IFA, MSA Worldwide Announce Franchise Certification Partnership

IFA - International Franchise Association

Washington, DC/, West Hartford, CT, Dec. 21, 2022 – The International Franchise Association (IFA) and MSA Worldwide (MSA) today announced a partnership to offer continuing franchise education and certification through the IFA Certified Franchise Executive™ (CFE) Program. For nearly 35 years, a CFE designation has been the premier certification in franchising, offering business, leadership, and legal education unique to pursuing a career in the franchising industry.

“Partnerships with franchising thought leaders like Michael Seid take the CFE certification to the next level,” said Matthew Haller, President and CEO of the International Franchise Association. “This new partnership makes franchise education more accessible to the next generation of franchise professionals and helps those in the field expand their expertise. We thank MSA Worldwide for helping lead the program, and we look forward to all that is in store for the future of the franchise business model.”

Based on the groundbreaking graduate school course developed by Michael Seid, Managing Director, MSA Worldwide, for the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, “Understanding the Dynamics and Requirements of Commercial and Social Franchising” is a thirteen-week, self-directed virtual CFE course for franchise professionals.

The Certified Franchise Executive™ program is the gold standard of franchise education and the leading resource to help franchise executives, managers, and local franchise owners accelerate individual and organizational growth. The CFE program allows graduates to develop a more thorough understanding of franchising, regardless of their level of experience, and strengthens the franchise business model by closing the knowledge and education gap.

“MSA is proud to partner with the International Franchise Association as they develop curriculum and strengthen education opportunities available to their members through the CFE program,” said Seid. “We are excited to also introduce to IFA members Social Franchising and the work IFA has been doing to improve the lives of families living at the Base of the Economic Pyramid (BOP) on a global level.”

As part of the newly announced partnership, MSA will develop three additional courses for IFA:

  1. “An Overview of Franchising”, a two (2) to four (4) hour overview of franchising to educate legislators and the public on the dynamics of franchising.
  2. “Making the Franchise Decision – A how-to guide on selecting a franchise opportunity”, a two (2) to (4) hour course to assist prospective franchisees in their evaluation and selection of franchise opportunities. The course will be supported by Making the Franchise Decision, a prospective franchisee due diligence workbook developed by MSA Worldwide and available to download for free from the State of California’s Department of Financial Protection and Innovation website.
  3. “Diversity in Franchising” – a series of Diversity Modules highlighting the experience, management styles, and career achievements of franchising professionals of color, women, and the military. The Diversity Modules will be offered as a stand-alone CFE course and also will be included, in part, in the thirteen-week “Understanding the Dynamics and Requirements of Commercial and Social Franchising” course.

Seid continued, “The additional courses will help provide IFA with needed tools to educate legislators and regulators on franchise issues and the requirements of designing, developing, and expanding successful franchise companies. They will also help fill a gap in franchisee education by providing prospective franchisees with an understanding of how to select and evaluate a franchise opportunity and conduct a supported due diligence before making their franchise investment.”

The MSA Worldwide courses will begin to be offered following the 2023 IFA Annual Convention in Las Vegas. For further information on the courses contact, Sandie Curtis, VP, Education for IFA ( or Michael Seid, Managing Director, MSA Worldwide (

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About the International Franchise Association:

Celebrating over 60 years of excellence, education, and advocacy, the International Franchise Association (IFA) is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations, and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and the approximately 775,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 8.2 million direct jobs, $787.7 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy, and almost 3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees, and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology, and business development.

About MSA Worldwide:

Founded in 1987, MSA has been acknowledged as the leading strategic and tactical advisory firm in franchising. MSA consults both domestically and internationally for companies on the appropriateness of franchising, licensing, and other methods of down-stream distribution; the design, development and implementation of franchise and licensing systems; and also provides tactical professional services including but not limited to manuals; training programs; franchisee recruitment and expansion strategies and support; mergers and acquisitions support; change strategies; and, expert witness services. After serving for over thirteen years on the IFA’s board of directors, Michael was recently re-elected to the IFA board with his new term commencing at the upcoming 2023 IFA convention in Las Vegas.