From education to employment

Ruth Martin of the Securities and Investment Institute (SII) on International Coope

In response to the recent announcement of a cooperative venture with the Instituto Financiero Anaf (I.F.A.) in Spain, Ruth Martin of the Securities and Investments Institute (SII) spoke of her excitement at the possibilities.

The ICFA qualification will be assessed in both Spanish and English. The qualification will consist of a two hour paper comprising some 100 multiple choice questions. This will be made available to candidates via Computer Based Testing (CBT), in either Spain or in the UK. It aims to test and develop the core principles of financial advice and planning.

Ruth Martin on Pro ““ Active Approach

Ruth Martin said: “We were delighted to be approached by I.F.A. to be their partners in this project. I.F.A. is pro-actively responding to the implications of the Market in Financial Instruments Directive, ensuring Spain has well trained financial advisers. The ICFA will enable financial advisers in Spain and Latin America to help their clients achieve their financial goals.

“This is the first qualification developed in Spain for financial advisers,” she continued in greater detail, “and together with the Advanced International Certificate in Financial Advice will put in place a ladder of professional standards for financial advisers to achieve. The courses preparing candidates for the ICFA are being offered by a number of prestigious Spanish universities so employers and candidates can be assured of high quality teaching provision.”

Spanish Institute and Professional Engagement

Javier Escribano of the I.F.A. spoke at length of the background behind his organisation, saying: “I.F.A. was established by a selected group of professionals and professors with the aim of providing practical training to an emergent and new regulated figure in the Spanish market. With its global approach, I.F.A. is an international and accredited SII partner within the Spanish speaking market (Spain and Latin America).

“Our aim,” he continued, “is to provide quality training through innovation and the highest international standards in the Financial Advisory industry. The Securities & Investment Institute has brought to the I.F.A. an experienced trademark linked to excellence and competence in the Spanish market. These distinctive signs have attracted the interest of Universities and institutions, resulting in I.F.A. becoming a benchmark for local industry.”

He also raised the subject of the advanced certificate that is also being developed together with the SII, saying: “With the objective of providing outstanding knowledge and professional recognition to Financial Advisers, we are also producing an advanced certificate, the Advanced International Certificate in Financial Advice (AICFA). Our goal is to set the highest standards for advisers as an effective way to compete in a fast growing and open market.”

Once again, it is possible to look no further than the SII to find a shining example of innovative and cooperative ventures to provide the best training and skills opportunities, driving up the standards of their industry’s workforce. If one were to look beyond the SII, many other industry sectors sadly fall well short of this level of employer engagement.

Jethro Marsh

How do other sectors ensure a qualification is recognised and appreciated? Tell us in the FE Blog

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