You may not know but the CA, CGA and CMA accounting professional associations are engaged in a process to unite the three designations under one association that would issue a single accounting designation called “CPA” (Chartered Professional Accountant). Each designation offers something different, and is understood and valued differently (though some would argue those differences are disappearing). You can read part 1, part 2 and part 3 of that saga.
This got me wondering whether or not there are other organizations besides the CIC exclusively dedicated to advancing the commercial credit profession in Canada. In a search of the internet, there appear to be two other credit organizations in Canada that fit these criteria: Credit Guru Inc, and the National Credit News.
These organizations provide services to business directly, whether it is consulting or training (webinars, seminars or custom training). They also provide periodic newsletters (which I signed up for but have yet to receive). Neither of these organizations offers a start-to-finish course of professional studies that lead to a designation. They are not in competition with the CIC, which focuses on certification and training of credit professionals (individuals), and does not market itself as a consulting service to business.
The CIC had a relationship with NCN a couple of years ago, but it was determined that it was not productive to continue that relationship, and some of their activities were deemed to be too much in competition with the CIC. There has never been a formal relationship with Credit Guru Inc, though they supply articles for the CIC’s newsletter from time to time.
Credit Guru (http://www.creditguru.com/education/index.html)
Credit Guru describes itself as “an independent, privately owned, North American company that has developed and owns its own credit instruments and Training programs.” It started in 1999 by providing online credit resources (articles and resources) to the credit industry.
The organization is based in Toronto, and offers an e-newsletter, a blog (though the last post was in August 2009) and customized training and consulting for businesses. The company also boasts an advisory panel, which appears to be a panel of experts who review the training material and otherwise are involved in consulting engagements.
It used to be that, as a casual visitor, you could download credit form templates from the website. Now, those resources are not generally available on the site, though I am sure that they are available as part of a consulting engagement.
National Credit News (http://www.ncnjournal.com/)
The NCN was founded in 1994 to publish the journal National Credit News, its mission being to “provide the best hands-on knowledge and experience to business professionals and small business owners about the different business topics that touch business credit, risk management, accounts receivable management in the hope of informing and educating our readership.”
Since 2002, the NCN has been publishing credit and finance publications on credit agreements, using the internet, reading financial statements – in other words, a series of ‘how-to’ credit tools for credit professionals.
Based in St Laurent QC, the NCN provides a free e-newsletter, but you have to be a member or have to pay to get access to other resources on the site. The site has a Twitter fees (16 posts, last one Feb 2011), LinkedIn site (185 members), and a blog (last post April 2011).
The NCN offers training videos, and quarterly webinars, legal pages (focused mostly on Ontario & Quebec), and of course their weekly publication.
So the CIC is unqiue in the commercial credit education space in the sense that it offers a nationally sanctioned course of studies that results in a designation. There is a cordial, though somewhat distant relationship between these organizations, and we only tread on one anothers’ turf lightly. The good news is that there appears to be space enough for all.