finance leaders. The characteristics framework will be used widely for assessment, recruitment, talent management and development. We would highly recommend Prospect and will certainly be looking to use their services in the future.”

David Ellcock, Director, Future Focused Finance

Future Focused Finance

Developing a Characteristics Framework
for Directors of Finance and Aspiring Directors

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