And this is me!

The overall pass rates at the CIPFA exams in 2018 was an impressive 75%, but there are still some PQs who do that little bit extra and become prize winners. Here’s two of this year’s prize winners stories…

The prize for the best overall performance in the Audit and Assurance exam this time around went to Robyn Evans from Essex County Council.

Robyn started her studies with CIPFA as part of her role in the council as a finance graduate. Before she started at Essex she had just finished her degree in mathematics at Lancaster University. She says she wanted to pursue a career in something that further qualified her in the workplace, and also helped the residents in the community in which she lives. Robyn explained she has now worked within all the major teams within finance and audit, and thanked everyone for being so supportive. She was even recently nominated for and won a ‘You Make a Difference in Essex Award’ as the ‘Learner of the Year’.

Robyn admits to being a worrier at heart, and finds the wait between doing exams and getting the results particularly difficult, as well as juggling revision with workplace demands. She claims this has all become easier by looking after her new kittens. In her spare time she is a keen card player and has played bridge nationally.

She hopes to be qualified by next summer. She then knows she must decide where she wants to take her career. Meanwhile, the prize for the best overall performance in the Financial Management exam was awarded to Jacqueline Millington. She also won the best overall performance in the Strategy & Policy Development exam. So she was a double winner!

Jacqueline started working for Halton’s library service when she was only 15 and stayed for more than 10 years. As much as she loved this profession, as her career developed she found herself more and more focused on the business and financial aspects of the job. In 2014, she made the move to finance and began working in accounts payable, Although she enjoyed the role, she knew she wanted to progress her career in finance and started studying CIPFA two years later.

As a result of this she was appointed to the role of finance officer last year, and is now responsible for managing the budget for the council’s community and environment department. Jacqueline knows she has been extremely lucky to have hugely supportive divisional manager and operational director who have encouraged her on her journey. She also mentioned her family who are 100% behind her, even when she gets a little stressed with it all.

feels she hasn’t got a lot of time for other interests, but she kept up membership of a successful quiz team. “We’re pretty much universally hated, and there’s always a groan when we walk through the door,” she explained.

Ultimately, Jacqueline doesn’t see completing CIPFA as the end of the journey – rather just the beginning. And she can’t wait to explore the possibilities that await…