Global Business Development

The Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) Designation – A Global Standard

The global franchise industry covers 75 sectors and over 100 countries where the franchise business model is active. Millions of people around the world are employed in the franchise industry. A very high number of consumers around the world shop at franchised businesses.

Up until the early 1990s one of the major challenges to success in the franchise community was a lack of structured, best practices training for people at all levels in the global franchise community.  It was difficult for franchise companies to quantify the experience of the people they hired to help grow their businesses.

Then the International Franchise Association (IFA) began developing certified courses in all aspects of franchise development, operations and management. From this came the professional Certified Franchise Executive designation. Today, many global franchise executives look for the CFE designation before hiring key members of their franchise team. We know their background and education. Many franchisors prefer to hire industry suppliers who have completed this certification.

At the just completed 54th annual IFA convention in New Orleans, the 1,000th Certified Franchise Executive received this now cherished industry recognition. Franchise industry members from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the Philippines and the USA received their CFE pins last month at the IFA convention. The IFA Educational Foundation has cooperative agreements with franchise associations and educational institutions in Australia, India, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand to offer the CFE program to their members.

The now global CFE program is administered by the Institute of Certified Franchise Executives (ICFE), whose mission is to enhance the professionalism of franchising by certifying the highest standards of quality training and education. The ICFE offers a wide range of continuing education programs for professional development. Meeting the requirements of the program and completing the course of study leads to the Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) designation.

Certified Franchise Executives are bound by a strong code of ethics, have completed a significant number of state-of-the-industry courses and attended many industry meetings. Industry experience is critical to obtaining the CFE award. Each CFE must recertify every three years.

The International Franchise Association website has a special and detailed section on the CFE value, program and process:

Here are some quotes from highly experienced and successful franchise executives on the value of the CFE program:

“The CFE program provides a forum that supports continued professional development and adherence to the highest standards in franchising. It is also a wonderful way to form valuable relationships and generate new ideas from different perspectives.”  Rosemarie Hartnett, CFE, President, Abrakadoodle®

“CFE is a commitment to oneself and your company to be the best that you can be and to share that with others within the franchise community. I have not only learned important information to bring back to my organization, I have also developed important relationships that have assisted me in developing Decor & You. Through this process I have also been able to share what I know with others and add value. It is a great thing to receive but also to be able to give back.” Karen Powell, CFE, Chief Relationship Officer/Franchise Source Brands International CEO/Decor&You

“At Snap-On, we believe in being a great franchisor, as well as a great tool company. Developing the management team that supports our franchisees is key to this endeavor. The CFE program facilitates this learning, and not only ensures our compliance to the principles of franchising, but also the critical nature of our relationship with our franchisees.” Barrie Young, CFE, President, Sales & Franchising, Snap-On-Tools Company, LLC

To download a brochure on the Certified Franchise Executive program, please go to the following link:

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