Improve your chances of international success

Gain the respect of your peers in the international franchise market and improve your franchise's performance by participating in the International Franchise Association's Certified Franchise Executive Programme

Franchisors looking to grow their business through international expansion should consider putting their franchise executives forward for the International Franchise Association (IFA)'s prestigious CFE (Certified Franchise Executive) accreditation programme.

Chair of the ICFE (International Certified Franchise Executive) Board of Governors and CEO of Two Men and A Truck International Melanie Bergeron says: 'Our mission is to enhance the professionalism of franchising by certifying the highest standards of quality training and education. The CFE programme offers franchise executives an established curriculum taught by recognised experts in the field. It provides individuals with the opportunity for expanded knowledge, industry recognition, and peer-level networking. Members of the ICFE Board have volunteered to serve as the first ICFE Ambassadors offering their expertise to initiate the peer-level networking aspect of the CFE programme and provide assistance to CFE candidates.'

The CFE programme launched in April 1991 and since then many franchise executives have participated in the programme to demonstrate their commitment to the franchise industry and to continue to develop their knowledge of how it works. On average the course takes between 18 and 24 months to complete and all applicants are expected to finish the programme within three years of their enrolment.

The course covers a wide range of topics from accounting, franchise law and franchise relations to management and operations, marketing, diversity and franchise recruitment to name but a few. Candidates have to demonstrate their skills, experience and dedication to franchising and are marked accordingly on the IFA events they attend, the courses they take to improve their knowledge and standing within the industry and by completing an online exam.

In my professional opinion, as the Managing Director of Franchise Development Services (FDS), the CFE programme is the best course in the world for any aspiring franchise executive! Over the years, I have taken a number of online courses and this is by far the best. Having graduated, I now have extensive knowledge on how franchising works in the USA and am able to use this newfound knowledge when meeting clients and prospects.

Those with a CFE award are recognised as some of the most successful, educated and experienced franchise development people the in the US and world. While the course itself does not provide ways of contacting the US market, once you graduate there are opportunities to communicate with fellow CFE Executives. I would highly recommend any UK franchisors with aspirations of entering the US market to go on this course. It has proven a great investment for me both in terms of time and money.

Reported by Roy Seaman CFE