FDS Chairman first person in Europe to receive top franchising certification

Roy Seaman, Chairman and Managing Director of Norwich-based Franchise Development Services Ltd (FDS), has become the first person in Europe to graduate from the Institute of Franchise Executives. Graduates from the class of 2007 collected their certificates at an awards ceremony held recently at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas during the International Franchise Association's 47th Annual Convention.

The Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) designation has become widely known and recognised as a mark of distinction among franchise leaders. Any franchisor, franchisee or supplier actively engaged in franchising, who has completed the necessary requirements of the programme within the three-year time frame which includes coursework and attending franchising events, is eligible to receive the CFE designation. By becoming a CFE, graduates commit themselves to lifelong learning and an ongoing pursuit of knowledge of franchising.

Roy said: 'What impresses me most is that some of the most important leaders in the US have seen fit to devote their time to achieving this designation. I feel privileged to join the ranks of what is considered to be such a distinguished group of people. Through my participation I have come to recognise the value of such courses for ensuring professionalism across the franchising industry.'

At last year's convention Roy was named an Honorary Professor of the International Franchise Academy of the Beijing Normal University in China, which through its association with FDS can now offer an undergraduate major in Franchise Management. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Member of the Institute of Export.

Roy founded FDS in 1981 following comprehensive market research assessing the future potential of franchising. FDS has since played an important role in promoting, marketing and encouraging franchisors to grow their businesses by following a true Business Format Franchise programme. The company is a Member of both the UK and international governing bodies of franchising, The British Franchise Association and the International Franchise Association.