Testimonial from Islamic Finance Singapore
I first learned about Ethica Institute while working at ING bank in 2019. What surprised me was how many awards it had received for its courses, as well as how many banks, both conventional and Islamic, had enrolled in its CIFE and ACIFE programmes.
The testimonials were also very convincing and made it sound very practical, so I wondered why MUIS (Islamic Religious Council of Singapore) didn't offer this course to Madrasah students. I chose and enrolled in the ACIFE Financial Analysis because I already had the IFQ L3 certification.
They also offer:
• Certified Islamic Finance Executive (CIFE), the introductory program
• Advanced CIFE Financial Analysis (ACIFE FA)
• Advanced CIFE Accounting (ACIFE ACC)
All of these certifications are trademarked, so you can proudly list them on your LinkedIn profile. The courses on Ethica are very detailed, and the learning portal has audio explanations of concepts as well as visual diagrams that you can interact with. This makes it perfect for online learning.
Even though I only took the ACIFE FA course, I noticed that it was very practical, like it was preparing me to be an Islamic banker. For example, I had to figure out how to calculate the monthly rent for a partnership that ends in ownership (Ijarah musharaka muntahia bittamleek).
The CIFE course is made up of a total of 22 modules, but because some of them are made up of three parts, they can be put together to make 11 modules. On the other hand, ACIFE FA and ACIFE ACC each have 12 and 9 modules.
Ethica has also compiled an 800-page E-book about Islamic finance and has been recognised by AAOIFI as a training partner to help students learn more about the subject. Also, if you pass their test, they will send you your certificate in a beautiful-handcrafted frame and help you find your next job in Islamic finance.
During my first year of college, I was lucky enough to pass the ACIFE FA test. You might find it helpful to learn the order of Excel calculations and write them down so you can use them on your exam and at work.
My thoughts: You will be amazed by how many awards Ethica has won and by how many bank employees it has trained. The certification is priced in US dollars, and it is quite expensive. However, if you wait for the discount email and choose to pay in instalments, you can get more out of your Singapore dollars.
As was already said, the certification is mostly for people who work in retail Islamic banks, but some modules, like sukuk calculations, can also be used in corporate finance. This is the right certification for you if you want one that is useful, easy to pass, and still covers a lot of ground.