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1,000th CFE Graduate to Highlight IFA Convention − Join the Celebration

Nearly one-third of IFA-member franchisors have one or more executives enrolled in the Certified Franchise Executives program that’s now enjoying record enrollment among supplier and franchisee members.

This is an amazing time to be part of the franchise community. I think back to when I became a Certified Franchise Executive in 2000 and how our lives and our franchise community have changed. Since then, we’ve had major changes in our community’s legal infrastructure. How many of us still slip and call the franchise disclosure document a UFOC? What about the amazing ease of electronic disclosure? These were the days before VetFran, MinorityFran and FranSocial – even before the days of Facebook and LinkedIn! We’ve come very far.

In recent years, the CFE program has achieved fantastic growth. In 2000, we had 117 members enrolled. Now there are almost 1,700 graduates and active candidates. In the past five years alone, enrollments have increased at an annual rate of 25 percent per year. In fact, 412 franchise executives have joined the ranks of graduates just since 2011. This amazing fact is leading the way to our celebration during the upcoming 2014 International Franchise Association Convention in New Orleans, Feb. 21-25, during which we will dance our way across the stage in true Creole style to celebrate our 1,000th CFE graduate.

Nearly one-third of IFA member franchisors have one or more executives enrolled in the program, which is enjoying record enrollments among supplier and franchisee members. Many companies are now enrolling multiple candidates in the program, and several companies have made the program mandatory for some of their senior-level executives and managers. My executive management team at IKOR is expected to enroll in and complete the program because we know that only through this type of executive education will we be able to deliver what our franchisees expect.

Not only are we growing in numbers, but the types, quality and number of courses that are available to us are expanding as well. Courses through the program are accessible in more ways through the IFA University ( Special Sessions during the annual convention, IFA Development Seminars, IFA Legal Symposium, as well as an expansive list of private offerings.

The Survey Says

In July, the Institute of Certified Franchise Executives Board of Governors surveyed CFE graduates and candidates to measure the effectiveness of the program. This is the fifth survey conducted since 2009. It helps the ICFE Board and staff determine the importance of certification to our graduates and candidates and what they are looking for specifically in terms of franchise certification.

The survey covered many aspects of the program, including overall satisfaction, value of the designation, educational quality, accessibility of courses, pricing, registration procedures and suggestions for improvement. Of the 802 graduates and 689 candidates who received the survey, 333 graduates and 213 candidates replied, for a response rate of 42 percent and 31 percent, respectively.

“Overall satisfaction” with the program was rated 91.2 percent by graduates and 85 percent by candidates. The quality of the educational programs was rated as either excellent or good by 95 percent of the candidates.

By the Numbers

What CFE Graduates Told Us:

  • 98.5 percent would recommend the program to another franchise professional.
  • 91.2 percent were satisfied or very satisfied with the program.
  • 88 percent of those certified in 2011-2013 say they will renew their certification when it’s time to renew.
  • 88 percent said that the certification was a factor in their career advancement.
  • 82 percent say that their goal with the program was to expand their knowledge and management/leadership skills.
  • 74 percent have 11 or more years of franchising experience.
  • 70 percent stated that they noticed the quality and variety of courses have expanded.
  • 59 percent are C-level executives.

What CFE Candidates Told Us:

  • 95 percent of candidates evaluated the quality of the educational programs as excellent or good.
  • 85 percent were satisfied or very satisfied with the program.
  • 75 percent indicated their main reason for becoming a CFE was to expand their knowledge and management/leadership skills.
  • 70 percent said they wanted to accelerate career advancement.
  • 67 percent said the main reason for becoming certified was to become more attractive in the job market.
  • 41 percent are C-level executives.

We are very proud of these results. We’re also confident that in seeing these results, you too, will see why CFE certification is a “must” for your franchise executives.

International Reach

The ICFE mission is “to enhance the professionalism of franchising by certifying the highest standards of quality training and education and to be recognized as the premiere certification program in franchising.”

We take our mission seriously and know that our program can help those in franchising around the world. In support of this, the ICFE Board has signed memorandums of understanding with Sripatum University (Thailand), the Indonesia Franchise Association, the Franchise Association of India, the Singapore Franchising and Licensing Association, the Philippines Franchise Association and the Franchise Council of Australia.

The ICFE Board has established a branded version of the IFA University offering courses to the Singapore Franchising and Licensing Association members. In addition, a delegation of U.S. executives and IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE, and IFA Chairman Steve Romaniello, CFE, managing director of Roark Capital Group and chairman of FOCUS Brands, will attend the Franchise Council of Australia’s annual conference this month, and visit franchise operations in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. You may have noticed the delegation from the FCA that visited the IFA Annual Convention this year.

Take the first step today to enroll in the CFE program. Imagine the impact this could have on your profession, your business, and the franchise community for the next 13 years with the right education, networking and support from your peers.

Cynthia Gartman, CFE, is president of Kennett Square, Pa.-based IKOR USA Incorporated, a nationally expanding health care advocacy and guardianship network. Gartman serves as chairwoman of the ICFE Board of Governors. Find her at via the directory.

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