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East Midlands Chamber News

DNCC ITOPS Qualification Gets National Recognition

Successful participants on the DNCC International Trading Operations and Procedures (ITOPS) qualification who achieve a Merit or Distinction will also now receive an additional award - the British Chambers of Commerce Foundation Award in International Trade which is nationally recognised.

A practical four-day course, ITOPS covers administration procedures, documentation, customs, legal requirements, dispatch and shipping, and payments; the five main elements of exporting.

A major element of its continued success is that delegates are encouraged to look at ways of reducing costs and increasing profits. This is achieved through learning how to negotiate better freight rates with carriers and forwarders and by introducing effective Customs’ Planning to reduce unnecessary duties and charges. Better understanding of international trade procedures and application of their newly found skills also reduces instances of demurrage charges being incurred.

Support is provided by SH-I-F-T and 512, and allows the students to visit the international terminal in Sheffield to experience real life exporting scenarios as a freight forwarder. It includes the often overlooked HMRC compliances when trading internationally.

Julie Whiting, international trade training and services manager at DNCC, said: “Difficult trading conditions and increasing global competition mean that it's more important than ever for staff to acquire and continually update their skills in order for businesses to thrive and prosper.

“ITOPS is one of the most practical and relevant qualifications designed to prove that candidates have the necessary skills to accurately operate the administration procedures in an international trade environment - whether that of a manufacturer, supplier or freight forwarder.

“DNCC is delighted to announce that the ITOPS programme is now nationally recognised through BCC Accreditation.”

Steve Townsley of Fidelitas Training, who delivers the programme, added: “The continued success of the ITOPS award can be attributed to the fact that it combines all of the necessary skills an administrator needs to be able to operate professionally in an export or import office or as a freight forwarder.

“It is an immensely practical programme designed to ensure delegates learn the skills necessary to meet all of the legal requirements for trading internationally in a very cost-effective way - and apply these skills back in the workplace.

"I am particularly pleased when delegates are able to show proven cost savings. Examples of this includes delegate from a small exporting Company saving £8,000 on their freight bill; another saving £12,000-a-month by better Customs’ Planning and another saving over £3,000 on one movement of goods to Canada through better application of Incoterms 2010.

“Through interactive workshops, placement with 512 and airport visit, the programme is relevant, interesting and good fun! It's a programme that pays for itself over and over again.”

Karen Mosley, head of business development at 512 said: “We are delighted to give our backing to this nationally accredited qualification, which aims to improve the skills of staff in key areas of international trade. By raising the standards and understanding of exports, staff will feel more confident and help increase a business’s competitive edge in markets around the world.

“Allowing them to visit SH-I-F-T offers students the chance to enjoy a hands-on experience and see each stage of the exporting process”.

Cheryl Polkey of Maxigrow Ltd who attended a recent ITOPS course said: “The course gives confidence to question, discuss, amend and initiate administrative procedures and processes necessary for the efficient and profitable export of goods. A well organised course, clearly and entertainingly delivered, with assistance, encouragement and support available as required.”

For more information and to reserve a place on the next ITOPS course, click here.