Management Training Scheme (MTS)

Graduate trainees

Trainee: Sarah Johnson

TYPE: Finance


Before the NHS management scheme:

I went to the University of Edinburgh, studying Business Studies and graduating in June 2008.  During my final summer before leaving Edinburgh University I spent the summer working in a private accountancy firm.  I enjoyed my time with the company, and became interested with accountancy as a profession.  However, when coupled with feedback I was given from friends who worked for larger private firms, I realised that the competitive and impersonal atmosphere of many private firms were less suited to my nature.  I graduated in June 2008, moved up to Aberdeen and began looking for a job.

What was it like being a National Trainee?

This scheme immediately caught my eye due to the professional qualification offered, the range of workplace experience accompanying the role, and its size.  With just 4 trainees I felt the personal and dedicated approach that FTSU could offer would suite me, and prove more beneficial for my long term career.

Upon beginning the scheme we spent a week completing a 'cooks tour' in NHS Ayrshire & Arran which provided me with experience of front line NHS work.  Having taken the role of a trainee finance manager I didn't think I would be given the opportunity to see the range of treatments offered by the NHS first hand.

The trainee scheme has allowed me to gain a variety of experience through challenging and interesting work placements.  In my host board I have undertaken a wide variety of placements in Financial Accounts, the Treasury department, Corporate Finance and Management Accounts.  Outwith the NHS, I completed a three month internal Audit placement with the local council.  Additionally we were lucky enough to have a one month placement at the Scottish Government during the completion of the local development plans.  Everyone within NHS Grampian has been extremely supportive to me, and have been both understanding and flexible with regard to my studies.

The scheme has also allowed me to work towards my CIPFA professional qualification, and I am currently studying for my final exams.  Although I had minimal previous accountancy experience I have passed all my exams to date at the first attempt, achieving CIPFA prizes for two of the courses.  Whilst I have had to put in work on my own time, the study materials and tutors provided by CETC, and latterly Kaplan, have been excellent.  Much of the stress around exams is eased with generous study leave, and attendance at the revision courses, which have been such an important part of my exam success.

The training and development offered has been excellent, and included a Management Training programme with SPRs and General Management trainees.  This training has allowed me to experience a unique and extremely interesting style of learning, in addition to improving my awareness of genuine problems affecting the NHS.

Hopes for the Future: 

I have recently secured a substantive post as a Management Accountant for the Moray CHP within NHS Grampian.  This position will allow me to further develop the knowledge and skills I have attained during the training scheme and fill gaps in my experience, including staff management.