The Sri Lanka Institute of Credit Management (SLICM), the leading institute that offers credit management education in Sri Lanka, hosted its 18th annual convocation recently at the Centre for Banking Studies with Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal gracing the occasion as the chief guest.With that in context below are excerpts of an interview held with SLICM Vice President Lyle Peiris:
Q HOW DID THE SLICM INITIATE?
The SLICM was initiated in 1988 as a pioneering education project which intended to fill a vacuum in the leasing and finance-related industry in Sri Lanka. In the year 2000, the SLICM was incorporated under a Parliamentary Act No. 07 of 2000. Over the years, the SLICM has trained over 1500 students from over 100 financial institutions in the country. We have produced well-qualified graduates to banks, finance companies, leasing companies and a variety of trading companies since our inception.
Q HOW WILL THIS QUALIFICATION BENEFIT THE INDUSTRY?
Presently, the industry is facing a crisis of sourcing well-qualified talent and this institute is the solution for creating and nurturing this talent pool. Our mandate is to set the standards that can be used as a benchmark in credit in the country. The initial syllabus and structure was created based on the needs of the industry.In addition to this, we do look at the global acceptability of our course offerings and thus we have always kept the standards expected by establishments such as Institute of Credit Management – UK. All membership applied through the SLICM have been offered the membership of the Institute of Credit Management, UK, where our education standards have been accepted. Credit management is an essential tool and it is important for any business to adhere to a proper evaluation, dispensation and monitoring process when it comes to granting of credit. The knowledge of how to handle credit and manage credit is the difference between the success and failure of a business. Proper and effective credit management optimises the growth of any business enterprise.
Q WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF GAINING A QUALIFICATION IN CREDIT MANAGEMENT?
Primarily, any successful business enterprise requires an efficient system of evaluating and managing credit. It is an intrinsic element of commerce. In addition, the Government of Sri Lanka has given itself a target of achieving an economy with a per capita income of US $ 7500 by the year 2016. Therefore, one of the key areas that would create and fuel the development and growth of the economy would be the credit industry. This would be bring about an increased demand for professional credit managers equipped with the necessary knowledge and expertise who can meet the challenges of the industry.
Our institute will play a key role in imparting the knowledge of credit and credit management and supplying the industry and the country with talented professionals who will actually take the country forward in the march towards a newly emerging economy. The uniqueness of this professional and training qualification is that it is the only institute in the country in this field which has been incorporated by an Act of Parliament.
It has been mandated to set the standard of credit management and provide recognition to those who have acquired this professional qualification by granting them fellowship or associate member status.
Q WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS?
In order to meet with the increasing demand for professionals in credit management the institute appointed Aspirations International Academy (AIA) as its accredited teaching partner. This gives the council of management of the institute the opportunity to focus its attention on improving and restructuring the syllabi and planning on future development strategies to enhance the scope and quality of the programmes offered.With the tie up with our accredited study centre AIA, plans are underway to introduce the diploma course in Sinhala and Tamil, thereby catering to a wider segment of the country and increasing our reach which was primarily concentrated in the Western Province to the more rural areas as well.Further, we wish to strengthen the new programmes we have launched over the last one year, which includes a Certificate course in Micro Credit Management and an Executive Certificate in Marketing Credit Instruments.
We are also looking at introducing new courses in areas such as trade credit etc. More details and information regarding the course offerings can be obtained by calling 0117-555255.