MAS works with the Institute of Banking & Finance (IBF) to implement the Financial Industry Competency Standards (FICS) framework. A set of standards with an associated curriculum guide on the competencies required for practitioners in specific job roles, the FICS is a comprehensive quality assurance framework with a certification and accreditation system aimed at raising the quality of our financial workforce and training providers. Competency standards for all 52 job families were launched in June 2006. 36 financial institutions have sent their staff for FICS-accredited training and assessment co-funded by the Financial Sector Development Fund (FSDF). In addition, six major financial institutions have implemented FICS within their internal training/assessment infrastructure. The number of FICS-certified practitioners is expected to grow as lead training and assessment service providers start to roll out accredited training and assessment programmes for all areas covered by the competency framework.
Besides developing a broad base of skilled manpower, MAS aims to build up a critical mass of specialists in areas such as financial engineering, risk management and insurance to support the expansion of high-end and complex activities in the financial sector. In June 2006, MAS launched the Finance Scholarship Programme (FSP) under the FSDF. Through the FSP, MAS, in partnership with some financial institutions, will provide scholarships for promising executives and fresh graduates to pursue specialised masters programmes in top universities. So far 13 financial institutions have committed to co-sponsor 120 scholars over the next five years.