NRDF Promotes ABE Course

Image: ABE Regional Manager, Keressa Carrington-Nunez. [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]
ABE Regional Manager, Keressa Carrington-Nunez. [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]
THE National Research Development Foundation (NRDF) is currently ramping up its campaign to get Saint Lucians to become work-ready and employable via its ABE programme. To that end, NRDF hopes that its next student intake in January is a bumper one.

ABE stands for Association of Business Executives and was founded in 1973 by Lyndon Jones of the U.K. who at that time had worked in the industry and education sectors. The programme has been offered here in Saint Lucia at NRDF in collaboration for the past 16 years.

Keressa Carrington-Nunez, ABE’s Regional Manager, says the programme seeks to provide a healthy mix between professional qualification and academics. The difference between professional qualification and academics, Carrington-Nunez explained, is that while the former incorporates thesis and research papers for degrees and Masters, the professional programmes takes all of that out and focuses on the employability component.

“The ABE programme was designed with the focus of getting people work-ready and employable,” Carrinton-Nunez told The VOICE. “So it’s a professional qualification. It recognizes that many people already in industry were not certified. As the years went by, it evolved into a qualification that mixes both academics and the professional side. So it allows people with academics such as CSEC and ‘A’ Levels to start the programme.”

In Saint Lucia, three levels are being offered: Levels 4, 5 and 6. There’s also the Level 7 which is at the post-graduate level. For Level 4, applicants need no formal qualifications such as CSEC to start.

For Level 5, applicants must be 21 years and over and have at least three years’ working experience in the field to enter into the mature entry route. Applicants for Level 5 also need to have at least two ‘A’ Level subjects. For Level 6, the degree level, applicants need to have either of the following: an associate degree, a full degree or very senior managerial experience.

Carrington-Nunez said the duration of the programme can be flexible and is dependent on how many subjects the students can do simultaneously. Level 4 has four modules, Level 5 eight and Level 6 five. Exams are held in June and December. The ABE qualification, she said, is internationally-recognized.

Subjects associated with the ABE programme include Business Marketing, Human Resource Management, Financial Accounting, and Tourism and Hospitality.

The ABE official said the programme is cost-effective and students can either pay upfront or as the courses advances. For example, the Level 4 course currently runs for about $2500 and includes registration, tuition and examinations fees.

Classes run from Monday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and the next intake period begins in January next year and then in June. Prospective students can apply online at or visit NRDF in La Clery, Castries.

According to Carrington-Nunez, ABE currently has just under 4,000 students enrolled in the programme in Trinidad, about 1,000


  1. Is there a website where course can be done online whereas students with family responsiblities can do courses at home???

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