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 Professional Qualifications 

History of Certifications & Qualifications


Since the late parts of the 20th century executives round the world and students have been making a shift towards professional qualifications (PQs), such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), the Project Management Professional (PMP), the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), Advanced Diploma in International Taxation (ADIT) and many more.  There are numerous reasons justifying this 'shift': the practical knowledge offered by these programmes, their global character and their continuous renewal of their syllabus in order to respond to the needs of corporations and each profession. But what is their recognition and their competitive advantage in such a challenging and changing world? How do they differ in comparison to the traditional university studies?


Professional qualifications had not been particularly successful in Europe and Asia until 2000-2005 for four main reasons:


  • The option of 'professional qualification' was not available in many European, Middle Eastern and Asian countries (with few exceptions).

  • In many cases, the Educational Systems of each country granted - and is still granting in some parts of the world - professional rights only through university degrees and not necessarily through professional bodies/associations.

  • Because 'professional rights' in many countries were only awarded by the national governmental bodies themselves (notaries, chartered certified accountants etc.).

  • The national culture and its specific perceptions of studies, where focused on academic studies (university bachelors and masters degrees)


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