By Petra Javornikova, Senior Instructional Designer at CIFFA
International trade is dynamic and rapidly evolving. As such, CIFFA regularly revises the content of its course materials to accommodate any relevant industry updates, and amends any irrelevant or outdated content. All revisions must additionally comply with the FIATA Minimum Standards to Obtain the FIATA Diploma in International Freight Forwarding, as the CIFFA courses are evaluated by FIATA every four years.
The most recent revisions, however, are more notable than those in the past 20 years and have been ongoing since the spring of 2020. In August 2020, the newly updated Essentials of Freight Forwarding textbook was completed.
In the past, CIFFA offered four International Freight Forwarding Courses: International Transportation and Trade, Essentials of Freight Forwarding, Specialized Freight Services and Supply Chain Management and Marketing, each with study materials comprising a textbook, exercises and online modules.
Additionally, another edition of the Essentials of Freight Forwarding textbook, titled Fundamentals of Freight Forwarding, was adapted for an international audience by removing content that is strictly Canadian and replacing it with a more universal content, while leaving in some Canadian content that is globally relevant. Another textbook, also completed in August 2020, is the Advanced Freight Services textbook, created by merging the content of the former Specialized Freight Services textbook and the majority of the content of the Supply Chain Management and Marketing textbook. More than half of the content of this textbook was also entirely revised. This textbook is now used by students registered in the newly introduced FIATA Diploma course, which has replaced the former Specialized Freight Services and Supply Chain Management and Marketing courses.
Also completed in August 2020, the new Essentials of Freight Forwarding online modules offer students an enhanced learning experience and easy navigation. The need to upgrade the online modules arose due to outdated software used for the old modules and resulting technical challenges for students, as well as CIFFA’s desire to improve the overall look and quality of the modules, while incorporating additional knowledge drawn from the vast experience of CIFFA’s instructors. Additionally, these modules were also separately adapted for non-Canadian students.
Currently ongoing, in final stages, are updates to the International Transportation and Trade textbook and online modules. The completion deadline for the new FIATA Diploma course online modules is September 2021.
Some of the updates to the new education materials include, for example, the changes to the Canadian export reporting procedures, the replacement of the NAFTA with the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), Incoterms® 2020 and the 2020 version of the CIFFA Standard Trading Conditions. All textbooks are available digitally.
Similarly, due to increased technical challenges and outdated software previously used for the delivery of CIFFA’s exams, CIFFA has transferred all exams to a new exam delivery system which offers students, among other things, increased stability, better navigation, additional features and clearer images. This system also provides CIFFA with enhanced features with respect to reporting and content management.