Top 7 Recognized Finance Certifications (UK)
If you are planning to establish a career in the financial sector, knowing where the best positions are is not enough. You will also need to attain the certificates that qualify you to handle financial matters in a professional capacity.
These qualifications are often required in other sectors too – another good reason to consider them.
In the UK, there are plenty of recognized finance certifications that will prepare you for following your chosen career path. We've done the legwork for you and picked the best ones.
'Financial certification' refers to the validation of expertise in one or more aspects of finance.
A certificate is earned after attending a course, passing an exam and attaining the necessary qualifications.
Apart from showing knowledge in niche-specific subjects, certified individuals are often required to demonstrate their ability to abide by ethical standards.
They often need to continue their education and attend more finance certificate programs to maintain their knowledge at the required levels and expand it if necessary.
As you would expect, certifications qualifying you to work in the financial sector can vary significantly. They are also valued differently from one organization to the next.
In some companies, one certificate will only get you an entry-level position, whereas in others it may be enough for a promotion.
All these financial certificates do have one crucial thing in common: the ability to provide you with expert knowledge about a certain field in finance.
Having proof of your knowledge via certification in addition to the work experience you gain while earning your qualifications can significantly enrich your CV.
Attaining a certificate in a particular aspect of finance can help you position yourself strongly in the job market and find a role that fits your skills.
It also allows companies and individual clients looking for a financial advisor to find a professional who meets their specific needs.
Earning the appropriate certification can be invaluable for your career in finance.
Here are a few examples of how holding a finance certificate can help you in your professional career:
One of the most meaningful advantages of a certificate in any aspect of finance is that they allow you to prove your aptitude in that specific field.
This is particularly helpful for those who graduated from other disciplines but are stepping into a new career path that requires financial knowledge.
By earning a finance certificate, you gain the necessary practical skills for becoming a professional in your chosen field. You will also learn all the industry's best practices, which will help you impress your future employer.
If you already hold a degree that qualifies you to work in one financial sector but would like to move into another area, gaining a certification can be the easiest way to do so.
You will learn how to deliver expected results with confidence in your new field of work.
What's more, you can earn your qualifications while still maintaining your old position. This saves you from having to pursue a costly and often time-consuming degree.
If you have your eye on a promotion that requires proof of financial aptitude, earning the appropriate certification can help you build a case for it.
The practical finance skills that you may have already gained will also stand you in good stead.
Nothing will increase your credibility more than having proof of expertise. By passing a finance certificate programme, you will show your employer that you are committed to your new responsibilities.
There is a broad range of finance certifications you can gain in the UK, with some of them being recognized internationally too.
The following certificates represent the most convenient and inexpensive methods of earning relevant qualifications in the UK financial sector.
The Diploma in Investment Compliance provides qualifications for a career in compliance. This applies to both general financial compliance practice and more specialized areas.
During a total study time of 476 hours, you will gain a thorough understanding of UK and international financial regulatory services and learn how to confidently apply their standards in your career.
To obtain the certificate, you must pass three units:
- Combating Financial Crime
- Global Financial Crime
- Risk in Financial Services
The exams can be taken in one of the CISI global centres or via online invigilation.
To be eligible for the course, you must have completed and passed one of the following:
- Introduction to Securities and Investment Banking
- International Introduction to Securities & Investment
The cost of this course is £500, which includes the exam fee and the workbook with which you must prepare for the exam.
If you require additional help with your studies, you can also pay for tuition. In this case, your expected expenses will be around £2,000.
While few jobs have this particular certificate as a prerequisite, getting it can boost your CV and help you through job interviews.
This diploma provides the title of Associate Chartered Banker.
This certificate is particularly useful in enhancing the existing skills of those already working in banking.
The course can be completed within nine months, after which you must pass two modules to obtain your diploma.
One of these modules is Professionalism and Ethics, and the second one can be either Personal and Private Banking or Commercial Lending. Once you've passed, you will have in-depth knowledge and skills any ethical banker should possess.
Reaching Associate Chartered Banker status also proves commitment and professionalism your employee will value.
Although there are no formal entry requirements, it is understood that you are already working in the banking sector. It is also recommended that you gain a Professional Banker Certificate or Professional Banker Diploma first to establish a foundation in the subject.
Each module costs £1,295, which includes your workbooks and your first assignment submission fee.
If you apply for resubmission, you will have to pay an additional £120 per module.
Several companies encourage their employees to get this certificate, and many offer to pay for the entire course.
If you have a degree gained through any subject covered across the modules, you can get credits towards your fees.
If you are beginning to develop your banking career, the Professional Banker Diploma can be the perfect way to start it.
It will equip you with competent knowledge and practical skills for a wide range of banking disciplines.
You will be required to pass three modules, out of which only the Professional Banker Certificate module is compulsory.
For the other two, you will choose from eight different modules, all of which requiring about 100 hours of study.
Entry for each module is valid for 12 months, but you don't have to complete all three within this period. You can choose to take on one or two at a time and leave the rest for the following 12 months.
To become eligible, some banking experience will be desirable. This can be gained through an Institute-accredited bank program or any other courses.
You may also be eligible if you have obtained the Professional Banker Certificate. It costs £295 to take each module.
This fee includes your study materials and the first exam entry fee, while re-entries cost £145 per module. Another eligibility requirement is to become a member of the Institute. For this, you will have to pay an additional £30 upon registration.
You will have access to a digital workbook, and you may take your exam online or at any Institute examination centre.
The Professional Banker Certificate is an introductory banking certification suitable for anyone interested in gaining skills in banking in the digital age. Combining core banking principles, including sustainable banking, and learning how banks are able to meet the new requirements posed by this age are just some of the benefits you can gain from this certificate.
You will only have to pass an exam in the Professional and Responsible Banking in a Digital Age module, for which you will have 12 months to prepare.
Everyone is eligible whether they are newcomers to the financial sector or work in the retail or banking sectors.
There is no specific work experience required as you will be provided with all the foundation you need during the course.
To study the course, you must become a member of the Institute by paying an annual subscription fee of £30. Apart from this, you will have to pay £295, which includes a digital version of the workbook and the first exam entry fee for the module, while re-entries cost an additional £145.
Examinations can be taken at the Institute's examination centres or via remote invigilation.
Becoming a Certified Financial Planner will allow you to gain a robust skill set and knowledge for delivering lucrative financial-planning propositions.
You will be equipped to help your clients reduce compliance risk and meet their financial goals.
It will also help you build a reputation and gain the confidence of clients by providing them with sound financial advice no matter how complex their situation.
Within just 12 months, you can master the theoretical and practical financial-planning knowledge needed to complete a comprehensive course that meets Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) standards.
This course is recommended for anyone looking for a career in financial planning or to elevate their skills to meet the demanding nature of the modern financial industry.
To start your journey of becoming a Certified Financial Planner, you must hold either an Investment Advice Diploma or an RDR-compliant qualification for FCA levels 4 and 6.
You will also need the relevant work experience. This is either one year of supervised practical experience or at least three years of unsupervised experience.
You will also be obligated to abide by the CISI's Code of Conduct which illustrates your ethical responsibilities to clients, employers and the general public.
Your total qualification costs will come to £1,000, which includes the workbook and the first exam fee.
This certificate is offered in association with the University of Manchester Business School. This three-month practical course will provide you with a solid understanding of basic financial compliance problems.
There are other great business certifications you can get too.
When passing your exam, you will obtain an introductory-level certificate and knowledge that represents the perfect foundation for specialist compliance courses.
You will be able to actively engage with all the relevant compliance processes, access the risks and understand your clients' requirements.
The only entry requirements are a sound educational background and good written English skills. The course is suitable for anyone working or aspiring to work in the compliance sector, financial audit area, risk functions or regulatory representative.
The cost of a finance certification online course is £615 for online tuition only.
To study for an ICA qualification, you will need to become a member of ICA by paying a student membership fee of £75.
There is a free course syllabus for all of our qualifications and a digital certificate you can download upon completing the course.
7. Professional Risk Manager Qualification – Professional Risk Managers International Association (PRMIA)
This qualification is a widely recognized certificate.
The practical skills and knowledge to become a professional risk manager are gained through four exams, which must be taken within a 24-month period. However, this date starts when you pass your first exam, not upon registration.
The entire enrolment period is three years, so you will have a year to study before taking the exams. Upon completion, you will be able to meet the specific requirements of your employer or private clients.
The most important entry requirement is work experience associated with the regulatory or rating industries, or the area of risk management. This can vary from four years without a bachelor's degree to two years with one.
There are exceptions to this, for example, if you've earned a graduate school degree or have passed a professional qualification, such as the ones offered by the CFA.
You must also hold a current PRMIA Sustaining or RIM level membership. The costs of the course, including the exam and the material, are a minimum of £1,000.
The certificate is often stipulated as a prerequisite for employment in high-risk management sectors.
This depends on several factors, including whether you are already working in a similar sector or plan to start your professional career in finance.
Your educational background and the exact type of job you are looking to qualify for may also play a part in determining which certificate is the best for you.
Presently, the most sought-after finance qualifications in the UK are the ones that provide the opportunity to gain specialist knowledge in financial controlling functions or compliance specializations. Financial risk-management courses are also in demand.
While many institutions working in finance welcome candidates with a finance degree, not all of them require you to have such a qualification.
However, if you don't have a finance degree, you will probably have to prove your knowledge and competence through other means, such as a recognized certification.
This depends on the qualification you have chosen. Some courses can be completed in just under three months, while others can last up to two years.
Others specify a certain number of hours to be completed, which you may distribute over a certain time period.
Finance is an intensely competitive industry that requires time and dedication to succeed. However, it can also provide a lot of opportunities, including positions in banking, accounting, tax, risk management, investment management and financial management.
If you decide to earn a certificate that will qualify you for any of these fields, you will have a broad range of courses to choose from. Many offer flexible schedules or online learning options, perfect for people studying alongside work.
If you are looking into securing a promotion by acquiring finance qualifications, the ones in this article can help you achieve your dreams. That said, it's recommended to look into what qualifications you need for the desired position. This way, you can make an informed decision when choosing your finance course.