ifs School of Finance
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (February 2012)|
The ifs School of Finance, founded in 1879 as the Institute of Bankers, is a registered educational charity incorporated by Royal Charter. Positioning itself as a ‘business school for finance’, the ifs aims to provide industries with financially skilled, effective and competent workforce.
The ifs works closely with the financial services industry to provide learning for financial services providers. The educational provision includes formal qualifications ranging from financial capability for the 14–19 age group to Masters level, and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) through to executive education programmes, such as masterclasses, seminars and lectures. Ranking cannot be determined due to lack of data
1879 - Founded as the Institute of Bankers.
1987 - Gains a Royal Charter.
1993 - Merges with the Chartered Building Societies Institute.
1996 - The BSc (Hons) in Financial Services is offered as a dual award with the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. It is the first professional award to be linked to a university degree.
1997 - A new brand the Institute of Financial Services (ifs) is introduced to reflect the evolving nature of banking and insurance activities to the wider financial services sector. In the same year the Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP) is introduced – this is the first qualification for UK mortgage professionals.
2001 - The ifs is the first educational body in the sector to provide electronic assessment for its regulatory qualifications, which now include the Certificate for Financial Advisers and the Certificate of Regulated General Insurance. Also this year, the first of the personal finance qualifications for young people in the UK is launched. The qualification, equivalent to an AS-level, is the first of its kind.
2004 - Launch of ifs KnowledgeBank, an online library and information resource.
2006 - Members agree proposals for changes to the organisation’s corporate governance and structure. Changes to the Royal Charter are approved by the Privy Council and the organisation is renamed the ifs School of Finance.
2010 - Granted Taught Degree-Awarding Powers (TDAP) by the Privy Council, the ifs is now able to award both undergraduate and taught postgraduate degrees in its own right without ratification from a third-party university.
 Professional qualifications
The ifs provision includes qualifications from GCSE equivalent through to postgraduate degree level, as well as regulatory qualifications including CeMAP, CeFA and DipFA. The ifs also offer financial professionals Continuing Professional Development support through its executive education programmes.
The ifs School of Finance has been offering membership since 1879. Membership is designed to offer relevant and up-to-date learning and networking opportunities. By becoming a member benefits include access to:
- ifs KnowledgeBank - an online library and information resource.
- Financial World - a magazine providing reports, news and features on the financial services industry (published 10 times a year with circulation in 2008–2009 of approx 26,000).
- Continuing Professional Development (CPD) - ifs members have access to myCPD, an online CPD program. This provides a framework for professional and personal development, designed to suit members' individual situations.
- Regional Networks - members have access to 19 Regional Networks in the UK and internationally. These networks run programmes that include lectures, seminars and industrial visits to support members’ ongoing personal development and networking needs.
 Financial capability
The ifs has developed a comprehensive financial capability package for students aged 14–19 and also for adults to help them manage their personal finances effectively.
The ifs is the only provider of GCSE, AS and A level equivalent qualifications in personal finance for students aged 14–19, all of which are accredited by Ofqual. The ifs CeFS and Dip FS qualifications also carry UCAS Tariff points.
14-19 qualifications - The ifs financial capability package aimed at the 14–19 age group is available to all schools and colleges in the UK. Topics such as debt, loans, credit cards and budgeting are covered to give individuals the confidence to make important financial decisions.
Adult qualifications - A range of qualifications aimed at helping adults to develop the key life skill of managing their personal finances.
 Regional Networks
The ifs School of Finance has 19 Regional Networks – 10 in the UK and 11 in international and offshore locations. Their aim is to help a diverse alumni community of over 30,000 finance professionals keep in touch through lifelong learning. The networks are run by groups of volunteers working in the financial services industry.
The ifs School of Finance runs events to support personal development, facilitate networking needs and celebrate excellence within financial services.
Financial Innovation Awards - Aims to recognise and celebrate excellence in innovation.
Partnered events - A series of seminars on key topics in financial services.
Prestige Lectures and Regional Networks events – Lectures, seminars, industrial visits and social events in various locations in the UK and overseas.
Executive Education - A leadership programme aimed to suit individuals’ development needs.
Research workshops - The ifs research workshop series provides an opportunity to keep up to date with topical issues in the financial services industry.
 Academic Community
As part of its Academic Community Development Programme, the ifs has institutional recognition to provide Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) recognised awards.