The IFC Principles for Learning were developed by the International Finance Corporation for stakeholders involved in providing upskilling, training, capacity building, and advisory service programs in emerging markets. They draw on best practices from a range of learning institutions and specialists working in emerging markets. The Principles represent a set of foundational qualities that make a performance improvement project impactful, inclusive, scalable, and sustainable, thus setting an international best practice framework. We invite individuals and organizations to officially become Signatories to the IFC Principles for Learning.
- Questions 1-3: About the IFC Principles for Learning
- Questions 4-13: Becoming a Signatory to the IFC Principles for Learning
- Questions 14-15: Secretariat
- Questions 16-19: Advisory Board
- Questions 20-21: Termination
- Questions 22-24: Marketing
Should you have questions that are not covered in the below FAQ, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The IFC Principles for Learning (henceforth referred to as ‘Principles’) were developed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for stakeholders involved in providing upskilling, training, capacity building, and advisory service programs in emerging markets (henceforth referred to as 'Programs and services'). They draw on best practices from a range of learning institutions and specialists, experts on gender-inclusive initiatives, and IFC and World Bank staff working in emerging markets, including fragile and conflict-affected situations. The Principles represent a set of foundational qualities that make a performance improvement project impactful, inclusive, scalable, and sustainable, thus setting an international best practice framework.
The Principles can play a variety of roles, including being:
- Strategic guidance to navigate the complexities of the design and delivery of programs and services in emerging markets.
- A forum to explore and resolve issues confronting stakeholders, training organizations, and their clients.
- A framework to analyze, evaluate, and improve programs and services.
- Screening criteria for companies and organizations when identifying solutions, work plans, or vendors for their capacity-building projects.
The Principles are a valuable resource for stakeholders that offer programs and services, including:
- Individual trainers
- Training organizations
- Financial institutions
- International institutions
- Development organizations
- Civil society
The Principles are hosted on the IFC Grow Learn Connect (GLC) platform and are available in five languages: English, French, Arabic, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Billions of dollars are spent each year in development assistance on upskilling, training, capacity building, and advisory services programs in emerging markets, yet the impact of these programs and services is often unmeasurable and inconsistent, and their potential is not maximized. Many programs and services are not scalable or cost-effective; the quality of training delivery is inconsistent and trainers often have limited access to or knowledge of tools and resources that address these challenges. To effectively bridge this gap and cater for this need, IFC partnered with industry leaders, including training providers, policy experts, international and financial institutions, and development organizations, to create a set of best practice principles, called IFC Principles for Learning, that enable the ecosystem of stakeholders working in emerging markets to create the foundation for maximal impact, inclusivity, scalability, and sustainability.
While the Principles are designed to provide a foundation for upskilling, training, capacity building, and advisory services programs, the accompanying Guide to Training (henceforth referred to as ‘Guide’) puts the Principles into action. The Guide provides a competency-based framework that practitioners can use to design and implement successful programs and services, maximize their impact, strengthen client capacity and resilience, and dynamically, inclusively, scalably, and sustainably contribute to building the skilled workforce of the future.
The IFC Principles for Learning enable organizations and individuals to maximize the impact, inclusivity, scalability, and sustainability of upskilling, training, capacity building, and advisory service programs for providers and beneficiaries alike.
When stakeholders publicly pledge to the Principles and abide by them, they maximize the benefit for staff, clients, and the communities they serve by effectively meeting the needs and increasing resilience. Abiding by the Principles allows them to align local conditions with the highest standards of international best practices. Studies have shown that adhering to these best practices can also create a significant return on investment.
Moreover, when an organization or an individual becomes a Signatory to the IFC Principles for Learning, they join the community of like-minded professionals with whom they can share best practices and address challenges. Together, they contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of a) ending poverty, b) promoting well-being, c) promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all, d) empowering women, e) promoting sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work, f) reducing inequalities within countries, and g) implementing effective and targeted capacity building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the sustainable development goals.
The Principles' framework provides a foundation to improve the impact, inclusivity, scalability, and sustainability of upskilling, training, capacity building, and advisory service programs, which results in the increased credibility and stronger capacity of stakeholders involved in such activities.
Being a Signatory to the IFC Principles for Learning also sends a credible signal of an institution’s or individual’s commitment to the highest international standards of quality and impact, which improves business outcomes.
Better programs and services help learners reach their full potential, increase resilience, build relevant skills and enhance the impact and sustainability of their engagements within their respective economies and communities.
Hosted on the GLC platform, the IFC Principles for Learning encourage Signatories to share best practices, experience, and resources, including challenges and dilemmas, enhance match-making of suppliers and demanders, and form partnerships to achieve common goals. As a public good that is free of charge, the GLC platform allows Signatories and visitors to continuously improve their skills and stay abreast of key dynamics by offering learning activities and events that strengthen best practice behaviors in the sector.
IFC Principles for Learning provide access to best practices from around the globe. They also enable Signatories to raise awareness about those practices among partners, clients, and other stakeholders, build brand recognition and enable continuous learning with public offers for the GLC community. IFC encourages Signatories to communicate across the platform and to seek informal advice for specific issues they may be facing.
A crisis such as COVID-19 forces institutions and individuals to rapidly make critical decisions in stressful conditions. Many of the issues and challenges are unprecedented, and it is paramount to be able to refer to foundational principles and standards to ground and enable effective decision-making.
Yes, individual professionals or professionals who work for an organization that is not a Signatory to the IFC Principles for Learning may apply as individuals.
If a professional is employed by an organization to whom the Principles are relevant, the professional is encouraged to promote the Principles across the organization and incentivize the endorsement of the Principles on an institutional level. In that case, the Signatory status will apply to all professionals in the organization.
If a professional is employed by an organization that is not able or willing to become a Signatory, the professional is encouraged to discuss the feasibility of becoming a Signatory as a unit (e.g., team, department, business line). The applicant will be able to specify which unit endorsed the Principles in the application.
Please follow these steps to become a Signatory to the IFC Principles for Learning:
- Familiarize yourself with the eight IFC Principles for Learning reflecting the key elements of successful training and skills-development programs and services.
- Make a commitment to uphold each of the IFC Principles for Learning in your training deliveries and services.
- Fill in the online application form. Applications submitted on behalf of organizations should be authorized or submitted by senior representatives having the power to execute agreements and to take other action on behalf of the organization.
- Once the application is submitted, please download the General Terms and Signatory Letter, sign each page by hand or electronically, and email the scan, in its entirety to email@example.com. Applications will not be reviewed if not accompanied by the duly executed General Terms and Signatory Letter.
- Once the application is received, the Secretariat will verify the submitted information and run a background check on the organization or individual, including verification against any of the lists currently promulgated by the United Nations Security Council or its committees pursuant to any resolution issued under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter and against the World Bank Listing of Ineligible Firms & Individuals.
- If the application is approved:
- The Signatory’s name will be published on the list of Signatories.
- The Signatory will receive the non-exclusive, royalty-free, non-transferable license to use the Signatory badge in marketing materials.
- The Signatory badge will be added to profiles of all individual professionals associated with the Signatory organization and published in the Directory of Training Professionals.
Becoming a Signatory to the IFC Principles for Learning requires no formal time commitment. The Signatory status was intentionally instituted as a voluntary commitment to encourage wide accessibility and participation among organizations and individuals.
No, Signatories have no obligation to report to the Secretariat. That said, the community of Signatories and professionals will benefit significantly from lessons learned, success stories, best practices, case studies, or other evidence of the IFC Principles for Learning impacting the ecosystem of stakeholders involved in upskilling, training, capacity building, and advisory services. The community is encouraged to email testimonials and anecdotes to firstname.lastname@example.org and to actively reach out with leads for joint public activities, such as the organization of webinars or conferences.
The Secretariat was designed as an enabling, convening, and supervising unit. It includes members of the IFC GLC team who promote the Principles, manage the process of becoming a Signatory as well as communications and publicity around the IFC Principles for Learning. The Secretariat also addresses procedural inquiries and manages the process of reviewing the Principles and issuing proposed amendments as the leading institution of the Advisory Board.
The Secretariat and the whole GLC community rely on public pledges and positive, non-binding commitment – including to the “spirit” of the Principles. There is no formal enforcement mechanism, no complaints procedure, and no accreditation or certification.
Signatories decide for themselves how they will implement the Principles and the relevance of each Principle for their own scope of activities. However, if the Secretariat becomes aware of sub-standard practices, it may require Signatories to leave and withdraw the permission to use the logo, resources, etc.
The Advisory Board members are leading organizations involved in upskilling, training, capacity building, and advisory services programs appointed by IFC in its sole discretion. IFC is also a member of the Advisory Board and as its leading institution retains discretionary decision-making power.
The purpose of the Advisory Board is to advise IFC on the implementation and evolution of the IFC Principles for Learning. The Advisory Board’s role is entirely advisory (e.g., potential amendments to the Principles, the provision of expertise for ad-hoc issues, resolution of the issues raised by IFC concerning any Signatory) includes no oversight responsibilities or other authority.
IFC may invite Signatories to submit proposed amendments to the Principles. IFC will review such proposals in consultation with the Advisory Board and prepare a consolidated list of amendments that it recommends. IFC retains the sole decision-making discretion.
The number of members of the Advisory Board will be between eight and twelve and will be determined by IFC in its sole discretion. Each member may be appointed to serve for additional two years for a maximum of four consecutive years.
The Advisory Board will meet twice a year. The decisions concerning amendments to the IFC Principles for Learning or issues concerning any Signatory will be made by the quorum. The majority of the votes cast at a meeting at which a quorum is present will represent the position of the Advisory Board.
The minutes of the Advisory Board meetings will be available to all members of the Advisory Board and may also be made available to Signatories in an appropriate manner at the discretion of IFC and the majority of the Advisory Board.
The Secretariat declines applications from individuals and organizations on the World Bank Listing of Ineligible Firms & Individuals or the United Nations Sanctions List and may choose not to approve applications in its sole discretion.
The General Terms and Signatory Letter outlines the procedure by which a Signatory shall be terminated, such as if the Signatory makes a statement in connection with the Principles that is determined to be false, fraudulent, negligent, inappropriate, materially incorrect, incomplete, or misleading. For further information, refer to the General Terms and Signatory Letter.
Yes, a Signatory may voluntarily terminate its Signatory status by providing written notice to IFC, in which case the relevant organization or individual will promptly remove any references on its website or elsewhere to the Principles and GLC platform.
Signatories are not obligated to seek the Secretariat’s approval of any marketing or communications materials related to the Principles, as long as they comply with the rules stipulated in the General Terms and Signatory Letter and as provided by IFC to Signatories with marketing material.
The Secretariat will not proactively investigate or verify the accuracy of Signatories’ materials or any claims, representations, or assertions referencing the Principles or a Signatory’s alignment with the Principles, however, if it becomes or is made aware of a violation of the general and marketing rules it may take action as it sees fit.
Each signatory is required to make accurate references to its status as a Signatory to the IFC Principles for Learning according to the General Terms and Signatory Letter. Signatories must not imply that their status as a Signatory is an endorsement or verification of their alignment with the Principles by IFC or other stakeholders.
Signatories are encouraged to become advocates for the IFC Principles for Learning, which includes promoting thePrinciples by explaining their meaning, as well as the significance and the benefits of adhering to them. Signatories can employ various means to do so, including:
- Nominate another organization to become a Signatory. If a Signatory knows an organization or individual that might be interested in becoming a Signatory to the IFC Principles for Learning and who could benefit from the framework, a Signatory is encouraged to submit a nomination online.
- Include the Signatory logo in their marketing materials, social media platforms, and website, linking it back to the IFC Principles for Learning page.
- Share the promotional video via social media or on their website.
- YouTube link: https://youtu.be/oocSrKK28GQ
- Embed code: <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oocSrKK28GQ" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
- Draft a promotional message on becoming a Signatory using key points from samples shared below:
- As an organization committed to designing and delivering training projects to the highest standards, we fully concur with the IFC Principles for Learning and are thrilled to become a Signatory.
- We are proud to endorse the IFC Principles for Learning. We believe strongly in leveraging the highest standards to help our clients succeed.
- IFC Principles for Learning align with our training philosophy, so endorsing the Principles is a natural fit.
- As a Signatory to the IFC Principles for Learning, we are delighted to join the international community of leading trainers, financial institutions, and international organizations who subscribe to the highest standards in training.
- Becoming a Signatory to the IFC Principles for Learning adds to our organization’s credibility. It signals to our clients that we are committed to the highest international standards of impact, inclusivity, scalability, and sustainability.