CFA Institute, the association for investment professionals, launched the Claritas Investment Certificate yesterday at its 66th Annual Conference (19-22 May in Singapore).
The new education programme provides a thorough understanding of how the investment industry works and represents a new international education and ethics standard across the financial services sector.
The Claritas certificate is accessible to a wide range of professionals working with investment decision makers in functions such as operations, administration, IT, HR, marketing, sales, compliance and customer service. It is a self-study course which requires between 80 to 100 hours of study over a six month period and is made up of seven modules, covering the industry, tools, instruments, structure, controls, client methods, and ethics, culminating in a single self-scheduled, online exam at a proctored testing centre. On successful completion of the examination, candidates will be awarded a certificate of knowledge.
CFA Institute developed the Claritas certificate in response to the financial crisis, and as part of a global call to action for industry participants to play their part in addressing the overall lack of trust in financial services. This follows feedback from industry leaders, government regulators, academics, and investors, which revealed a need for an accessible, foundation-level programme which gives a clear understanding of the investment industry and the professional responsibilities within it.
The industry’s enthusiasm for the Claritas certificate has been confirmed through a pilot programme, which launched in January 2013. Over 3,300 candidates from 70 companies in 50 countries served as pilot participants. Feedback from pilot participants also supports the need for the program: 84 per cent of participating employers said they would recommend the programme to other employees, and 85 per cent of employees who took the course would recommend it to colleagues.
John Rogers (pictured), president and chief executive of CFA Institute, who officially opened public registrations from the CFA Institute Annual Conference in Singapore, says: “We are pleased to announce the launch of the Claritas Investment Certificate. It has been two years in the making and it is fitting that we launch this new initiative in Asia, the birthplace of the concept. In recent years, financial institutions have suffered considerable reputational damage. We must work to raise the professional standards of all participants in this industry, and rebuild public trust,¡± said Rogers. ¡°Education is at the heart of the CFA Institute mission and the new programme allows us to broaden our programmes to help people working across the financial services sector.”
Martin Schnauss, global category lead for product, finance and risk education at UBS, says: “We are delighted to be one of the first companies to participate in this exciting and important new programme from CFA Institute. Our employees who participated in the pilot programme have already reported a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities within the industry, and we firmly believe that this improved understanding will lead to a more efficient, productive and collaborative workforce.”