Kuala Lumpur, 1 December 2015:   The Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Malaysia (4As) announced today a formal partnership with its UK counterpart, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), to deliver the IPA portfolio of award-winning qualifications and courses to agencies and clients in the Malaysian marketing communications sector.

Executives in the advertising and marketing communications industry who register and pass the IPA Foundation Certificate programme can consider themselves professionally competent and armed with an up-to-date overview of the industry.

The first qualification to be introduced in Malaysia is the globally recognised and award-winning IPA Foundation Certificate programme in a three-month online training course culminating in an offline examination.

The IPA Foundation Certification programme is one of the 4As’ key initiatives to raise industry standards and act on its commitment to foster continuous professional development for the attraction and retention of agency talent. It is customised for the marketing communications industry while setting a common standard to measure performance for those with less than three years industry experience.

The Foundation Certificate is considered a rite of passage in the UK advertising industry. It is the industry’s key entry qualification that provides an understanding of the entire brand communications process, from the client brief to final execution.

“This course short-circuits the acquisition of knowledge, strategic thinking, and creative drive that would take executives several years through work experience,” says Dato’ Johnny Mun, 4As President.

The landmark agreement between the Malaysian and UK agency trade bodies is part of a broader movement to create a global benchmark for best practice in the professional development for the advertising profession in Malaysia.

The original content, which is updated yearly to keep it fresh and relevant, is developed by some of the industry’s top practitioners and core subject specialists. The IPA Foundation Certificate, which has a proven track record for fast-tracking the careers of young industry executives, is currently available in 60 countries.

“Our UK research clearly indicates that the IPA qualifications enable advertising agencies to grow faster, with greater levels of income growth, higher staff and client retention rates, and substantial revenue increases,” declares Michael Burns, IPA Head of Export. “There is an urgent need to attract and retain the best talent, and to ensure that they are armed with the skill sets to deliver stronger client relationships, better work and grow profits for all stakeholders.”

Mun points out that it is important for the local advertising industry to be aligned to international industry standards to optimise the agencies’ work performance, calibre, delivery, productivity, creativity, and efficiency.

He adds that the 4As shares the same goal as the IPA – to enhance the industry by introducing best practice learning. “Our joint ambition is to continuously transform advertising from a professional industry into an A-class profession where we are seen as qualified, trusted and valued expert practitioners.”

The programme also allows clients to better understand the work processes involved in creating a campaign by working alongside advertising agencies more efficiently.

Fee for the IPA Foundation Certificate is RM2,750 for 4As members and RM3,300 for non-members (6% GST inclusive). The Certificate, which is 100% HRDF claimable, comprises over 35 hours of online learning within three months, and a two-hour offline examination in March 2016 invigilated by the 4As.

For more information about the IPA Foundation Certificate, please contact Kandesh at Macomm Management Sdn Bhd at (603) 7660 8535.