How long is a module?
About 20 minutes.
Will I be required to attend live training sessions?
There are no live sessions for the CIFE™ program, which is 100% self-study. For Ethica's Advanced CIFE™ in Islamic Accounting we had a chartered accountant with practical experience auditing over 1,000 Islamic banking transactions conduct "Accounting Masterclass" webinars. These webinar recordings help consolidate concepts covered in the 9 modules and add a new dimension to your learning experience. Our expert trainer not only covers tough questions but also discusses case studies, walks through exercises, screen shares balance sheets and other ancillary material for that extra edge.
Why are you offering an online program instead of just sending out a course book?
The convenience, reliability and efficiency of online delivery is unsurpassed. The Internet has changed everything. People prefer to get more and more information, even university education and bank training, from the Internet. And because many people see an ongoing online program as more effective than a two or three day crash course, corporates are more likely to opt for a blended program, containing both in-class instruction and e-learning. Listen to Salman Khan and Bill Gates in this video to understand this new generation gap, especially the first 5 minutes when he explains how his young cousins preferred e-learning to face-to-face tutoring: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM95HHI4gLk. So we think that not only is e-learning more cost-effective, it's more *educationally* effective. Some things are better done face-to-face (ie. inspiration, ethics, conveying spatially complex concepts, etc.), but for pure information transfer, nothing matches e-learning for rapid delivery.
So you are saying I don't need to download and print any material, I will not receive any material by post and I am not expected to buy any books?
Absolutely. Ethica's 100% online delivery platform enables us to give you dynamic and up-to-date material 24 hours a day, rather than waiting around for outdated guidebooks, CDs, and distance learning emails. Our training and certification is designed for maximum knowledge transfer without burdening you with more information than you require. All the information, including spreadsheets, case studies, questions, exercises, and quizzes is contained in the training modules. As further enrichment Ethica offers all students over 400 pages of premium Islamic finance material including CIFE™ Study Notes, sample Islamic finance contracts, informative articles, recommended reading lists for Islamic finance practitioners and entrepreneurs, a glossary of commonly used industry terminology, and 1,000+ scholar-approved Q&As.
Which scholars support your company?
In our ongoing effort to promote industry-wide standards, we rely on the opinions of scholars who are knowledgeable in the Accounting and Auditing Organization of Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) Shariah Standards, the world's leading Islamic finance standard.
Who recognizes and accredits Ethica's certification?
Ethica's 4-month CIFE™ is certified AAOIFI-compliant by leading Islamic finance scholars and approved by accredited Islamic institutions. AAOIFI is the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions, the world's leading Islamic finance standard for more than 90% of the industry. If it isn't AAOIFI-compliant, it probably isn't Shariah-compliant.
What do you mean by third-party accredited?
All recognized certifications are third-party accredited. In order for any institution's certification to be fully credible, the accrediting body should be a third-party, not the institution providing the certification itself. That is why we have chosen Islamic finance scholars, the leading authorities in the field of Islamic finance, to accredit that we are following AAOIFI, the leading standard-setting body in the field of Islamic finance.
Why Is Standardization Important?
We believe that following the most widely accepted Islamic finance standard in the world, AAOIFI, leads to greater transparency, governance, and convergence. And this is why fatwas are so all-important in Islamic finance. Fatwas are expert legal opinions from Islamic scholars qualified to adjudicate on a particular matter. In Islamic finance, a non-scholar is not permitted to give a fatwa. AAOIFI's Shariah Board, on the other hand, has over a dozen scholars from all over the world. Like the rest of the industry, Ethica's accreditation comes from scholars, not from academic bodies. To learn more about this subject you can read our article “FIQH OR FICTION - Why Islamic Finance Needs Standardized Training” here.
What job opportunities do I have after Ethica's certification?
Ethica's graduates perform better at Islamic banking jobs because our courses find their roots in the cut-and-thrust of banking execution. With Ethica you bring knowledge to the table and demonstrate confidence in your interviews. Ethica's Career Advancement Package includes:
- Recommendation letters
- 1-on-1 career counseling
- Job interview coaching
- CV review
- Use CIFE™ as a designatory title after your name on resumes and LinkedIn
How does Ethica help the poor?
Poverty is a symptom of the root problem, and we believe one root problem is compounded interest. We hope to give people the tools to: 1) remove interest; and 2) implement alternatives. Islamic finance is still in its infancy and much progress still needs to be made but the proven principles of equity-based and asset and service-backed finance remain equally compelling.
How do you protect against theft?
We aim to provide a complete community experience in which multiple complementary learning channels, not to mention certification, are not obtainable by mere copying. Even so, we handle copyright infringement by incorporating a sophisticated back-end (data rights management) infrastructure that brings world class security to our website for easy fraud detection. Moreover, our members are everywhere, and when other trainers' content begins to look suspiciously like ours, we use our team of legal advisors to pursue offenders to the full extent of international law. We take the following measures:
- 24 hour back end visibility: A blogger once accessed our modules in an unusual way. We saw all the activity in the back end. When we asked him about it, he provided a satisfactory explanation so we did not report him.
- Informants: We have fans in over 100 banks. They tell us everything.
- More than slides: Each slide requires painstaking coordination of numerous things and expertise in e-learning far beyond the slide itself. If I copy all of Ahmed's PPTs, I'm still missing Ahmed. You don't have to go very far to find boring e-learning so even if the slides are copied, the execution can't be.
- Thieves are lazy: People who steal tend to be sloppy. Even when they try to be slick, eventually mistakes are made and are found out using IP addresses and old fashioned Google searches of similar sounding copy.
- International law: Only once we have had to resort to legal action when we found a copycat in Malaysia. Our response was swift, furious, and backed by a fleet of internationally-trained lawyers. The guy backed off within 24 hours.
I'm still at school. Does Ethica's certification make sense for me at this stage?
The CIFE™ and Advanced CIFE™ certifications are independent of other certifications and designations, both in terms of the content itself and the market perception. This is because the principles and products used in Islamic finance in general and Islamic accounting in particular are separate and distinct. We usually recommend that people get an early start on their Islamic finance knowledge and certification so that they see conventional products through the lense of Islamic finance rather than seeing Islamic finance products through the lense of conventional products which often hinders one's understanding of Islamic finance at later stages.