Training Provider – Guidelines on the Conduct and Marketing of IBF-STS or FTS Courses

Jun 16, 2020

We refer to MAS' and IBF’s announcements on 8 April 2020 on the launch of the support package for the financial and FinTech sectors to cover training in IBF-STS or FTS courses up to 31 December 2021. 

It has come to MAS’ and IBF’s attention that the conduct and marketing of training programmes under the Terms and Conditions for IBF Recognised Training Providers can be further clarified, in particular, given that more training is being shifted onto virtual or e-learning formats and with the adoption of the nett course fee model. In this regard, we have set out some guidelines below for your immediate attention and compliance.

Conduct of Programmes, including Virtual and E-Learning Programmes

For IBF-STS Providers
To be read in conjunction with the T&Cs for IBF Accredited Provider:
Clause 5.4 - The Accredited Provider shall be responsible to maintain an adequate system for the administering and conducting of accredited programme, including but not limited to ensuring that the participant has passed the necessary regulatory / industry examinations (where relevant) before the issuance of a Certificate of Completion.

For FTS Providers
To be read in conjunction with the T&Cs for IBF FTS/Core CPD Provider:
B12 - The Provider shall maintain an adequate system of administering and conducting training.

1.   For virtual or e-learning, training providers must ensure that they have a formalised process and system to track participant’s attendance, which should include the following:

​1.1
​A system to authenticate participants’ identities;
​1.2
​A monitoring system to track participants’ attendance for the entire duration of each training session;
​1.3
​Trainer/instructor support for participants who need further clarification or assistance; 
​1.4
​Technical helpdesk support;
​1.5
​Attendance records capturing the following details for synchronous online training e.g. conducted through virtual meeting application
-
Course title
​-
​Time and date records of training delivery
​-
​Time and date records of the presence of participants corresponding to the training sessions
​-
​Time-stamped photographs/ snapshots of the online classrooms showing participants attending the training sessions at regular intervals 
​-
​Participant’s name and last 3 digits and letter of NRIC
​-
Participant’s email address (if an email is used to register on the synchronous online training platform)

​1.6
​Retention of full recording of each online session for IBF’s audit when required.

2.   Training providers that convert existing classroom training to virtual or e-learning formats should also review the course fee charged for their programmes, to ensure that fees remain fair and appropriate. In assessing this, training providers should consider:


​2.1
​Whether the course fees reflect the
​-
​optimal class size based on the virtual learning methodologies; 

​-
​actual cost of the training being provided;

​-
​market pricing for training of similar topics, duration and training methodologies.
​2.2
​Whether the course fee has excluded, where possible, costs related to application/software subscription fees and materials that are optional/non-critical to a course. 

3.    Enrolment and Class Size

​3.1
​You must ensure enrolment of participants with the right profile intended for your course. This may include indicating clearly the course entry requirements and providing proper screening of the course applicants.
​3.2
​You should develop strategies to ensure optimal number[1] of participants in an online class to create purposeful instructor-participant as well as participant-content engagement.

Marketing of IBF-Recognised Programmes 


For IBF-STS Providers
To be read in conjunction with the T&Cs for IBF Accredited Provider: 
Clause 5.1 - The Accredited Provider shall make accurate representation of its accredited programme in all marketing and communications, and 
Clause 5.2 - The Accredited Provider shall ensure that staff employed to conduct accredited programme have the requisite qualification and are competent for their roles, and
Clause 18 - Use of IBF Branding

For FTS Providers
To be read in conjunction with the T&Cs for IBF FTS/Core CPD Provider:
B17 - The Provider shall adhere strictly to all communication guidelines imposed by any government agency.
C2 - The Provider shall make accurate representation of the programme (including programme title, fees, duration, target audience, training purpose, programme structure, trainer(s) qualification, etc.), and funding level for FTS training in its marketing or any other communication materials.

4.   Training providers are reminded to market your programmes responsibly. Specifically,

​4.1
You must not convey the impression to the public that the IBF Enhanced Course Fees Subsidies (ECS) or Training Allowance Grant (TAG) is limited to you or your courses only. 

​4.2
​You must not use ‘IBF or MAS Approved’ in the course of marketing your courses. You can use the terms ‘IBF Accredited” or ‘FTS recognised’, where applicable

4.3​​You must not market the approved courses as ‘free’ or ‘paid by the MAS or IBF’. 

​4.4
​You are not allowed to use rewards such as referral awards, lucky draws, gifts and vouchers or equivalent, as a way of incentivising the public to sign up for the courses. ECS and TAG are non-transferrable.

​4.5
​You are not allowed to use the TAG as an inducement for the public to sign up for your courses as this may not be in line with the individual’s training needs. 

​4.6
​You must not request for confidential details such as SingPass or emails’ login passwords from your participants and perform any transactions or claims using the course participants’ login credentials. 

​4.7
​You have to make clear to applicants to your courses that ECS and TAG will be awarded only when they have fully attended the programmes and passed the necessary examinations, if required.  

​4.8
​You shall ensure that all your staff and licensees, sub-contractors and representatives appointed to perform the obligations set out in the IBF Terms and Conditions and guidelines have the requisite qualifications and are competent for their roles.

​4.9
​For any engagement of third-party agents in your marketing effort, you will remain accountable and responsible to ensure compliance of such third-party agents to all IBF Terms and Conditions and guidelines, and for all acts and omissions of such third-party.

​4.10
​For staff or other third parties authorised by you to perform transactions on IBF Portal on your behalf. You shall be solely liable for all such transactions performed by such individuals and for keeping IBF informed of any changes to your staff or third parties so authorised by you.


5.   Disclosure of Course Fees and Invoicing Requirements


5.1​
​You must set and publish in a prominent place on its website the fees payable for each course and the course fees subsidies
​5.2
​Prior to the commencement of training, you must supply each eligible individual with an invoice. The invoice must provide eligible individuals with key information (including but not limited to):
​-
​the programme code, title and commencement date of the training course in which the eligible individual has enrolled, as published on the IBF Programme Finder;

​-
​the course fees with clear indication of the GST amount, if applicable and how the course fees are offset in part using the IBF Enhanced Course Fees subsidies (where applicable). 


IBF seeks the support and co-operation of our training providers in our effort to upskill our workforce. The ECS and TAG are meant to help our workers invest in upskilling, in particular for those impacted by the COVID-19 situation. IBF takes a serious view of any individual, training provider or organisation that abuses IBF Funding Schemes and will not hesitate to act against any who contravene the terms and conditions of programme accreditation/recognition and course fees funding.


6.   For any clarification, please contact IBF at:


​-
standards@ibf.org.sg (accredited programme under the IBF Standards Training Scheme) 
​-
fts@ibf.org.sg (recognised programme under the Financial Training Scheme or Core FAA/SFA CPD)