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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Postgraduate Diploma in Investment Banking 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
91727  Postgraduate Diploma in Investment Banking 
ORIGINATOR
The Independent Institute of Education 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Postgraduate Diploma  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Finance, Economics and Accounting 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  120  Not Applicable  NQF Level 08  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2021-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2022-06-30   2025-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
The purpose of this qualification is to address the scarce skills identified in the field of investment banking and to enable learners to specialise in Investment Banking (traditional Investment Banking and Capital Markets) to advance their careers through independent study. The qualifying learners will be able to function as leaders in investment banking divisions, operating from a solid grounding in Investment Banking success factors. Learners will gain a broad base of relevant and appropriate skills to support their further training and development and adequate knowledge and competence to enable further specialisation in this industry.

The qualification is designed by, and will be offered by experts from the industry and graduates will be able to function as leaders in the field of investment banking. The qualification design requires learners to explore the fundamentals and principles of investment banking to develop a deeper level of knowledge that is required as the basis for sound decision-making in this field. The effective application of knowledge relevant to investment banking demands a solid grasp of the principles that drive success by a critical understanding of the impact of Capital Markets and Risk Management on investment banking.

The qualification covers bank regulations; different lending instruments; advisory and company analysis; trading in the capital markets and risk management through derivatives instruments; to present the full context against which investment banks function. The qualification covers three major knowledge areas in the industry:
  • Bank Structure and Regulatory Framework.
  • Balance Sheet and Off-Balance Sheet and Advisory Services.
  • Capital Markets.

    Learners are introduced to origination techniques, valuation and the legal aspects within which transactions originate and are processed. This knowledge area further covers Bloomberg pricing and valuation models and applicable statutory regulations. Learners will learn to articulate the process, originate and conclude the transactions through practical assignments, to build basic pricing and valuation models in simulated projects and scenarios.

    Capital Markets are dealt with as part of the financial systems where risks originated by banks and other entities are bought and sold to optimally manage the risk the bank is willing to hold in its balance as driven by the following principles:
  • Risk Appetite.
  • Exposure size management.
  • Capital management.
  • Market risk Management.

    Learners will study different types of risks by identifying, defining, quantifying and then managing the risks through the capital markets instruments like basic derivatives and complex derivatives structures. Learners will master the practical aspects of risk management and risk hedging through capital markets instruments on Bloomberg Systems through practical assignments.

    The three knowledge areas will provide the required understanding of the interrelationship between business successions to be promoted by marketing techniques and implemented through the use of software applications. The knowledge areas are presented independently as well as interdependently. Compulsory practical work will manifest the required level of competence to enable the qualifying learner to apply a specialist skills set which is in high demand in industry, focussing on the distinct connection between investment banking, risk management and activities in the capital markets.

    Rationale:
    The qualification will address the demand for investment bankers and advisors. The qualification will provide banking professionals and investment advisors a unique opportunity to refine their skills set, specialise in investment banking and advance their careers to fill this gap in the industry. The need for a qualification of this nature emanated from the changing way in which investment banks operate and are regulated both locally and internationally.

    The outcomes and objectives of the qualification were identified by industry leaders as critical for a qualification of this nature. The qualification is designed to expose the learner to all aspects of investment banking from origination to risk management and capital markets, to ensure that learners receive education that is relevant, appropriate and adequately specialised in this field to enhance their careers. With the advent of Basel III (International Regulatory Framework for banks) and its direct impact on capital requirements of banks, the industry needs leaders that understand investment banking in the context of the new capital regime.

    Career opportunities for the qualifying learner are available in/as:
  • Financial Market Traders.
  • Investment Banking Sales Managers.
  • Transactors and Investment Banking Originators.
  • Risk Managers.
  • Investment Banking Managers and Executives.
  • Financial Regulators in:
    > South African Revenue Services.
    > Reserve Bank of South Africa.
    > Large Municipalities.
    > Financial Services Board.
  • Investment Banking Auditors.
  • Corporate Treasurers.

    The qualification will provide the qualifying learner an opportunity to pursue further studies related to Corporate Finance, Project Finance, Capital Markets, Quantitative Analysis, Risk Management and Financial Analysis. The learner will be empowered to enhance their own careers and contribute to national economic well-being. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that a learner accessing this qualification has:
  • A systematic knowledge base of Investment Banking.
  • An understanding of the key terms, rules, concepts, principles and theories in Investment Banking.
  • Problem-solving and decision-making skills.
  • Computer literacy.
  • Good communication, writing and presentation skills.

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    The learners who do not meet the minimum requirements can gain access to the qualification through the Recognition of Prior Learning and credits will be granted where competency in a specific module is established by an assessor.

    Access to the Qualification:
    The minimum entry requirements for this qualification are a Degree in a cognate discipline and at least 2 years work experience in finance or the banking sector. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    This qualification consists of 6 modules at NQF Level 8 totalling 120 Credits:
  • South African Banking and Investment Banking Environment, 6 Credits.
  • Corporate Finance, 19 Credits.
  • Infrastructure Project Finance, 19 Credits.
  • SA Capital Markets Mechanics and Asset Valuation, 27 Credits.
  • Hedging, Risk Management and Derivative Applications, 33 Credits.
  • Project, 16 Credits. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Demonstrate a deep understanding of the South African Banking and Financial Markets Environment and their Regulatory Landscape.
    2. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate public and private companies for corporate finance transactions.
    3. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate Private and Public/Private Partnership Infrastructure Projects.
    4. Identify, define and quantify hedge market risks, including equity risks, interest rate risk, inflation risk, credit risk, currency risk and commodity risks.
    5. Demonstrate the ability to successfully apply investment banking practices in simulated case study models to achieve specified objectives.
    6. Use financial markets industry-standard software such as Bloomberg in a group to design and build basic financial models.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:
    All the Critical Cross-Field Outcomes are addressed in this qualification. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • The functions and structure of South African banks are discussed.
  • The roles of the regulators and the banks in the South African Financial System are defined.
  • All the regulations that South African banks must comply with are outlined and understood.
  • The roles, products and structure of the Investment Bank functions are understood.
  • High-level understanding of Banks' financial statements from a structural point of view is demonstrated.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • The function of Corporate Finance within an Investment Bank is defined.
  • The Corporate Finance deal initiation process is defined and outlined.
  • Company valuation processes are explained.
  • Company valuation data is sourced from third party vendors.
  • A company valuation is performed on the Bloomberg system.
  • Appropriate legislation and regulations are identified, pertaining to:
    > Mergers and Acquisition.
    > Initial Public Offering.
    > Corporate Sponsorship.
    > Funding and Underwriting.
    > Share buybacks and Special Share Issues.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Infrastructure Project Funding is compared with other forms of funding.
  • Stakeholders in the market and types of projects for both private and public investments banking projects are identified.
  • Different funding types that may be offered by project funding investors are defined.
  • A project valuation is evaluated and the methodology and process are explained.
  • The due diligence process of different types of projects is defined.
  • The high level risk management framework in infrastructure project management and evaluation is contextualised.
  • Simple valuation models for both public and private Infrastructure Projects are developed.
  • Appropriate legislation and regulations pertaining to various infrastructure projects are identified.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • The risks that occur as a result of transactions listed above are identified.
  • The reasons to manage these risks are outlined.
  • A high level framework for quantifying and valuing these risks is outlined.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • The structure of South African capital markets is discussed.
  • The mechanics of each asset class and valuations thereof is defined.
  • Asset classes, from the South African context, using Bloomberg applications on the basis of liquidity, use and size are compared.
  • The Risk Management framework from transaction or origination point of view is defined.
  • The main risks originated and managed by investment banks in South Africa are identified.
  • The concept of derivatives as a Risk Management tool is understood.
  • A broad framework of different derivatives products used by investment banks is created.
  • The pricing and valuation of the main types of derivatives (Futures/Forwards/Options) are described.
  • Derivatives and their uses in Risk Management are evaluated.
  • The valuation framework used by investment banks to value the main derivatives products on a Bloomberg application is applied.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:
  • The regulations and policies that govern specific projects are identified.
  • Due diligence process is performed related to a specific project.
  • Methodologies to assess financial viability are evaluated.
  • A Risk Management Framework is identified, defined, quantified and created for given risks or asset classes.
  • The necessary hedging instruments appropriate to an identified type of risk or asset are identified.

    Integrated Assessment:
    The learner's competencies will be assessed using an integrated method of both formative and summative assessment. Assignments, examinations, projects, laboratory reports and a portfolio of evidence will be used in the assessment. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    There are a number of international institutions that offer a qualification in Capital/Financial Markets and one in Investment Banking but very few combine these subject areas in a single qualification. These streams are generally split between two or more qualifications with only certain rare and highly specialised institutions offering a qualification in both investment banking and capital markets. Qualifications of this nature are also generally offered at a fairly advanced Postgraduate level at a high cost and with very stringent entry requirements.

    The international qualification that closely resembles the Postgraduate Diploma: Investment Banking (PGDiP: IB) is the Investment Banking Master of Business Administration offered by the Swiss Finance School of Business. This qualification seeks to provide learners with the skills and knowledge to become investment bankers (with a focus on corporate financiers) and participants in the international finance markets. Similar to the current qualification it aims to introduce learners to the principles of Investment Banking as well as the essential mechanisms of Capital Markets.

    The EDHEC Business School in France offers a Master of Science in Finance aimed at individuals wishing to pursue a career in the broader field of finance. As with the PGDiP: IB, this qualification provides participants with the fundamentals of investment banking and capital markets. The curriculum of the EDHEC Business School's Master of Science qualification is however broader than that of the PGDiP: IB as it includes portfolio management in its ambit. As such it is less focused on investment banking and more attuned to participants who wish to obtain a broad background in the field of finance as a whole. The PGDiP: IB aims to provide learners with a more focused knowledge set, i.e., as pertains to Investment Banking and Capital Markets.

    The Australian National University (ANU) offers a Bachelor Degree in Finance. This is a specialist three year full-time (or part-time equivalent) Degree offering training in the theory and applications of finance. Similar to the PGDiP: IB, this qualification offers the theoretical basis to prepare learners for the world of work in the area of finance. Other similarities include the fact that both qualifications explore the complexities of modern finance and quantitative finance marketing. The PGDiP: IB however, provides a more specialised focus on the applications of finance in the investment banking spectrum. Even though similarities exist in terms of the theoretical finance offering, the ANU qualification is much broader with a specialisation only occurring in the 3rd year of study. It is also noted that the qualification is an undergraduate degree with 3 year duration period as opposed to the PGDiP: IB which has 1 year duration period. The ANU qualification articulates into an honours qualification depending on the area of specialisation chosen in the 3rd year of study.

    The Postgraduate Diploma in Finance offered by the University of Melbourne is the 1st year of the Masters in Finance qualification and seeks to provide clear understanding of financial management principles and their application to corporate financial policy. It resonates with the PGDiP: IB as it provides detail on financial markets and instruments, including derivative securities and elements of project finance. Unlike the PGDiP: IB, this qualification does not include corporate finance nor does it have an investment banking focus.

    Conclusion:
    The PGDiP: IB offers learners a more focused application on the use of a variety of techniques in, as well as cohesion of, subject matter across the spectrum of investment banking. It will also deal with subjects idiosyncratic to the South African investment banking space, e.g., BEE structuring. 

    ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    This qualification offers both horizontal and vertical articulation opportunities for the qualifying learner.

    Horizontal articulation with other qualifications at NQF Level 8 includes the:
  • Postgraduate Diploma: Finance Banking and Investment Management.
  • Bachelor of Commerce Honours: Investment Management.

    Vertical articulation with other qualifications at NQF Level 9 includes the:
  • Master of Commerce: Investment Management.
  • Master of Business Administration. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    All assessment opportunities will be internally and externally moderated and the feedback from moderators is used to improve the quality of assessment, material and learner support as well as to ensure fairness and validity. 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    Assessors will hold a qualification at least one NQF Level higher than the qualification being assessed, with a minimum of two years teaching experience. Assessors with less than two years' experience have their assessment work moderated by a peer. 

    NOTES 
    N/A 

    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. The Independent Institute of Education 



    All qualifications and part qualifications submitted for public comment, or registered on the National Qualifications Framework, are public property. Thus, the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction: it is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.