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  • We’re listening: our 2019 annual student satisfaction survey

    by User Not Found | Jun 04, 2019

    Student feedback is vital; it helps us improve our products and create a better service for our customers.

    Back in 2017 we made several changes to the way we gather and act on student feedback.The changes allow us to gather feedback more frequently, with a quicker resolution of issues, and avoid over-surveying our students.

    Did you know?

    We have experts who work in every part of the business, to guarantee that our courses are designed with one thing in mind – making it easy for you to succeed in your exams.

    Our approach was to split feedback into three different categories:

    • End of course survey - to capture regular course specific feedback focusing on tutors, materials and marking, as well as a general measure of satisfaction by asking students about their willingness to recommend Kaplan.
    • An annual student satisfaction survey - to gather general feedback on the student experience. This survey was redesigned in partnership with an external agency to focus on the areas most important to students.
    • Ad Hoc surveys - allow us to focus on specific initiatives at appropriate times.

    Around 6,100 students took part in our latest annual student satisfaction survey, conducted in Q4 2018, and as always it generated some interesting results.

    What are we doing well?

    Improved Net Promoter Score

    We use Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure the willingness of our customers to recommend our products and services to others. The scale runs from -100 to +100 and Kaplan's latest score is +35.

    This is a second year on year increase, up slightly from +33 in 2017. It’s a strong score when benchmarked against other industries and other education providers. However, we recognise there’s still room for improvement.

    Satisfaction scores with our tutors’ expertise, knowledge, approachability and helpfulness remains high, as does satisfaction with their availability.

    Confident, helpful & happy

    Our ease of study score is 8 out of 10 (which is unchanged from 2018) and the three most common words used to describe studying with Kaplan are again ‘confident’, ‘helpful’ and ‘happy’, which suggests the student experience is generally a positive one.

    What can we do better?

    Focus on improving our mock exam feedback

    Feedback indicates the changes we’ve made to the speed of marking mock exams is being recognised. However satisfaction scores suggested we needed to improve the quality of our feedback too.

    To address this, our new quality assurance processes were introduced in September 2018, which include reviewing scripts from every marker, every sitting to ensure the amount and format of comments are in line with expectations. We expect to see a substantial increase in scores in the next annual survey.

    User Experience design to improve navigation

    During 2018 we made changes to our MyKaplan learning resource. This included the introduction the VideoBank, which is a collection of short informal videos covering a wide range of subject areas.

    We also added subtitles to our video content for our hearing impaired students, and created a ‘Help & Support’ page on MyKaplan. This kept the necessary contact details in one place (including Live Online recordings) - for easy access.

    To build on these changes we’ve recruited some user experience (UX) researchers who will work with students throughout 2019 to improve the usability of MyKaplan.

    Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

    Kapan recognises the importance of NPS and the features of our service that we need to get right in order for our students to recommend us. In 2018 we introduced targets for a number of KPIs including: tutor quality, response to student queries, printed and online materials and marking.

    These are reviewed by our senior managers every month and shared across the business, ensuring everyone at Kaplan is focused on delivering the best service to our students.

    Win £250

    The next annual satisfaction survey will take place in October 2019. If you complete the survey you'll be entered into a prize draw to win one of four £250 prizes. Keep an eye out for the survey in your inbox, complete it, and you’ll be automatically entered.

    Don’t forget you can give feedback anytime using our end of course survey. The link can be found in MyKaplan.

  • Learning, self control and marshmallows

    by User Not Found | May 30, 2019
    Delaying gratification in the short term, in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term, is the indispensable prerequisite for success.

    Brian Tracy

    Children who demonstrate self-discipline gain higher marks in school, have better social and cognitive skills, greater self-awareness and cope with stress more easily in later life.

    This is according to a study carried out in the late 1960s, by renowned US psychologist Walter Mischel. The research led to one of the most valuable insights into human behaviour and learning.

    In the experiment, a child was offered a choice between having one marshmallow immediately or two marshmallows if they waited for a short period (approx. 15 minutes). The child was alone as the tester left the room, and they returned later to reward those who hadn’t eaten the marshmallow as promised. Those that still had the marshmallow sat in front of them had demonstrated self control.

    It became known as the marshmallow experiment* and was the inspiration for further research. It raised some intriguing questions: why are some able to resist but others couldn't? Were some born with higher levels of willpower, or could it be learned?

    Delayed Gratification

    Later research* suggested that delaying gratification may also require trust (social trust) in the individuals offering the future rewards. If the children didn’t think they would get a second marshmallow, it was stated, then they’d most likely eat the first one. So if you don’t believe the person is trustworthy, then even those with “will power” will give in.

    This implies that the ability to delay cannot be hard wired and is influenced to some extent by what you believe. There has also been the suggestion that it is logical to eat the first marshmallow, especially if you have grown up in an environment where resources are scarce.

    There are two factors at play here: self-control and established belief.

    Implications for Learning

    Delayed gratification is about short-term for long term reward. And that is an important component of learning. Yes, learning should be interesting and enjoyable, but there comes a point when it is not.

    This is especially true when taking exams, even if you enjoy the subject. Sitting a test or exam that you might fail can be stressful, and for most of us it’s a far from a pleasant experience.

    Learning also requires sacrifice - in terms of what you give up. For example not meeting with friends, avoiding social media, studying on bank holidays, and generally missing out.

    Simple techniques you can use

    The good news is that, as Walter Mischel and others discovered, you can improve your self-control by using a few simple techniques:

    • Remove distractions – if the marshmallow had been taken out of sight, the temptation to eat it would be left to your imagination. The student’s marshmallow is most likely to be a mobile phone, so how about you remove it for a couple of hours. An alternative is to distract yourself. Rather than thinking about what your giving up, do something else. Watch a video on the topic, produce a mind map etc.
    • Have a routine – develop a routine for example, always study for two hours after you get home.
    • Reframe – if you thought that the marshmallow was bitter, the temptation to eat it would go away. It is possible to reframe the distraction as a negative, for example -  that mobile phone ringing is someone I don’t want to speak to….
    • Reward yourself – when you have studied for 2 hours, give yourself a reward. It could be anything you like, a new car might be over the top, but you deserve something.
    • Set goals – perhaps obvious, but if you have a goal not to eat the marshmallow for 15 minutes, then 1 hour, eventually you will be able to resist for days.

    All of the above will work for anyone studying towards a professional accounting qualification. But one specific tip that might help is to not delay having your marshmallow for too long.  An accounting qualification can take three years, so it's best to break it down into smaller goals, take it one paper at a time.

    The world is changing, as organisations attempt to satisfy the continual demands of those with a “want it now” mentality. Having what you want, when you want, may seem ideal but those who’ve enjoyed instant gratification have not always found it a good place to be.

    Listen to the man himself talk about delayed gratification and the marshmallow experiment, it’s just 4 minutes.  – Walter Mischel.

    Any questions about your learning?

    We’re happy to hear any questions you may have about best learning practises, or the science behind the study process. We are always looking to address the most relevant questions for future blog pieces.

    Stuart Pedley Smith is Kaplan Financial’s Head of Learning. For any learning subjects you may wish to read content about, email us on content.marketing@kaplan.co.uk

    *Mischel’s 2014 book, The Marshmallow Test: Understanding Self-control and How To Master It, offers some interesting insight into the nature/nurture question.
    **In particular work by Laura Michaelson et al, in 2013

  • Start your ACCA journey with OnDemand

    by User Not Found | May 28, 2019

    ACCA’s Applied Knowledge level is available for the OnDemand platform*, ensuring we have the best study options for ACCA starters.

    Flexible bite-sized learning

    Gone are the days when you’d go to a library to find out how to do something. We rely so much on Google and YouTube for support. It’s no secret our culture is video-centric as we’re used to consuming info in short chunks.

    Did you know?

    OnDemand has produced some of our highest pass rates for both CIMA and AAT qualifications, with enrolment figures increasing every month.

    This is why we believe OnDemand, our award-winning** and interactive course, is the future of flexible learning. With resources designed for online study, it offers consumable bursts of information – within an optimised learning system.

    It gives you the best of both worlds: combining the structure of a tutor-led course, with the flexibility to study anytime and anywhere.

    With OnDemand you can learn the fundamentals of Applied Knowledge in any location: on a train, in a library, or even on a beach. The bite-sized study modules come in a range of formats: tutor led videos, interactive texts, and short quizzes. In addition, you’ll have the usual high quality content of a Kaplan course, such as: mocks, ACCA approved study texts, and pocket notes for revision.

    Thanks for making the topic interesting and understandable. I had a difficult choice: go to University or use Kaplan study materials. I’m glad I chose Kaplan

    Rohit Jung Thapa (took OnDemand for P2)

    You’re in control

    You have the freedom to learn at a rate and method that suits you. Also, you’ll be guided through all the resources, so you know exactly what you need to complete and in what order.

    Once you’ve mastered the basic knowledge, for instance, the course provides detailed application modules on each key syllabus. This shows you how it applies to exam questions, preparing you for success..

    The unique benefits of OnDemand.

    • Structured programme with flexible start times
    • Regular feedback to keep you on track
    • Hundreds of practice questions
    • Online resources and focused modules with tutor-led, bite-sized videos
    • A new and multi-award winning study method
    • Application modules: helping you to apply knowledge to exam questions
    • Knowledge checks
    • Unrivalled tutor support, similar to classroom (7 days a week, with live chat)
    • 6 months from selected start month.

    Start your Accountancy journey

    Applied Knowledge is the entry point for those wanting to become ACCA qualified. It’s the most accessible level: if you have the equivalent of 2 A Levels and 3 GCSE’s, you can start ACCA Applied Knowledge.

    Once ACCA qualified, students earn an average of £28,000-£40,000***. Starting with Applied Knowledge gives you a strong foundation for a successful career in Accountancy.

    And now available OnDemand, you can study on your terms, wherever you want. The study platform provides video content on all major subject areas for the module, and will continue to update with more.

    Try a free trial of ACCA OnDemand platform today, and start your route to qualification instantly.****

    *This is relevant to exams from September 2019 onwards.
    **Awards won - PQ Online College of the Year 2018, AAT Awards Best Use of E-Learning 2018.
    ***According to targetjobs.co.uk
    ****The demo simply illustrates the OnDemand format. It is not representative of the Applied Knowledge module content.

  • Using data to boost your chances of passing – the results

    by Sharon Cooper | May 24, 2019

    Last year, Kaplan and CIMA joined forces by sharing data to identify what the most successful students do.

    The results are in and we can now share them with you.

    Using data to boost your chances of passing: The results.

    Seasonality

    Unfortunately there isn’t a “lucky month” for taking exams. The analysis showed there to be no seasonal peaks or troughs. Students should sit the exams at a time that fits in with their work commitments and personal life.

    Calendar showing important dates in January.

    Study Methods

    There were differences in student performance between study channels (e.g. classroom, online etc) in terms of both speed of progression and exam success, but we concluded it would be wrong to promote one channel over another because so much is dependant on individual learning styles.

    Students should select the method of study that fits with their preferred way of learning.

    Three students studying in different ways.

    Exam timing from start of course

    The average pass rate for students sitting the exam within the first 12 weeks is 77%. In the next 8 weeks this falls to 61%. The implication is that taking the exam after 12 weeks reduces pass rates by 16%.

    Student taking an exam.
    Pass rates fell by 6% after the third week, and a further 10% by week six.

    Exam timing from end of course

    The data shows a decline in pass rates from the end of the course to sitting the exam.

    Taking long periods of time after the course reduces chances of exam success.

    These findings are more relevant for scheduled courses where there is a clear end date.

    There are differences for individual papers but overall the evidence suggests students should sit the exam within 3 weeks from when the course ends.

    Exemptions

    The data showed that exemptions make little difference to exam success.

    Clock face showing the time at ten past ten.
    Student receiving help from a Kaplan tutor.

    Exam rescheduling

    Students who change the exam date from their original booking have a 16% lower pass rate than those who don’t re-schedule.

    This might seem strange, if a student doesn’t feel ready to sit the exam, delaying is a sensible option. However, the data suggests this is not a good idea.

    The key message is to book the exam and don’t change it.

    Using My Kaplan

    Attempting questions and mock exams on MyKaplan resulted in higher pass rates.

    Completing knowledge checks and mock exams increased pass rates by 5%.

    This shouldn’t be interpreted that attempting questions only increases pass rates by 5%. Many students will use paper based text books and question banks and these activities have not been captured because there’s no digital evidence.

    A tablet and a smartphone showing the MyKaplan user interface.

    We hope these findings help you reflect on your learning habits. There are always ways to improve and reach your full exam potential.

    This research project was carried out by Kaplan’s Head of Learning Stuart Pedley Smith and CIMA. For further information on study tips and the science of learning stay updated with our insights posts.

    The full story

    To watch the full presentation on this study, and see how the results were gathered, register to listen to the webinar recording. 

  • It’s a fact, Question Based Days help you pass

    by Sharon Cooper | May 22, 2019

    Question Based Days (QBDs) get you exam ready. The questions are exam standard and aren’t found anywhere else in Kaplan’s study materials.

    It’s the perfect prep for your last few days of revision, as they highlight final areas of weakness to focus on - giving you the best chance of success.

    Students notice the benefit of seeing a complete course from start to finish - learning the concepts in tuition, exam technique in revision and then applying their knowledge in QBDs
    - Andrew Mower, Kaplan ACCA Tutor

     

    If you need further convincing, here are the main benefits of QBDs:

    • Personalised feedback

      Tuition/revision sessions feed back on general weaknesses reported by the ACCA examining team, whereas QBDs focus on the specific weaknesses of your class.

      The tutor will review your attempts and work closely with our team of experienced markers. This allows for the most direct and meaningful type of feedback, and it’s very immediate.

      It's received there and then (for classroom), and within a few days of submitting your attempt for (Live Online).

    • Helpful timing (for exam)

      Revision mocks and practice questions are very helpful, but you can do these early in your studies. With QBDs you sit the questions just before the real exam, so this gives you a realistic insight into how you might do on the day.

      This can be a great confidence boost going into the real thing, and gives you an idea of priority areas of study to focus on in the remaining days leading up to the exam.

    Did you know?

    In 2018, those who took the Complete Course (Tuition, Revisions and QBDs) had a 21% higher pass rate than those who took Tuition and Revision, and a 32% higher pass rate than just Tuition.* 

    • Brand new questions

      The QBD courses contain more than 120 marks worth of brand new questions.

      They cover all the examinable areas but also often include some of the less common areas that you may have forgotten about.

    • Format is the same as the real exam


      You will be encouraged to complete your answers using software/formats identical to the exam (for CBE, or paper based). This is vital practice as you familiarise yourself with the layout and style, making the real thing a more efficient process.

      You complete these questions to time and in exam conditions, which is great practice. Particularly good for those who may desire discipline - which can be absent when practising alone. 

    A unique advantage

    Taking place a week or two prior to the real exam, Question Based Days (QBDs) put everything you have learned into practice, and within an exam environment.

    There are not many providers who offer this benefit, and it’s the nearest thing you will experience to real exam pressure. It’s so much more than a mock exam. 

    Our analysis shows that students who complete the question based day tend to be more focused and achieve higher results in the final exam than those who don’t. QBDs give you the edge.

    To take advantage of our Question Based Days, which run in all of our ACCA classroom locations and via Live Online, visit our site today.

    *Figures based on an average taken from 2018 June sitting for F8 and P4 papers.

  • VideoBank - hundreds of videos full of expert advice

    by User Not Found | May 02, 2019

    We have hundreds of expert tutor-led videos, ideal for furthering your learning, or just cementing what you already know. Providing hints, tips, and practical advice on how to get through your exams.

    The videos are available any time, so if you feel you need an early morning boost, or you’re studying late at night and just need to check some details, they’re there to be watched.

    They are short and informal, so they aren’t overwhelming, and don’t take up too much of your time.

    The videos provide clarification on topics

    - Josh FM

    Why watch videos?

    We all learn differently, and watching a video can make a topic more accessible, rather than reading a book. The tutors are all experts in their fields, so the information you will get from the videos is accurate and clear. They know what students get stuck on, and have ways of explaining things differently, to make learning concepts as simple as possible.

    Videos are a great way to back up what you’ve learnt in your textbooks or in the classroom. You can recap anything you’ve studied, just in a different way.

    But don’t just take it from us. Students already using VideoBank say it really helps them.

    I’ve found the video bank VERY useful during my F9 (FM) revision. Overall I have definitely found this very helpful for my revision and I can’t wait to use this for future courses!

    - Hannah F9

    The videos cover everything

    No matter what course you’re doing, or what level you’re at, we have videos that are relevant for your stage of study. So whether you’re doing ACCA or CIMA, there will be a video for your course.

    You don’t have to watch every relevant video to succeed, they’re just there to give you a little extra assistance and a different perspective on topics when you need it. 

    As well as great video content, many of them link to Kaplan’s Knowledge Bank so you can read more information about a specific topic without having to search for it.

    Click here for a VideoBank preview.

    How do I access the videos?

    If you’re a current student, you simply need to log in to MyKaplan and click on Course Content.

    If you’re a new student, have a look at our courses. Once you’ve chosen the one you want and signed up, you’ll get access to VideoBank as part of your online resources.

    The videos are all tagged with their relevant subjects and topics, so it’s easy to find the one that you’re after.

  • PQ awards winner – an Apprenticeship role model

    by User Not Found | May 02, 2019

    Zane Salmon, one of our AAT Apprentices, was victorious at the 2019 PQ Awards - named Apprentice of the Year.

    The national awards celebrate Accountancy success – across all areas of the profession: from the tutors, to training providers, to the learners themselves.

    Zane is an exceptionally hardworking apprentice and his record speaks for itself: achieving an average of 97% when studying Level 2 AAT with Kaplan.

    His upwards trajectory continued. With Level 3 AAT, after completing two units, he scored  94% and 83% respectively. He’s now on-course for a Distinction with his Level 3 AAT Qualification.

    Today he works towards his Apprenticeship as an employee of Grant Thornton, in their Audit Department. Never one to rest on his laurels, he’s made an immediate impact at the large corporate.

    Award-worthy

    Zane’s academic journey is exemplary, but it’s his personal story that must have caught the judges’ attention. Zane’s route to success came from a collaboration between Kaplan and LTSB (Leadership Through Sport & Business).

    LTSB are a national social mobility charity that supports bright young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into to meaningful work in major firms.

    Through intensive training and partnerships, with blue-chip companies and elite football foundations, their transformative Accountancy Apprenticeship programme develops young people personally and professionally. It better prepares them for the business world.

    We address all forms of disadvantage: personal, in terms of adverse life-events; socio-economic, in terms of class boundaries or lack of social capital; and practical, in terms of the preparation young people have had for the working world

    - David Pinchin

    Up to this point in his young career, Zane hadn’t had it easy. Previously overlooked for opportunities within the sector, he was concerned it was due to his mild ADHD and dyslexia. Zane had also recently left home, and was tasked with living alone and having to support himself. At such an age, there was a lot resting on his shoulders.

    During this period, he assessed the options available and came across the LTSB “More Than an Apprenticeship” programme. So in September 2017 - with the intention of gaining an Accountancy and Finance Apprenticeship – he applied.

    The rest, they say, is history.

    Zane’s PQ nomination made reference to the huge first impression he made, and the impact he continues to make, at Grant Thornton. The company hope to make his role permanent after the completion of his Level 3 qualification.

    Zane’s strength of character and determination has been effectively channeled into the opportunity created by Kaplan and LTSB. It’s great to see the programme truly work for those it intends to support.

    This programme helped me develop both personally and professionally. It's changed my life.

    - Zane Salmon

    Well done Zane!

    To find out more about the Leadership Through Sport and Business programmes, visit their site.

  • Are you prepared? CIMA 2019 Professional Qualification Updates

    by User Not Found | Apr 03, 2019

    Listen to Kaplan and CIMA’s joint webinars on the updates to the CIMA qualification.

    The new CIMA syllabus updates are largely designed to prepare accountants for the digital world. According to CIMA’s VP of examinations,

    They’ll help drive real world job performance, and will focus on key competencies at the least risk of automation.

     

    But do you know what the changes are?

    We have done three easy to digest presentations breaking down the changes, and giving a summary of their impact.

    They also feature an extensive Q&A, giving listeners advice on what to do before the exam change in November.

    Please register for your selected webinar using the form below.


    Professional Qualification Update - Webinar

    Delivered by Steve Flatman, VP Examinations (Management Accounting) at CIMA and Rebecca Evans, Head of Product Management at Kaplan Financial.

    Round up of the webinar agenda:

    1. Info on the Professional Qualification update
    2. Key dates
    3. Transition Guidance
    4. Questions

    Info on the Professional Qualification update

    This section explains the ‘what’ as well as the ‘why’.

    Not only do we explain what is changing and why, but also what is staying the same, with a full breakdown of the professional qualification.

    The good news is, it’s designed to make you more employable and your skills relevant to today’s job market.

    Key Dates

    Here we outline all the upcoming key dates for the roll out, and what implications it’ll have on course content, case studies, and exams. The main message is to keep studying.

    Transition Guidance

    Guidance and tips are offered on how to make the smoothest transition in light of the changes. It details the best way to plan your studies, regardless of which level you are at.

    Info is also provided on the range of support resources available, which offer further detail on the changes.

    Questions

    There is an extensive Q&A at the end of the talk.


    Advice following Operational Case Study results - Webinar

    Delivered by Katie Collins, CIMA Production Manager and Kaplan Financial tutor.

    Round up of the webinar agenda:

    1. Professional Qualification Update
    2. What to do next
    3. Questions

    Professional Qualification update

    This section explains the ‘what’ as well as the ‘why’.

    Not only do we explain what is changing and why, but also what is staying the same, with a full breakdown of the professional qualification.

    The good news is, it’s designed to make you more employable and your skills relevant to today’s job market.

    What to do next

    Advice on your next steps, depending on where you are up to in your studies. Explanation of how to speed up your study if you want to complete your level before the exam change in November. Also advice if you’ve not passed your most recent exam, and the path forward. 


    Advice following Management Case Study Results - Webinar

    Delivered by Delivered by Katie Collins, CIMA Production Manager and Kaplan Financial tutor.

    Round up of the webinar agenda:

    1. Professional Qualification Update
    2. What to do next
    3. Questions

    Professional Qualification update

    This section explains the ‘what’ as well as the ‘why’.

    Not only do we explain what is changing and why, but also what is staying the same, with a full breakdown of the professional qualification.

    The good news is, it’s designed to make you more employable and your skills relevant to today’s job market.

    What to do next

    Advice on your next steps, depending on where you are up to in your studies. Explanation of how to speed up your study if you want to complete your level before the exam change in November. Also advice if you’ve not passed your most recent exam, and the path forward. 


    Register now

    Please complete the form below to access the recording of your chosen webinar.

  • Your career after AAT

    by User Not Found | Feb 06, 2019

    Completing your AAT Level 4 Apprenticeship is a great milestone in your career.

    You can now use MAAT1 after your name, and are in a position to progress further - with the new knowledge and skills you have.

    However, have you considered furthering your studies all the way to full Chartered Accountancy status? 

    With ICAEW, ACCA or CIMA, you can study for these qualifications through a Level 7 Apprenticeship, meaning you’ll receive additional support and time for training.

    Here are some of the benefits that opting to complete a Level 7 Apprenticeship could bring you:

    • Achieve full Chartered Status and a Masters Level Qualification

      Now you have a professional designation after completing AAT, you could go one step further. You could achieve full Chartered Accountancy status.

      This equates to a Masters level qualification2 for ICAEW, ACCA or CIMA. With it, you’d be joining an internationally recognised body, which brings considerable benefits for your status and career.

    • Invest in your development

      When you study via the Level 7 Apprenticeship, together with the completion of your qualification, you’ll also develop essential skills and behaviours.

      Networking, business acumen and problem solving are some of the key-workplace competencies which are developed. They not only improve job satisfaction but ultimately increase your value in the workplace.

    • Support whilst you study

      If you study via an Apprenticeship, you’ll be given additional support to complete your qualification. Apprentices have 20% of their working time protected for training and development. Some of this could be achieved through studying for your qualification3.

    • Boost earnings potential

      A recent Accountancy Age survey4 revealed that qualified Accountants averagely earned £64,220 whereas those without a formal qualification averagely earned £45,974.

      Whilst overall earnings vary according to level, location and experience, achieving Chartered status will impact your salary.
    • Use your skills all over the world

      In addition to boosting your salary potential, Chartered Accountancy gives you the opportunity to use your qualification all over the world.

      The qualification itself, and the skills developed when completing your Apprenticeship, are extremely transferable and in high demand everywhere.
       

    So let the world be your oyster. Start thinking about the next level of your studies now.

    For expert advice and guidance on Level 7 Accountancy Apprenticeships, please contact Kaplan on apprenticeships@kaplan.co.uk


    1.You will still be subject to fulfilling the AAT’s requirements for membership, including achieving relevant work experience as per AAT’s Membership Criteria Policy https://www.aat.org.uk/prod/s3fs-public/assets/AAT-Membership-Criteria-policy.pdf
    2.Please note you do not receive a Masters Degree - this is an equivalent qualification
    3.It is your employer’s discretion as to how the 20% training time is used
    4.Accountancy Age Salary Survey 2018

  • Study tips from the world number 1

    by User Not Found | Jan 30, 2019

    Studying for your CIMA qualification - or any for that matter - can be a daunting task. 


    With such a heavy workload, and so many study methods to choose from, it can be tricky to know where to start. 

    This is why we consulted our best in the world CIMA student, for her own personal study tips.

    We all have our own particular ways of studying, but given her recent success we thought it wouldn't hurt to see how she went above and beyond.
  • Best in the world - for CIMA case study

    by User Not Found | Jan 25, 2019

    Meet Jade and Rachel….

    Both came 1st in the world for their CIMA case studies.

    It's a great achievement, so we wanted to hear more about their story. What happened when they found out, and what's next? 

    Rachel’s tutor, Davina Roberts, comments:

    To be ranked in one of the top five positions for a case study is incredibly impressive. This accolade will standout on Rachel's CV, throughout her career, highlighting her ability to triumph under stress and to communicate effectively 

    Enter the world of business accounting

    CIMA Certificate is the entry level qualification into business accounting. No prior knowledge or qualifications are needed.

    If you have an accountancy or finance degree, or are AAT qualified, you may be eligible to start studying CIMA at the Professional qualification. It's the largest professional body of management accountants and ideal for those who want to focus in management accounting.

    Ideal for high achievers like Jade and Rachel, and many great careers can follow those who study it.

    To find out more, visit our CIMA course page. 

  • Learning through Gamification

    by User Not Found | Jan 02, 2019

    Over recent years, our study methods show a growing recognition of learners’ desire for flexible learning. The success of this proves that ongoing  innovation in learning technology helps deliver the best educational experience.

    During last October’s webinar, Stuart Pedley-Smith, Head of Learning at Kaplan UK and Alan Hiddleston, D2L Enterprise Account Executive, discussed our transformation of the online learning environment using gamification.

    Gamification has evidently boosted our learner experience. Through it we can observe how students ‘play’ the game, and use that information to nurture useful characteristics such as diligence, determination and drive.

    This sophisticated and optimised approach shows just how far things have evolved. But it’s happened in stages: from early days of online course material, to today where learners are digitally savvy. Our platform has had keep up with demands of today’s employees.

    Gamification for learner engagement

    By tapping into models familiar to digitally savvy learners, our platform delivers enhanced learning experiences for higher levels of engagement and success.  Our gamification model provides a range of tools and techniques that helps them progress through their study programme.

    Stuart explains that we wanted our learning to be more ‘evidence-based’ and ‘personalised’. We began applying gamification by improving learning outcomes and through rewarding positive behaviour. It recognised actions that led to progress.

    “In the exam world, league tables are seen as a bit of a hero and villain thing - where the academically bright sit at the top and the academically not so bright sit at the bottom,” explains Stuart. “We wanted to explore the league table by rewarding behaviours that would in principle lead to better learning and then to better results.”

    A unique method

    This approach fuses aspects of technology-enabled learning, game-design principles, and behavioural insight to reveal how learners approach study and their character traits. An innovative blend of artificial intelligence, human impulse, and fun.

    Stuart is now turning his attention to the small changes that make a difference to learner outcomes, including how tweaks to student communications can maximise their efficacy. This could involve looking at the time of day emails are sent out, the length of the email, and the wording that’s used.

    Predictive analytics and monitoring enable administrators to build a detailed picture of the online learner and keep them on track.

    To find out more about gamification and how we’re using it to help evolve our learner experience, access the webinar recording.

  • The Kaplan King: From AAT to CIMA, and fully Chartered

    by User Not Found | Nov 28, 2018

    Tom Kelly is 24 years old, a Project Accountant and has fully Chartered status.

    He started out as an AAT apprentice with Kaplan, but the last two years have seen him progress to the CIMA qualification and move on in his career.

    When you tell them you have letters after your name, it definitely opens doors. 

    The Kaplan King

    Sticking with Kaplan throughout his accountancy voyage, Tom discovered that our teaching methods suited his approach to learning.

    The continuity provided a level of comfort and consistency that enabled him to flourish “Kaplan provided excellent training throughout and their teaching styles suited me.”

    The future after AAT

    As an Accounting Technician, there are a range of fulfilling career routes available. You could even be eligible for exemptions from some higher learning units, meaning you can gain higher qualifications sooner than you might think and boost your earning potential.

    Our studies show

    That one third of all AAT students go on to chartered status.  

    Like Tom, you may opt to study as an apprentice, rather than take the university route. With AAT you don’t need any previous experience or qualifications to start, just a willingness to learn!

    This attitude has taken Tom all the way to being CIMA qualified. 

  • Improve your chance of exam success – what the data tells us

    by User Not Found | Nov 22, 2018

    Following a joint research project between Kaplan and CIMA, we’ve gathered evidence that highlights key factors behind exam success.

    Last December our Head of Learning, Stuart Pedley-Smith, in association with CIMA, shared these findings in a live webinar.

    The session focussed on:

    • The optimum time to take your exam

    • Whether rescheduling your exam can impact on success

    • Whether the seasons affect your performance

    • Performing practice exams – whether this really has a noticeable impact on achieving exam success.

    Stuart Pedley-Smith has been involved with training and educating finance professionals for over 20 years and is the author of two books, ‘The E word’ about how to pass exams’ and ’A student’s guide to writing Business Reports.’

    Register now, for essential info leading to exam success.
  • OnDemand is in demand - Learning Technology Awards

    by User Not Found | Nov 16, 2018

    OnDemand has been Shortlisted for the Best Online Distance Learning Programme at the Learning Technology Awards.

    In the run up the event, Head of Instructional Design and Development, Amanda Healey-Browne reveals the significance of it, and why the unique study method deserves recognition.

    What does it mean to get recognition for OnDemand?

    There’s a lot of competition in the professional qualification area - and Kaplan works hard to maintain its lead. All of the staff involved with

    OnDemand are dedicated to making this product the best it can be.

    To be recognised by the Learning Technology Awards allows us to compare the platform to our competitors. It will help us to understand our strengths and weaknesses in a wider context.

    A win would give us a big seal of approval. It would make all the staff involved feel proud of their work and the daily contribution they make to Kaplan. There’s no doubt it would also help also to attract new talent.

    How does your role in Instructional Design apply to OnDemand?

    Kaplan Content Specialists are tutors or authors with substantial experience in the classroom or print. The Instructional Designers (IDs) help them understand how to adapt to online delivery.

    We have a thorough understanding of what works best for online learning, and the types of activities that can reinforce learning.

    We like information in short chunks, at any time. We like control! OnDemand fits well with current trends.

    Is OnDemand new to Kaplan?

    We initially rolled it out for CIMA Certificate and Professional in 2016. The teams then began work on AAT Foundation, Advanced and Diploma – which took all of 2017!

    This year we have rolled it out for ACCA Skills, Essentials and Options. We’re currently working on ACCA Knowledge and ICAEW ACA Professional. Over the next few years, we’ll complete the roll out for ICAEW ACA Certificate and Advanced.

    How has it developed?

    OnDemand has evolved in different ways.

    For CIMA, the product was primarily video driven.

    Then with AAT, we incorporated more interactions and online exercises for students to complete.

    For ACCA we split the content into Knowledge and Application modules. The Application gave learners detail on complex areas of the syllabus. It showed how topics can be applied to practical, real-to-life, scenarios.

    In ACA, we’re currently making use of forums and tasks that consolidate and stretch a learner's understanding of a topic.

    What’s the unique benefit of OnDemand?

    It offers learners the benefit of being taught by Kaplan tutors in their own home or workplace.

    They’re given a range of support options and have access to: online e-learning modules, assessments, mock exams, revision cards, study texts and Integrated Workbooks.

    The learner takes control of their own education and uses methods unique to them.

    How does it suit today’s learning habits?

    Gone are the days when you’d go to a library to find out how to do something. We rely so much on Google and YouTube for support. Our culture is very video-centric. We are used to information in short chunks, at any time. We like control!

    OnDemand fits well with current trends as it’s primarily video driven, that can be accessed over multiple locations, with frequent tests to check knowledge is embedded.

    What are you looking forward to in regards to the awards evening?

    These awards are a very prestigious event. I’m really excited to represent Kaplan and have all my fingers and toes crossed that we’ll win!

    Any future plans for further development with OnDemand?

    Of course! I know that OnDemand will continue to evolve. We’re always looking at feedback from students and clients, and running trials based on different ideas. Technology continues to move, and so will we.

  • 6 Ways Accountants Changed The World

    by User Not Found | Nov 09, 2018

    International Accountants Day is celebrated every November 10th, and we wanted to acknowledge it by listing ways in which the profession has impacted the world.

    Firstly, why November the 10th?

    On November 10th, 1494, Venetian mathematician Luca Bartolomeo de Pacioli published an unprecedented look at bookkeeping practices.

    This leads us onto our first example...

    Al Capone is taken down by Tax

    De Pacioli’s system of recording company transactions still, to this day, underpins all financial statements. If were to single out a historical moment it impacted then we’d pinpoint the imprisonment of Al Capone. 

    In 1931, he was found guilty of evasion for not paying taxes on his ill-gotten wealth. Only accurate financial statements could have provided evidence to sentence the world famous gangster.

    Luca de Pacioli’s work became the foundation for more essays on accounting which led to his title as “The Father of Accounting.”

    The modern age is born

    Without the evolution of banking and accounting the Industrial Revolution could not have developed at the rate it did in the 1700s. The increasing demands of entrepreneurs in industries like steam led to a huge expansion of the financial system.

    Prior to 1750 gold and silver were preferred for major transactions, and copper for daily trading. There were banks already in existence, but only in limited numbers.

    The Industrial Revolution in the UK brought significant social changes. Industrialization increased the population and led to urbanization, resulting in the formation of modern towns and cities we see today.

    Mick Jagger

    Legendary ‘Dinosaur hips’ did indeed train to be an accountant. 

    According to sources, Jagger studied accounting and finance at the London School of Economics. However, his accountancy journey was cut short after crossing paths with a certain...Keef.

     

    Their inventive re-interpretation of American blues music caused them to be recognised as pioneers of early rock and roll.

    With classic albumns such as like Exile on Mainstreet, and record breaking mega-tours that continue to break records, it’s easy to see their influence on the world of pop culture.

     

    So, technically Mick did not change the world with his accounting skill. However, he did train to be an accountant, and he did change the world – just separately.

    America win the war of independence & George Washington publishes his accounts

    During the American War of Independence (1775 – 1783), George Washington - the first US president, published his personal accounts. This was in response to his enemies, who accused him of profiteering

    A rich farmer, Washington’s accounts revealed his enjoyment of the finer things of life:  wine, luxurious clothes and expensive food. 

    Publishing this information was risky and threatened to undermine his position in wartime. To avoid criticism, and potentially boosted morale, however, he refused to accept a salary as commander-in-chief of the army.

    He then led the Americans to fight off the British, and became the republic’s first elected president.

    The enrichment of Holland in the 16th century

    By the early 16th century, the Netherlands was the richest European province of the Spanish Empire. As their economy grew, accounting became a central element of Dutch education.

    Strong trust between government, businesses, and people developed from consistently good financial management. That gave the Dutch the faith to take massive financial risks, investing in stocks and ships that traded around the world.

    Accounting knowledge wipes British debt in the 1720s

    Sir Robert Walpole, arguably our first prime minister, was a brilliant accountant and used his knowledge to save financial markets when the South Sea Company scheme collapsed in the 1720s.

    As first lord of the Treasury, Walpole negotiated a bailout involving the Bank of England. He reduced national debt at a time when public confidence had plummeted and businesses faced ruin.

    How are you going to change the world?

    Accountants continue to be the cornerstone of society – across the world. The opportunity for the profession to influence world affairs remains. 

    Kaplan also has a rich history, and can trace its roots back to the very beginning of accountancy training in the UK. To learn more about the accountancy qualifications available visit our site.

    Thanks to Kaplan’s Head of Learning Stuart Pedley-Smith, and John Bennett for their contributions.

  • Learn smarter and pass faster with these techniques

    by User Not Found | Oct 18, 2018

    We now have evidence as to the most effective learning techniques. Here we give an overview of the findings, revealing how you can learn smarter and pass faster.

    Top proven study techniques

    Although a relatively new field, there are a group of cognitive and computer scientists, linguists and educational psychologists who have united. They collectively call themselves Learning Scientists. By gathering data about student learning they’ve been able to draw conclusions that are “evidence based”. 

    Here are some of the top 6 “evidence-based” study techniques they found:

    1. Spaced practice (distributed)

    Evidence shows that if you revisit what you have studied over time it boosts your retrieval and storage strength. Studying in a short period of time, as is the case with cramming, improves retrieval strength but reduces storage strength. 

    2. Interleaving

    Interleaving is the study of different subjects as opposed to studying one topic very thoroughly - before moving to the next.

    One proven technique is for students to alternate between attempting a problem and viewing a worked example. This is much better than attempting to answer one question after another. It’s simply about switching activity.

    But be careful, interleaving is best done within a subject, for example  it's best to stay with Financial Reporting rather than swapping to Tax or Financial Management .

    3. Retrieval practice

    The process of reflecting back and having to retrieve a memory of something previously learned is very powerful.  There is also an added benefit. If you are told there’s going to be a test, the increased test expectancy leads to better-quality encoding of the new information.

    Did you know?

    The OnDemand study method has been designed using evidence, to improve the learning experience.

    4. Elaboration

    Elaboration, or, adding something new to what you already know.

    This might be students asking “how and why” questions in groups and answering them either from their course materials or memory. 

    5. Concrete examples

    Concrete examples make something easier to understand and remember, largely because the brain can recognise and recall concrete words better than abstract ones. It’s been proven that information that is more concrete and imageable enhances the learning of associations, even with abstract content.

    By using concrete examples, it makes it much easier to concisely convey information that can be remembered and visualised. It is a good example of Dual coding.

    6. Dual coding

    When accompanied by complementary visual information, text enhances learning. Dual coding is the use of both text and visuals, replacing a word with a picture is not the same.

    Evidence based

    At Kaplan, our OnDemand course has been designed using evidence to inform what works best from a learning perspective. It's a new flexible way of learning, combining the principles of instructional design with the convenience and flexibility of virtual study.

    Instructional designers follow what is proven to work for learners and incorporate many of the principles in the courses they build. Kaplan's Instructional team have done exactly that, through Duel coding - by presenting both text and images on the screen, Retrieval practice - by using knowledge checks, and Elaboration - by making reference to content previously learned.

    All of this makes the Kaplan OnDemand course better by design.

    For more information on this topic, register to attend a webinar delivered by CIMA and our Head of Learning, Stuart Pedley Smith. October 30th.

  • You’re guaranteed to pass ACCA with a Complete Course

    by User Not Found | Oct 03, 2018

    Up to 32% better chance of passing

    Give yourself the best chance of ACCA success when you combine Tuition, Revision and a Question Based Day.

    Our Complete Courses package gives you the best, and most efficient way, of passing.

    The stats prove it

    For Classroom and Live Online, the Complete Courses package is made up of all the study options: Tuition, Revision and a Question Based Day. Giving you everything you need to be fully 'tooled up' for exam success.

    Our stats team recently looked at our ACCA results and found that those who took out all three options had a significantly improved % chance of passing – over all subjects.

    This has been a consistent pattern for the past three years.

    Did you know?

    Based on 2018 figures, those who took the Complete Course had a 21% higher pass rate than those who took Tuition and Revision, and a 32% higher than just Tuition.*

    This is due to the comprehensive nature of the three pronged approach:

    Tuition – Work your way through the full syllabus and focus on the key areas likely to come up in the exam.

    Revision – Apply your knowledge to exam questions, learn how to structure an answer and how to understand a requirement.

    QBD – Practice questions taken under exam conditions. Get personalised feedback and recorded debriefs.

    The key benefits of Question Based Days

    QBDs are conducted a few days before the real exam, making sure you're exam ready. The questions are exam standard - not found anywhere else in Kaplan’s study materials and completed on real computer exam software.

    They structure your last few days of revision and highlight final areas of weakness to focus on.

    Students really notice the benefit of seeing a complete course through from start to finish - learning the concepts in tuition, exam technique in revision and then applying their knowledge in QBDs

    - Andrew Mower, Kaplan ACCA Tutor.

    Guaranteed to pass

    Some of our students choose to opt for just one of the methods (Tuition), this could be seen as a cost effective way to learn. But this can be short sighted.

    With the Complete Course package, initially it will cost a little more, but statistically, it's proven to increase your chance of passing, and therefore less chance of incurring resit costs.

    In the unlikely event that you fail and have to resit, this package includes a Pass Guarantee, meaning that you can be put through the whole process again, until you pass.

    Easy to activate**

    Arm yourself with the Complete Course in just a few easy steps.

    Simply visit the Applied Skills and Strategic Professional pages, add the Tuition, Revision and QBD courses to your basket. Any problems call our customer services on 0161 259 7400.

    *Figures based on an average taken from 2018 June sitting for F8 and P4 papers.
    ** The Complete Courses discount package only applies to the Applied Skills and Strategic Professional levels.

  • Webinar: Why study AAT online?

    by User Not Found | Sep 13, 2018

    We recently hosted a webinar with AAT, on the benefits of studying online. Register to see it here.

    The number of students taking online courses only continues to grow as more options become available.

    With students citing flexibility as one of the key benefits to online learning methods, and people working longer hours, it’s not surprising that the need for flexible study has increased.

    Whether you are studying online, or thinking about it, this webinar focuses on the advantages of studying online and help you to decide whether it’s for you.

    It also offers a particular focus on Kaplan's award-winning study method OnDemand - exploring:

    • Why online learning needs to be taken seriously
    • Explore the benefits of studying via an online method
    • Explore what type of student is most suited to online learning
    Delivered by National product AAT manager, Sally Brummit.

  • Everything you wanted to know about OnDemand - Q&A

    by User Not Found | Sep 13, 2018
    What study method works best for you? Have you considered OnDemand?

    OnDemand allows you to study when and where you want, using bite-sized, tutor-led online resources. These are designed to keep you motivated and the integrated practice questions make sure you stay on track.

    It was first launched for CIMA in September 2016, followed by AAT in May 2017, and has now been released for ACCA students.

    With leading pass rates (i.e. 88% for CIMA) it’s helping more students progress quicker and qualify faster.

    Here our award winning tutor talks about the study method and how it works in practice. 
  • The benefits of ACCA to employers

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Aug 04, 2022

    We often talk about the merits of studying ACCA from the perspective of potential learners, but why, and how, could it benefit employers and organisations as a whole? Read on to find out more.

    Firstly, what is ACCA?

    ACCA stands for Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. It’s a globally recognised qualification and is ideal for those wanting to become a chartered accountant, or work in accountancy, tax or audit.

    Why should your employees do ACCA?

    By completing the ACCA qualification your employees will gain essential skills and knowledge needed to add value to your organisation. They will have extensive finance and business skills, adding knowledge to their teams. They will be able to take on higher level roles and responsibilities, and communicate effectively with important internal and external stakeholders on key business and financial matters.

    Is it just an accounting qualification?

    Not at all - there’s a lot more to ACCA than first meets the eye. It’s not just an accountancy qualification as it focuses a lot more on business as a whole. For example during Applied Skills the subjects include Corporate and Business Law in England and globally.

    Learners also study Performance Management, discovering techniques for planning, decision-making, performance evaluation and control. It’s not just spreadsheets and numbers.

    And at the Strategic Professional level, your employees will study ethics and professional skills, as well as business leadership, and advanced financial and performance management. They’ll get a lot more out of this, as will you, than if they did a low level accounting course.

    What is the ACCA approved employer programme?

    The ACCA Approved Employer Programme recognises employers’ high standards of staff training and development. The ACCA recognise and reward organisations that support the ACCA qualification, and set the highest standards of employee support. By becoming an approved employer your organisation will receive a number of benefits via ACCA, including free recruitment services, quality assurance, research and industry insights, discounts on courses, and support from ACCA themselves.

    How do I get my employees ACCA qualified?

    Have a look at our ACCA pages and see what the qualification involves. Most people can start Applied Knowledge with three GSCEs and an A-Level (or equivalent qualifications) - you can check on the ACCA website to see the various entry requirements.

    If any of your employees have already completed the AAT qualification, they can start at Applied Skills. They would have to apply for an ACCA exemption - more information can be found on the ACCA website.

    Need more information?

    If you’d like to speak to one of our team about getting your employees ACCA qualified, or any other qualification, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

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