New initiative transforms route to self-employment in franchising

The route to self-employment has just been made easier thanks to a new joint e-learning initiative between the British Franchise Association (bfa) and Lloyds Bank.

shutterstock_310921295The Prospect Franchisee Certificate (PFC) is the first course of its kind, created to deliver a comprehensive overview of what it takes to succeed in the UK’s £15bn franchise sector where individuals run their own business under an established brand.

The modular, video-based course provides insights into everything from evaluating franchise opportunities to business management, financial understanding and legal considerations. Best of all, it’s completely free and can be taken on any device, anywhere with an internet connection, either in a single day or in bite-sized chunks.

Each module includes an assessment which must be passed. Upon completion, those in possession of the PFC will have demonstrated to franchisors that they have the skills, knowledge and appreciation of the franchise model required to successfully own and operate a business.

The bfa has partnered with Lloyds Banking Group, which is one of the major providers of banking services to the franchise community helping customers grow and thrive as franchisees.

The bfa’s CEO, Pip Wilkins, believes the course will transform the recruitment process for both parties in a franchise relationship. She said: “Anyone who is considering starting a franchise should be taking this course as an integral part of their research. It costs nothing, is jargon-free and will help them stand out as business-aware and ready to hit the ground running in their new venture.

“Every good franchisor is extremely selective about franchisee recruitment, with the most common reasons for turning down prospects cited as lack of capital, insufficient business acumen or poor meeting performance. The PFC will support people in these areas and many others.

“It’s simply good business sense too – the more someone understands the sector, the better prepared they are for success as a franchisee. I invite all franchisors to make this course a key component of their franchisee recruitment process if they’re looking for the highest calibre of franchisees.”

Richard Holden, head of franchising at Lloyds Bank, said: “Everyone is looking for better-informed investors and the newly developed Prospect Franchisee Certificate program will help to deliver exactly that. This new educational programme not only ensures well researched and knowledgeable prospects but should be an essential step in any franchisor’s recruitment process to help them identify whether an investor will be a good fit for their network.

“Lloyds Bank is proud to have been involved in the design and development of this programme and to encourage its adoption as the new franchise sector standard benchmark for investors researching their franchising options. This will help to ensure they are well prepared for their discussions with the franchisor.”

The PFC can be taken by visiting