A financial services foundation degree framework, developed by the Financial Services Skills Council and financial services employers, has been approved for use in England.
The framework is a blueprint for the development and delivery of relevant financial services foundation degrees and it has been approved by Foundation Degree Forward (FDF) – the body which approves all new foundation degrees.
The framework recommends all foundation degrees cover core concepts including the financial service environment, regulation, ethics, risk and customer focus and service.
In addition, it says degrees should teach skills such as communication, analysis, team working and business awareness, while sector specific topics include financial planning, management, mortgages, investment and insurance.
Foundation degrees take an average of two years to complete, are one level below honours degree level and receive university validation.
They combine academic study with work-based learning and experience, and can be converted into an honours degree by doing a third year of study.
There is currently one foundation degree operating in the financial services sector at City College Norwich and at least three more schemes are planned for launch in Autumn 2007.
Development of the framework began in December 2005 and has involved employers ranging from large companies such as Abbey, Marsh and Norwich Union to smaller independent financial adviser companies such as Assured Future.
Teresa Sayers, chief executive of the FSSC, says: “Foundation degrees are pretty new to financial services and we’ve been impressed by how enthusiastic employers have been as they have found out more about them.”
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