A wide range of apprenticeship standards now exist within financial services. These apprenticeship standards have been developed by employer groups and are listed on the Institute for Apprenticeships website.
Two apprenticeships have specifically been developed by employers for employees working in investment management. These are:
- Financial Services Professional (Level 6)
- Senior Investment/Commercial Banking Professional (Level 7)
A range of benefits are on offer to firms which engage in the delivery of apprenticeships. These include the opportunity to develop training programmes for both school leavers and graduates, and to obtain apprenticeship funding and so reclaim the apprenticeship levy.
An increasing number of employers (and training providers) within the investment management sector are now working towards the development and delivery of these two apprenticeship standards.
Qualifications awarded by CFA UK and CFA Institute that are included in the standards:
Financial Services Professional (Level 6)
This standard includes both the Investment Management Certificate (awarded by CFA UK) and the CFA Level 1 exam (awarded by CFA Institute).
Senior Investment/Commercial Banking Professional (Level 7)
This standard includes all three levels of the CFA Program. Given the timescales of the apprenticeship, we recommend that individuals coming into this programme having already completed CFA Level 1. This could be through completion of the Financial Services Professional (Level 6) apprenticeship or through a previous separate training programme.
CFA Program entrance requirements
The entry requirements into the CFA Program require that prior to enrolment/registration, candidates must either be in the final year of a bachelor’s degree programme or have four years of professional work experience.
CFA UK have worked with CFA Institute to establish that the Financial Services Apprenticeship (Level 6) is considered equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in level. Therefore a school leaver without a degree will be able to register/enrol for the CFA Level 1 program when in the final year of the Level 6 apprenticeship.
The following statements provide information regarding entry criteria into the CFA Program where an individual is a participant on either the Level 6 or Level 7 apprenticeships.
Apprenticeship/CFA Program Registration
- The CFA Program has three levels of exams that must be passed sequentially.
- Any apprentice who holds a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) will be eligible to register for the CFA Program without any special accommodations, subject to meeting the other requirements
- Any apprentice with a combined four years of full-time work experience and/or higher education will be eligible to register for the CFA Program without any special accommodations, subject to meeting the other requirements
- The Level 6 apprenticeship will be considered as equivalent to a bachelors degree. The Level 7 apprenticeship will be considered as equivalent to a master’s degree.
- Level 6 and Level 7 apprentices without a degree or professional work experience will be allowed to register for Level I of the CFA Program when they are in their final year of the apprenticeship, in the same way a bachelor’ student in their final year can do so.
- Apprentices wishing to register for Level II will become eligible to register upon successful completion of the Level 6 apprenticeship or by meeting either of the other two eligibility entrance requirements (i.e., Bachelor’s Degree or Professional Experience).
A range of training providers are working with employers to support the development and delivery of the standards. Some of these also have significant experience of the demands required of candidates taking both the IMC and CFA qualifications. An apprenticeship is about much more than just the professional qualifications, but we strongly recommend employers obtain feedback and input into the relative demands of these qualifications so that timescales can be appropriately structured and candidate expectations managed.