I’m really excited to share the news that ICAEW has unveiled a new professional designation for those individuals who want to pursue a career in business and whose role involves an element of finance related work.
We all come across people in jobs who would benefit from a deeper understanding of the core business skills required to run a company, for example how finance and accountancy works. They may sit in your teams or in your wider organisation, they may be colleagues or friends. If so, then I believe this new designation would be relevant to them.
It will give them the essential finance skills and the ability to make informed business decisions, both key components for career progression. It also demonstrates their commitment to continued professional development. For employers, it will create new training and development opportunities for their teams, it will help address skills shortages within their organisations and also provide them with a means of developing and retaining talented employees.
The new designation is called the ICAEW Business and Finance Professional (BFP) and builds on our Certificate in Finance, Accountancy and Business (ICAEW CFAB) qualification as well as our Level 4 Trailblazer Apprenticeship. Holders will be able to use the designatory letters BFP and also be part of ICAEW’s Business and Finance Professional community. This provides access to a network of like-minded professionals as well as a wealth of management and personal development resources.
Those who want to become ICAEW Business and Finance Professionals will need to do more than just pass a set of exams. They will also need to undertake 12 months’ work experience and complete our online ethics learning programme assessment. When they gain the qualification, they will need to commit to complying with ICAEW’s ethical standards and to keeping their knowledge and skills up-to-date through continuous professional development.
For many, gaining the BFP designation will provide the skills and knowledge they need to progress in their careers. For others, it will be a stepping stone on their journey towards gaining the ACA qualification. Either way, it is an important addition to what ICAEW offers.
The BFP designation will be available to students and employers from 1 November. But between now and then, I would like to encourage members to nominate colleagues to start their journey to become an ICAEW Business and Finance Professional. They can find out more at icaew.com/becomeabfp.
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ACA and FCA still represent the gold standard in our profession. The ACA exam has evolved over the years to reflect the changing needs of employers and to reflect the increasingly complex and fast-changing world in which we live - and it will continue to do so. CFAB and the new designatory letters BFP in no way diminish the value of the ACA; the reverse in fact is true: by encouraging more people to study for and obtain a qualification under our supervision we help to increase standards and we provide another route for some of those people to attempt the ACA itself. Council was fully and enthusiastically behind this development - and so am I.