CISI, ACCA join forces to boost global market for trilingual 
Islamic finance qualification

By TMR

Two global professional bodies, with a combined total of 756,000 members and students, are working together to meet the global market demand for Islamic finance education.

The Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote and co-brand the CISI Islamic Finance Qualification (IFQ).

The CISI, which represents those working in the wealth management, financial planning and capital markets professions, launched the IFQ in 2007. Since then, 3,950 have sat for the examinations globally, CISI said in a statement.

The IFQ, a level-three certificate, is available worldwide and both the exam and workbook are produced in English, Arabic and French.

The qualification promoter said it is suitable for existing and new employees, and those seeking a career in Islamic finance.

The qualification was initiated by the Banque du Liban (Bank of Lebanon) and was jointly created by l’Ecole Supérieure des Affaires and the CISI. These bodies convened an expert group, called the Advisory Council for Islamic Finance, to develop and oversee the qualification, according to the statement.

CISI CEO Simon Culhane said the IFQ covers finance from both technical and Shariah perspectives.

“Since its launch, the IFQ has been taken in over 50 countries and we are looking forward to collaborating with ACCA to increase the market for this industry-leading qualification, which prepares candidates to hold key positions in the Islamic finance and takaful (Islamic insurance) professions,” he said.

In the same statement, ACCA CEO Helen Brand said the qualification has immense relevance as it offers technical and also Shariah law perspectives.

The UK is the top western centre for Islamic finance and the global market for Islamic financial services increased by 12% in 2014 to US$2 trillion (RM8.28 trillion). The market is expected to top US$3 trillion this year, according to the statement, quoting CityUK statistics. — TMR