The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at helping to meet the global demand for Islamic finance education.
The global professional bodies have agreed to work together specifically on the promotion and co-branding of the CISI Islamic Finance Qualification (IFQ).
IFQ was launched in 2007, since then almost 3,950 exams have been sat globally.
Simon Culhane, CISI chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be working with ACCA on further developing the promotion of the IFQ, which covers finance from both a technical and Shariah perspective.
“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.”
The IFQ, a Level 3 Certificate, is available worldwide and both the exam and workbook are produced in English, Arabic and French.
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 (ESA) and the CISI.
The organisations formed the Advisory Council for Islamic Finance (ACIF), a group of experts, to develop and oversee the qualification.
According to CityUK statistics, the global market for Islamic financial services increased by 12% in 2014 to $2trn, and it is expected to reach $3trn (£2.37trn, €2.6trn) this year.
Helen Brand, ACCA chief executive, said: “We’re very pleased to be continuing our work with CISI on this Islamic Finance Qualification, adding value for our members and students choosing to work in what is an important developing area.
“Islamic finance is recognised as a vital and thriving market, which will continue to grow on the global stage.
“This qualification has immense relevance, offers technical and Shariah law perspectives, and importantly it has been developed by experts.”