Finance staff

A career in healthcare finance could be perfect if you have a head for figures and you’d like to work in an amazing and challenging environment.

Finance staff work across public services to make sure the best decisions about modern and reliable services are made. They help make the tough choices that are sometimes needed about the allocation of resources and services, always keeping the needs of patients in mind.

Starting your career

Subject choices

You need a good standard of education to become an administrative assistant. There are no specific entry requirements, but useful subjects for the role include:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Administration and IT
  • Business Management

Work placements and volunteering

If you’re at school or thinking of changing your career, doing a work placement could help you when applying to college, university, or for a job in healthcare. You’ll learn new skills, improve your knowledge and discover what it’s like to work in the health service.

Find out how to apply for a work placement in the NHS. There may also be opportunities to volunteer.


Foundation Apprenticeships

A Foundation Apprenticeship will give you the skills, knowledge, and experience to start your career journey. You could take a Foundation Apprenticeship in:

Modern Apprenticeships

With a Modern Apprenticeship, you will gain an industry-recognised qualification. Relevant Modern Apprenticeships for roles such as payroll assistant, finance administrator, or accounts assistant include:

Graduate Apprenticeships

For mid-level roles such as management accountant or financial analyst, you could study towards a degree while working. You could do a Graduate Apprenticeship in:

College and university

College courses relevant for this role include: 

  • HND Accounting
  • HND Financial Services

It might also be helpful to have an degree. Most universities accept a wide range of qualifications, so you could apply directly from school or go to college first.

For this role, useful undergraduate degree programmes include:

  • Finance
  • Economics
  • Mathematics

Master's-level qualifications in business, finance, or administration could also lead to a role in finance.

Widening participation supports adult learners who want to go to university. If you’re an adult with few or no qualifications, you could get into higher education through the Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP). Many universities also provide access programmes to help you get the degree entry qualifications you need.

Search for college or university courses on My World of Work.

Professional qualifications

Professional qualifications that will also help you get into a role in finance include:

In addition, you could also consider any of the charted accountant qualifications accredited by these organisations:

The role

In NHSScotland, finance staff work in a diverse range of roles, in our regional and national Health Boards across the country.

Typical job roles in include:

  • payroll assistant
  • accounts assistant
  • finance officer
  • payroll manager
  • business partner
  • financial accountant

Finance staff work closely with suppliers, service partners, and colleagues in other teams to ensure our services run smoothly and we use our resources wisely. They work in teams to deliver vital support and services, with a focus on professionalism and quality.

What you’ll do

Depending on your role, tasks may include:

  • providing administrative support
  • adhering to finance policies and procedures
  • investigate and resolve queries from other departments and stakeholders
  • provide expert advice on finance department process, financial planning and data analysis
  • present financial information to a diverse, non-financial audience
  • produce financial reports for analysis
  • make sure best practice is followed and shared with colleagues

Top skills

Useful skills include:

  • communication
  • teamwork
  • attention to detail
  • time management
  • being organised

Who you’ll work with

Finance staff work with:

  • employees and ex-employees of their Health Board
  • procurement colleagues
  • finance colleagues
  • HR colleagues
  • HMRC
  • SPPA
  • DWP
  • other NHSScotland Boards
  • external stakeholders

Working environment

Finance staff work in an office, or remotely.

Learning and development

During your career, self-directed learning will provide opportunities to learn new skills and gain qualifications. You’ll be able to apply to more senior roles as you progress.

Professional bodies

Finance staff can join the following organisations: