SCQF Level 7
Enterprise and Commerce

Course Overview

Fast Track into Financial and Professional Services is an award-winning six-week work-readiness programme developed for HNC/HND/Degree-level graduates progressing a career in Scotland’s financial services sector.

The programme, co-designed and co-delivered with financial services companies, represents an agile and proactive response to the industry’s recruitment needs and provides participants with a good foundation to secure future employment.

Initially, a pilot programme involving City of Glasgow College, Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and industry, Fast Track is now also delivered by Edinburgh College and co-delivered with industry partners including BNP Paribas, Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Tesco Bank, TSB and Sainsbury’s Bank. 

Since Spring 2020 Fife, Ayrshire and West College Scotland Colleges have also been involved in the development of Fast Track, supporting a Scotland-wide approach. 

Industry growth and increasing digitalisation mean that Scotland’s financial services sector needs to create a competitive advantage that attracts, retains and develops more and diverse talent into the sector.  By 2030 it is forecasted that there will a requirement for almost 50,000 additional jobs. 

There has been increasing recognition that the industry needs to work collaboratively on this effort – and promote multiple talent pathways into the sector, as well as developing upskilling & reskilling interventions. 

That’s why Fast Track is a priority programme for the Financial Services Advisory Board’s Skills and Talent Group: employers have been involved at every stage of the curriculum development of the course and play an active role in content delivery. 

Comprising financial and professional services firms, education and the public sector, the Financial Services Hubs allow key partners to collaborate on issues around talent attraction and work readiness. Chaired by Scott Stewart of Barclays in the west and co-chaired by Stuart Langan and Heather McLellan of Lloyds Banking Group in the east, the Hubs provide direction and oversight for the Fast Track programme. 

For further information please contact:

What You Will Learn
  • Financial Services Environment- This unit introduces participants to the financial services landscape including the key regulators and products.
  • Financial Services: Business Culture - The Financial Services sector has and continues to undergo significant change. This unit introduces aspects of culture in financial services such as values, stakeholders and change management.
  • Financial Services: Risk -Working in Financial Services requires all employees to understand sources of risk and methods to reduce risk. This unit introduces areas of risk such as money laundering and cybersecurity.
  • Financial Services: Professional Skills - The aim of this unit is to enable students to develop their interpersonal and meta-skills to be able to communicate and collaborate effectively in a professional setting. The unit also encourages participants to consider their career goals, update their CV and develop key interview skills.
Entry Requirements
  • You should have achieved a qualification at SCQF level 7 or above such as HNC, HND or Degree in any subject area 
  • Work experience will also be considered if supporting reference from an employer is available
  • Please provide full details of your work experience in your personal statement.
  • You will require access to the internet with a computer (please inform the interviewer if you require support with this). If you are a DWP candidate contact them in the first instance for support with equipment.
  • Applicants must pass employment screening.
  • This mirrors the preparation for criteria, necessary to secure employment in the financial sector.
  • You will also be required to provide photographic identification such as a driving license or a passport.
English Proficiency Requirements
  • 6.0 Intermediate 2 or equivalent
How the course is assessed
  • Ongoing assessments
  • Portfolio building
  • Essays
  • Timed assessments online
Information on Test/Auditions/Interview Requirements
  • Applicants will be interviewed via online call or phone call before a course offer is made.
  • Applicants are required to complete a self-declaration form for employment screening. 

Download the Self-Declaration Form here.


  • This mirrors the preparation for criteria, necessary to secure employment in the financial sector.
  • You will also be required to provide photographic identification such as a driving license or a passport.

Once complete, please email your Self-Declaration Form to:


Progression And Articulation Routes
  • You can progress to further study in Business and Financial Services courses such as an HNC or HND in Business with Financial Services.
Career Opportunities

The aim of the Fast Track into Financial Services course is to help graduates secure priority customer services and operations roles within a growing financial services sector, which has identified this course as a key recruitment channel for customer entry-level roles.

Number Of Days Per Week
  • 4 full days per week in class via virtual learning
  • 1 day per week self-directed study

Due to current restrictions, all learning our interactive blended learning course provides staff and industry experts the opportunity to come together with participants in our virtual learning environment. This is an intensive course and will require the learners to undertake a high degree of self-study.

Course Cost And Funding Options
Fee: £495 Sighthill part-time (year 1)
Student Stories


Euan Sheridan, 28, who is now performing a Community Banking Premier role with Barclays, the work-readiness course was the perfect preparation for starting his financial services career: 

“The Fast Track to Financial Services course helped with developing the soft skills required to work in a bank as a whole.  Understanding the basics of how a bank operates and its importance to customers has been very helpful indeed.”

Start Date and Time

Part Time

This course will start on…
  • Monday 11/10/2021
  • Monday 29/11/2021
End Date

Part Time

This course will end on...
  • Friday 26/11/2021
  • Saturday 22/01/2022
Course Delivery
GRANTON x x x x x
MIDLOTHIAN x x x x x
MILTON RD x x x x x
x x x
OUTREACH x x x x x

Courses may be subject to alteration or cancellation

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To apply please download an SCP application form and contact your guidance teacher who will support you through your application.

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