I am pleased to share that on the 24 May 2019 the ACT qualifications, Diploma in Treasury Management (AMCT) and the Certificate in International Cash Management (CertICM) have been added to the Financial Services Professional Apprenticeship standard.
Over the last few years there is, and has been, a lot of focus on apprenticeships. In order to respond to this changing environment a small group at the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT) started to investigate what this may mean for the ACT and what our options are. To gain greater clarity, we spoke to a number of other professional membership bodies, the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) and a selection of customers from Financial Institutions (FIs) to corporates, in order to understand the interest in our sector but also whether this is something we can ultimately support.
During this process of investigation, we became aware that banks are keen to continue to support our qualifications, however as the apprenticeship levy* is being rolled out, there was the potential that their budgets would be restricted to being spent on qualifications that formed part of an apprenticeship standard.
From a non-financial corporate perspective, most smaller organisations are not thinking about this yet, and many larger corporates prefer to train their employees through their own global training programmes, treating the levy as a tax rather than a fund to draw down. Also, there is currently no treasury apprenticeship standard, and if one was to be created, the organisations themselves would need to drive this by forming a trailblazer group. To add to the complexity, apprenticeships are handled differently in England and Scotland.
Based on this information our immediate priority was how we work with FIs. We soon realised that there were a number of apprenticeships standards in existence already, one of which is the Financial Services Professional (FSP) Apprenticeship standard at Level 6, where other professional bodies have their qualifications as part of the standard e.g. Chartered Banker Institute, CFA, CISI. What this means is that students/employees who choose to take the FSP apprenticeship, must take one of a number of professional qualifications listed on the standard. After talking to the IfA, we realised that the best option for us would be to try and have our qualifications listed on the standard.
We have been working on this over the last year, and at the start of 2019 a meeting was convened with all the members of the trailblazer group who would need to discuss any amendments to the standard. In February we found out that the inclusion of our qualifications on the standard had been accepted, but the standard would need to be republished. In early May we were informed the updated standard would be published on the 24 May.
So, what does this mean for our students, members and employers?
In essence what this means is that FI employers can now put their employees onto the FSP apprenticeship and if they opt in to do our qualifications, as their chosen professional qualification, they will then sign up with us and complete either:
• the Certificate in Treasury Fundamentals (CertTF)/the Certificate in Treasury (CertT) and the Diploma in Treasury Management (AMCT), or
• the Certificate in International Cash Management (CertICM).
As our qualifications follow a learning pathway for the Diploma in Treasury Management (AMCT), students will be required to complete all the qualifications up to this level, unless exemptions apply. All our qualification learning costs are included in the levy, however membership and assessment fees are excluded.
Our in-house team provides full support for every aspect of apprentices’ engagement with ACT qualifications including programme management, progress and results reports, tuition and revision workshops.
Successful students are eligible to become ACT members and use the appropriate designatory letters.
Please note that this apprenticeship is not suitable for corporate organisations or consultancies, however if you are a corporate or consultancy and interested in finding out more about a treasury apprenticeship then please do get in touch.
*The apprenticeship levy is applied to large employers with a pay bill of over £3 million. They currently pay a levy of 0.5% of their total annual pay bill. All employers can use the levy to fund apprenticeship training.