INSTITUTE OF FUNDRAISING: Good training is not just restricted to the capital

LINDSAY BOSWELL, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising

Four or five years ago the comment "You can't get good training outside of London

might have been heard from fundraisers based in other areas, but no longer. In the past two years, the Institute of Fundraising has increased and improved its training delivery outside of the capital.

It is now two years since the Institute of Fundraising in Scotland launched a series of Master Classes leading to the only professional UK qualification for fundraisers, the Certificate in Fundraising Management. This represented a major development for the Institute in Scotland and followed the successful delivery of Foundation Programmes in the region.

The programme, which is due to run again in November, looks at how fundraising fits into the overall mission and vision of the charity. It covers areas such as research and how it is managed, the skills needed to provide effective leadership and problem solving in fundraising management.

The Master Classes can be taken as stand alone days, but together, with successful completion of accompanying assignments, they form Module 2 of the Certificate in Fundraising Management.

Fundraisers in the North West will have seen the Institute's Foundation Course twice this year, the latest was held in Chester on 24 September.

This course, leading to Module 1 of the Certificate, is recognised as the premier introduction to fundraising in the country. It is also available in Edinburgh, Bristol and Brighton. This represents a major improvement in programme availability for those wishing to complete the Certificate or become full members via a taught route.

Additionally, in the past few months we have improved opportunities for more experienced fundraisers to complete the Certificate by introducing four regional assessment centres and a streamlined route to developing a portfolio to submit to the Institute for validation.

During the next few weeks we will be undertaking an exercise to review individual progress toward the Certificate. As part of this exercise we will be contacting a range of candidates registered to collect details about their progress and listen to recommendations as to how we might improve things going forward.

In the immediate future, I believe that the Institute's developing links with the Directory of Social Change will provide an excellent springboard for the expansion of a wide range of quality training delivered outside of London. We will be working in the next few months to ensure that the Fundraising Programme becomes the first point of contact for all fundraiser development.

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