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July 6, 2011

CIMA enhances Islamic Finance education

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) has launched an Advanced Diploma in Islamic Finance, the first qualification of its kind to be offered by a professional accountancy body. It follows CIMA’s Certificate in Islamic Finance launched four years ago.

CIMA’s authority on Islamic finance John Willsdon said as the Islamic Finance industry is now valued at more than $1.3 trillion with an estimated growth of 15-20 percent annually and more than 50,000 professionals are needed to join the industry globally in the next five to seven years.

This is one of the driving forces behind launching and then expanding CIMA’s Islamic Finance qualification, Willsdon said “our aim is to provide appropriately trained human capital to sustain the industry’s continued growth”.

International Institute of Islamic Finance president and chief executive Mohd Daud Bakar, who acted as a consultant on CIMA’s Advanced Diploma, said “CIMA has developed a truly global product to help facilitate this expansion”.

Willsdon told The Accountant the diploma, which offers international recognition by the industry, as an alternative to the regional qualifications available in isolated geographies, will be available to anyone in the world through long distance online learning.

CIMA said the advanced diploma is designed to compliment the knowledge and understanding gained from the basic Islamic Finance diploma and will challenge a student’s ability to apply the knowledge gained to real-life situations based on case studies.

Unlike the already established basic qualification, which comprises of four modules, the advanced diploma is a one module self study qualification. It covers Shariah contracts, structuring process and financial environments; Islamic banking system and products; Equity, Sukuk and fixed-income instruments; takaful and retakaful models and policies and Islamic risk-management tools and strategies.

Willsdon said the institute currently has 794 students on its Islamic Finance qualification and he expects there to be a high level of interest for the advanced diploma among those students. In the future CIMA is planning to work with universities from around the world to develop a joint Islamic finance degree.

“We are in discussions with a university in Dubai, Australia and with Reading University in the UK,” Willsdon said.

“We are in discussions with them to see how we can integrate our programmes. We have also been in communication with a Malaysian university to see how we can integrate our qualification into their Islamic Finance course.”


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