Published: 01/07/2004, Volume II3, No. 5912 Page 22

Recently you mentioned that 'finance departments are said to be particularly badly affected' under Agenda for Change ('Never mind the ballots' pages 34-35, 10 June). This has been a worry for the Healthcare Financial Management Association.

So it is timely that the HFMA recently launched a consultation document reporting on work we have done in conjunction with the Department of Health, trade unions and the finance staff development board.

This has been to develop a series of generic Agenda for Change profiles for finance roles in the NHS.

There has been some concern about the job evaluation scoring system not reflecting accurately the pay and contribution of the professions that lack direct dayto-day patient contact.

The generic profiles cover every Agenda for Change band and provide the basis for a finance career ladder.

The generic profiles are based on the Agenda for Change knowledge and skills framework and the competency frameworks developed by the national finance staff development board. They are benchmarks which organisations can use to more easily identify where finance roles sit within the evaluation system.

The profiles will ensure a smaller proportion of finance professionals is placed on protected conditions and provide a sound and equitable basis for their further development.

Colleagues can access the information on the finance profiles by visiting www. hfma. org. uk. I would be delighted to hear from any other professional bodies like ours that wish to proceed down this route.

Mark Knight Chief executive HFMA