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Tailored training

We work with you to tailor our programmes to meet your specific needs and requirements.

Whether you wish to tailor an existing ICAEW open programme to meet your needs and situation more closely, or create a fully bespoke development programme, we can work with you from needs analysis to solution. We work with individuals and teams, regardless of their profession, where we have the expertise to meet their development areas.

Even if you're not sure what kind of solution you are looking for, we are happy to chat to you and give you a few ideas, or examples of where other firms and companies have found success in the past.


We blend commercial and interpersonal skills to develop rounded leaders at all levels. Programmes are delivered by accountants and professionals who have worked in practice or business. ICAEW research findings inform programme design and support materials.

We work closely with you to align development with business goals. Our programmes have a practical focus, emphasising the transfer of learning to the task at hand – the activity of leadership, not the theory.

Everything is delivered in confidence, boundaries are clearly set so participants can participate and learn optimally. Areas we cover include:

  • Leadership skills – leading a function or team, values based leadership, conflict management, communication skills, decision making, delegating, influencing and negotiating, developing your leadership style, navigating he organisation, developing executive presence, developing and selling your strategy, mentoring and coaching skills, boardroom effectiveness, leading change, managing your career, exercising judgment, building trust, maximising your potential, building confidence and resilience.
  • Commercial skills – developing financial acumen across business, business partnering, bringing the numbers to life, managing risk, delivering excellence client service.
  • Continuous Professional Development – technical updates, reporting standards, regulatory change.

Whether you are looking for a half day skills programme or a fully tailored leadership development programme, we can assist you.

Full list of Talent development programmes

Ideal to prepare rising stars to support your organisation's succession planning, we offer a suite of in-depth programmes that combine mentoring, peer networks and workshops. The full list of Talent development programmes below can be tailored to your organisation's specific needs.

Network of Finance Leaders (NFL)

Financial Talent Executive Network (F-TEN®)

Developing Leadership in Practice (DLiP)

Managing Partners Programme (MPP)

Women in Leadership (WIL)

Mentoring & Executive Coaching

Case studies

“That’s return on your investment.”

Philip Haberman, senior partner of leading forensic accounting firm Haberman Ilett, talks to London Accountant about staff development.


Philip Haberman does not believe in networking. He is more interested in chatting with people. Perhaps a semantic nuance, or maybe it reveals something about the way he approaches others.

Whatever it is, people seem to respond to it. During his time as partner at EY, Philip came to know Frank Ilett, himself a partner at Deloitte. When the pair founded Haberman Ilett in 2013, Philip found himself being approached by former colleagues electing to leave the security and prestige of EY to join him at his start-up. In 18 months the practice has grown from 4 to 40 employees, and shows no signs of slowing.

It is no coincidence then, that Haberman Ilett takes training and development seriously. They are keen to invest in their people. So far they have sponsored three employees to attend ICAEW Academy’s Women in Leadership programme (WIL), which supports women aiming for senior management, partner or board roles, and one employee to take part in DLiP™, their partner development programme.

“ICAEW Academy’s programmes have a real long-term benefit for individuals,” Philip affirms. “The participant meets a group of external peers who see them as a leader, and this helps them to feel like a leader.”

The Haberman Ilett founder believes that in order to be an effective partner, you have to feel like one. “Real self-belief is fundamental to success in a business environment,” he explains. “I need my team to go to their clients and tell them what they need to do with absolute conviction. WIL and DLiP™ build people’s confidence. I’ve seen the difference in employees: they come back from the programme with a belief in themselves, and it resonates with clients.”

WIL’s particular strength, as Philip sees it, is that it focuses on the participant’s assets, seeking to refine and craft their individual leadership style. He adds that its mentoring component is particularly powerful: “It can sometimes be hard to change the views of those who know you. A stranger is more objective, and you start from a position of strength, with no baggage.”

As for DLiP™, Philip declares: “It’s great that ICAEW are supporting small firms. Learning from other people is so valuable; you gain so much insight from other people’s experience.” Nor does the peer-learning end when the programme ends: the relationships formed over the course of this long-term and intensive training tend to be lasting, and continue to bear fruit years later.

When asked what he would say to people who are worried about the cost of these programmes, he replies: “It sends a really positive message to the individual: that they’re worth it. It says ‘We have confidence in you, your judgement counts’. Everyone can see it’s not a box-ticking exercise. It gives them a sense of empowerment and creates a positive atmosphere amongst colleagues.”

Philip concludes: “If you consider the value these programmes bring to the individual and the firm, they pay for themselves. They help people move from one career stage to the next, and getting people ready for leadership secures the future of the firm. That’s return on your investment.”

Lucy Darham

Head of Corporate Capability at Vodafone

Finance for Excellence Programme

Lucy Darham

Lucy Darham, Head of Corporate Capability at Vodafone, explains how ICAEW tailored a Finance Excellence programme specifically for Vodafone. The programme was a bespoke, high-potential programme designed to broaden the skillset of the company’s top 20 middle managers from 12 different markets.

ICAEW pinpointed our objectives perfectly

At Vodafone we want to grow Finance Directors of the future by building a stronger, deeper pipeline through skill building and accelerated development. We knew this would need to include a blend of technical development, commercial and leadership skills to prepare the participants for the reality of delivering excellence at FD level. It was important to us that our Vodafone Finance Directors and internal experts were closely involved to bring the learning to life using Vodafone insight, and we wanted participants to leave with a set of practical tools that they could use once back in market. 

ICAEW were able to take this brief and pinpointed our objectives perfectly when putting together the programme. 

The finance for Excellence Programme was really about broadening skillsets and delivering skills with impact

The finance element of the programme certainly enabled delegates to communicate finance and strategy with both confidence and credibility. ICAEW were able to give delegates an external view on finance across global markets, which I think broadened their thinking and drive for innovation. 

But the programme was not just about broadening skillset and ‘up-skilling’ our Managers, we also wanted our delegates to deliver these skills with impact. The Chief Facilitators of the programme were both ex finance directors and HR directors and it was really beneficial to combine the finance element of a commercial background with softer skills. The success of the programme lies in the ability to share experiences - recognising the importance of finance skills, and building perspectives as a business person so that delegates feel comfortable having larger, influential business conversations. 

Ultimately we wanted to give delegates the confidence, skills and knowledge to become Vodafone’s finance directors of tomorrow

We have been delighted with how the programme has gone so far. We received 100 NPS from participants and over half of our Finance Directors were involved which speaks to the quality of the programme content.

I anticipate that 6 months or a year down the line we will really start seeing results in terms of career development and we have already had a few promotions to Head of Finance, which is an excellent achievement, and some inspired horizontal career moves. It is fantastic to be able to see career progression which, in part, can be attributed to the results of this programme. I am confident there will be more success stories to come and some Finance Directors.

“The Institute? Really?”

Rakesh Shaunak 

Rakesh Shaunak, Managing Partner of MacIntyre Hudson, talks to us about commissioning ICAEW to design a leadership programme for their new partners.

Until recently, employees at MacIntyre Hudson benefited from excellent training at all stages of their career bar one: when someone was promoted to partner, they were thrown in the deep end and expected to have developed a seamless front crawl before too long.

The transition isn’t a simple one however. Rakesh explains: “The Partner needs to be the ‘provider’ rather than the employee, and it takes much more than just dispensing technical advice. You need to be thinking and behaving like a leader, and be great at things like business development and client engagement”.

You no longer have anyone above you directing you, and are suddenly responsible for directing strategy, winning new business and growing the firm. Good training can go a long way to making this transition as fast and successful as possible.

So as Rakesh puts it, “choosing a provider is a big decision.” He himself spent a good deal of time researching professional development suppliers. When his HR director suggested ICAEW, he thought "The Institute? Really? Don't they just deal with regulation and technical matters?" Rakesh runs a successful business and wanted to partner with someone experienced in preparing people for a commercial world, not just a technical one.

“I had no idea ICAEW could help with training like this and I'm really pleased we asked you to work with us,” Rakesh asserts. He goes on: “I have people who are on the ICAEW programme saying to me: ‘Gosh, I didn't realise there was so much to being a partner. I knew what the role was but had no idea how to do it.’ The programme prepares you for that leap and teaches you to be authentic to your own style.”

ICAEW have run the programme for MacIntyre Hudson for two years now, and have received fantastic feedback from those who have taken part. Rakesh concludes: “The biggest benefit has been the mindset change. Individuals now realise they need to be working on the business rather than in the business. The focus for them is growth, clients and strategy rather than technical work, which is exactly the shift I was looking for.”

Karen Stewart

HR Director at Anderson Anderson and Brown LLP

Karen Stewart 

Programme: in-house tailored version of ICAEW's DLiP

Q. Why did Anderson Anderson and Brown decide on a tailored solution? 
A. It was important to the firm that we maximised the investment in our key players and by holding it in-house with smaller numbers, the participants got more attention from the facilitators. It also allowed us to tailor the content to make sure it was in line with the firm’s objectives and also met the needs of the managers.

Q. What benefit did the firm see?
A. Each participant came away feeling confident they knew how to lead the business, which was one of our main objectives and made the programme a huge success.

Q. What were the key outcomes for the participants?
A. Self-awareness, goal setting, influencing skills and support network.

Andrew Curcio

Director, Executive Compensation, Towers Watson

Programme: in-house tailored version of ICAEW's Finance for Non-Financial Managers

We, as a firm, were in search of a vendor that could bring our newest consultants up-to-speed on business finance. Although our more senior consultants deal with it regularly, we needed a reminder of the basics along with a more comprehensive session on the areas of finance that most touch our day-to-day work.

We chose to partner with ICAEW as they seemed willing to invest time up front to better understand our business and training needs, therefore ensuring sessions were tailored to our audience. The team at ICAEW took our input on board and presented two sessions that worked wonderfully for our consultants. Reviews of both sessions were overwhelmingly positive and specifically highlighted the course's interactive and flexible nature as keys to its success.

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