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Life-long learning for global business and shared services

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CIMA, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and The Hackett Group have announced the first ever formal career development programme for the Global Business Services (GBS) and Shared Services.
This follows the announcement of a strategic collaboration earlier this year. To further their collaboration and support of the GBS sector, CIMA and The Hackett Group are formalising their partnership with the creation of a new professional body, the Association of Certified Global Business Services Professionals.
Building on the jointly-branded Global Business Services qualification launched in April, the programme will introduce two new levels over the next year, each with a qualification and corresponding designation. At each level, the newly-developed syllabus teaches the skills and competencies required by employers to achieve the highest standards of excellence.
The three tiers will now be: the Certificate in Global Business Services (CGBS), available immediately, replacing the Global Business Services qualification; the Diploma in Global Business Services (DGBS) available in quarter three of 2016, designed for those at a managerial level; and the Advanced Diploma in Global Business Services (ADGBS) available in quarter two of 2016 aimed at senior management level.
Participants in these programmes will also have access to a new knowledge centre, where material such as case studies, frameworks, and performance metrics from The Hackett Group, CIMA, and other organisations will be available. The knowledge centre is designed to support participants through exams and life-long learning, with additional material unlocked as individuals complete certification at each level.
This is particularly good news for South Africa having been identified in 2012 by the National Outsourcing Association, UK and in 2013 by the European Outsourcing Association as the outsourcing destination of the year. South Africa is home to four of the leading six UK contact centre service providers namely CAPITA, Serco, Webhelp and Teleperformance.
Cited as South Africa’s value proposition in the outsourcing market:
* Large experience pool;
* Attractive investment climate and strong public sector support;
* Rapidly improving telecoms;
* Time zone similarities and ease of access;
* Significant cost savings of up to  about 50% lower than source markets; and
* Skilled English-speaking talent pool with a neutral accent.
Ted Fernandez, chairman and CEO of The Hackett Group, says: “The GBS world is changing rapidly, moving beyond a focus on single functions and transactional work to offer an integrated approach to business services and a focus on more knowledge-centric skills such as strategic thinking and analysis, data modelling, people management and change management. Our new programme is designed to help support that evolution, enabling GBS leaders to equip their staff with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.
“These training programmes provide value in a diverse array of ways,” says Fernandez. “For GBS leaders, our training and certification offerings provide ammunition that can help them convince senior management that they are ready to take on more complex processes and more responsibility. These programmes are also an excellent way for GBS organisations to recognise top performers and improve retention of key staff. For GBS staff, this represents an exceptional opportunity for development and to improve career mobility. Finally, our programmes are an excellent way for outsourcers to differentiate themselves from the competition.”
Charles Tilley FCMA, CGMA, chief executive of CIMA, says: “As the world’s largest and leading professional body of management accountants, CIMA supports members and students in 179 countries through our intensive and rigorous training, practical education and continuing professional development services. We are proud to be applying our expertise now to the GBS sector. GBS professionals need to have the right competencies and insight to provide the kind of sophisticated, strategic service that the sector is evolving towards. We have helped boards and management teams around the world bring together the information they need to inform strategy formation and execution and we will be supporting GBS organisations as they seek to do the same.
“Until now, GBS organisations and their employees have been unable to reach their full potential due to a lack of dedicated training. With this new stage in CIMA’s partnership with The Hackett Group, we are responding to this clear need. As the first and only organisations to deliver long-term education to the sector, we will help GBS professionals to attain and maintain world-class performance levels and ultimately, better enable and support the strategies of the businesses they serve.”