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

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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

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

“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.”