The ICA awards qualifications at Certificate level (assessed at level 2), Advanced Certificate level (assessed at level 4), Diploma level (assessed at level 6) and Professional Post Graduate level programmes (assessed at level 7). The Certificate level qualifications align with benchmarks established for the UK’s National Qualifications Framework (NQF). The qualifications at levels 4 - 7 align with benchmarks established by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), which are mapped in accordance with the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and are quality assured through the University of Manchester, Alliance Manchester Business School. All named awards comply with the regulatory requirements for the NQF and FHEQ and higher level awards are devised in line with QAA guidance and descriptions of standards.
UK Finance is the leading association for the banking sector in the UK and formally endorses all ICA qualifications.
MBS has worked with the ICA for over 10 years under a quality assured educational partnership. All ICA programmes are offered in association with MBS and many thousands of students have graduated over the years in compliance, anti money laundering and financial crime prevention. MBS provides an annual audit of the ICA’s operations and regularly reviews its qualifications to ensure that they align with QAA requirements described in the FHEQ. MBS have accredited the ICA Graduate Diplomas as equivalent to 120 credits when studied in a workplace environment for accreditation of prior learning (APL). The ICA’s Graduate Diplomas are mapped at level 6 on both the FHEQ and the NQF.
ICA qualifications are mapped against the National Occupational Standards (NOS) of Competence produced by the Financial Skills Partnership (FSP), which is now an organisation within Universal Skills (formed from Skills for Justice, Skills for Health and the Financial Skills Partnership). The NOS were originally produced by the Financial Services Skills Council (FSSC) with the support of ICA. The ICA’s qualifications are mapped against NOS for Compliance, Anti Money Laundering and Financial Crime Prevention. ICA continues to support the development, maintenance and use of NOS, contributing to the updating of the three NOS suites in 2016.
The IBF Standards is a set of internationally-benchmarked competency standards, developed by the industry, for the industry. It is a comprehensive quality assurance framework with both an accreditation and a certification system.
The IBF Standards a practice-oriented approach to talent development for financial practitioners. Certification under the IBF Standards is an industry endorsed mark of quality that recognises individuals who exhibits professional excellence, integrity and commitment to the industry.
The Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore (IBF) was established in 1974 as a not-for-profit industry association to foster and develop the professional competencies of the financial sector. From its early days of offering banking diplomas to Singapore bankers, through to the administering of licensing examinations, IBF has worked with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the financial industry to promote continuous learning and the highest standards of workforce competency
The ICA’s qualifications offered in Singapore receive national recognition from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). MAS is Singapore's central bank, and supervises the banking, insurance, securities and futures industries, and also manages Singapore's exchange rate, foreign reserves and liquidity in the banking sector. MAS is an integrated supervisor overseeing all financial institutions in Singapore: banks, insurers, capital market intermediaries, financial advisors, and the stock exchange.
MAS recognition of ICA qualifications is quality assured: the qualifications are aligned to the FICS certification requirements and to nationally recognised workforce skills qualifications (WSQ). The quality of WSQ is assured by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA).
The ICA is a member of the South East England Consortium for Credit Accumulation & Transfer (SEEC) a highly respected authority in the existing and developing field of Credit Accumulation and Transfer (CATS) at higher education levels. SEEC serves as a reference point on credit-based learning, structures and processes in the UK and, now, in the developing field of European credit. SEEC provide credit level descriptors for Higher Education qualifications: the ICA’s criteria, standards and qualifications align with SEEC’s descriptors.
The ICA is a member of the Northern Universities Consortium for Credit Accumulation and Transfer (NUCCAT). The Northern Universities Consortium (NUCCAT) is drawn from Higher Education Institutions across northern and central England and Northern Ireland. NUCCAT provides a forum for practitioners with an interest in implementation and regulation of credit-based curricula.
The Australian Financial Markets Authority (AFMA), in partnership with the ICA, has provided a nationally recognised AML/ CTF qualification (FNS51710). Successful completion of the Diploma of Applied Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Management can lead to AFMA Accredited Individual status for employees of AFMA member organisations.
Since 1977, the Institute of Bankers Malaysia (IBBM) has borne the standard of the financial services industry. Now known as the Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers (AICB), the Institute’s aim is to champion the vision of professionalising bankers by raising the industry relevance and standards of its education, as well as leading and upholding the esteemed Chartered Banker status.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has tied educational and experience requirements to their “Approved Persons Framework” for all levels of appointment specified for banks and ICA qualifications feature in this framework.
ICA intermediate level qualifications provide certification for compliance officers operating within the scope of the regulations of the SCA. The ICA’s SCA Advanced Certificate in Compliance focusses upon legislation and regulation relevant for firms regulated by the SCA.
The Central Bank of the Bahamas is the supervisor of banks for the Bahamas and includes ICA qualifications as evidence of competence within its rulebook. In collaboration with financial institutions, the Central Bank has the duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct and management in the provision of banking and trust services.
The Jersey Financial Services Commission includes ICA qualifications as evidence of competence within its rulebook: the ICA qualifications appear in table 4, ‘Professional Qualifications’.
The Guernsey Financial Services Commission includes ICA qualifications as evidence of competence within its rulebook. The Guernsey Training Agency (GTA) University, formerly part of the GFSC, is the ICA’s approved training provider in Guernsey.
The ICA’s qualifications are listed in the approved professional qualifications within the IoM Financial Supervision Commission Training and Competence Framework as evidence of competence for Compliance and MLRO roles.
In most jurisdictions, ICA qualifications are recognised, benchmarked, qualifications used by regulators, education authorities and services as evidence of competence and ‘fitness and properness’ to undertake compliance roles. Recognition has been given to ICA qualifications by financial services regulators around the world. The ICA continues to provide standards and benchmarks for compliance, anti money laundering and financial crime prevention for national regulatory bodies and significant national professional bodies.