UK Programmes for Senior Leaders

Facts and Figures

    • The programme was first developed in 2009. 
    • 21 programmes have taken place to date, involving over 300 managers from Australia, New Zealand, India, Vietnam and Singapore.

The organisation

            CATA is the largest organisation of its type in the world, with truly global reach – its 46 member countries deliver public services to a total of some 2 billion citizens, almost a third of the world’s population. Its mission is to promote the improvement of tax administration within the Commonwealth with particular reference to developing countries.

            The business issues

            The development of effective tax administration in member countries has long been recognised by CATA as key to providing both sustainable development and good governance. To that end, CATA sponsors a wide range of high quality training and development events in pursuit of its mission.

            Two of these programmes are delivered by HM Revenue and Customs in conjunction with Cranfield School of Management and are seen internationally as flagships amongst CATA’s output. They run in parallel and centre on a very intensive 7 week period in the UK.

            The programmes focus on advanced development in the fiscal context. Key components are strategic leadership and top end operational management, underpinned by first class personal development that will help key players contribute to their administration’s performance long term.

            The programmes

            The programmes have been custom built to equip managers and leaders in the developing world with the knowledge and skills to make a real difference back home:

            • Professional development is led by acknowledged experts at the leading edge of current thinking in tax administration, a significant proportion of them board level figures in HMRC. 
            • A genuinely global perspective is provided through the contributions of senior officials from the fiscal functions of a number of overseas jurisdictions in the developing and developed world, and through structured activities in which participants pool and explore together their own experiences.
            • Personal development modules, developed by Cranfield in partnership with HMRC, provide each participant with the tools to make best use of new learning in the workplace.

            Intensive sessions on team building, leadership, communications, and the impact of organisational culture on change management pave the way for the action learning component, a key design feature of the programmes: delegates work in multinationals teams on major tax administration issues of current concern, drawn from their own workplaces and the developing world generally. This activity brings together elements of the programme in a challenging but supportive environment. The end product – a formal project report including costed options for meeting the challenge in question – is delivered to CATA to inform its own ongoing research, published on its website for the benefit of member countries globally, and also taken back to the delegates’ own workplaces for evaluation there.

            “This project is designed to make a difference in the developing world in the short run, and its quality and value are directly related to Cranfield input. Cranfield’s personal development work with participants is the key enabler for the central action learning component. The distinction with which they delivered their contribution was a major factor behind the programmes’ huge success.”

            John Hudson, Course Director, HMRC

            Making a difference

            Cranfield captured key development insights for individuals to take away as a customised personal action plan to support their own longer term development and - equally importantly - that of their organisation.

            Feedback from the programme has been exceptionally positive, not least because delegates recognised the real, direct relevance of the Cranfield contribution to their developing country environment. 

            Delegates on both programmes have in common the potential to get to the top, and indeed a significant number of the past participants now occupy positions at the highest level in their administrations.

            Why Cranfield?

            “Cranfield is a byword for excellence in many parts of the world, and on such intensive programmes it is essential to command attention and respect from the off. That reputation is reflected in the quality of its consultants and their insights into the challenges of working with multinational audiences from many cultures, faiths, backgrounds and disciplines.”

            John Hudson, Course Director, HMRC