There is no better way to understand an industry, or a company, than through the individuals that represent it.
As part of our Kaplan Heritage celebration, we interviewed a selection of people who have been part of our story over the years: tutors, apprentices, current students, and those who are part of our Accountancy Training alumni.
We asked them about their personal experiences with Kaplan, some of which relate to memories dating as far back as 30 years ago.
Here we speak to Andy Bradley, a subject matter expert for the OnDemand Team and a course Manager within the Kaplan Tutor Academy.
Could you give a brief introduction to your role at Kaplan? Where are you based?
I have been at Kaplan for nearly 19 years. I’m a subject matter expert for the OnDemand team, as well as being a course Manager within the Kaplan Tutor Academy. Usually I’m based at home, but I also visit the Hull office. In my role within the OnDemand creation team, I help produce storyboards and video content for AAT and ACCA courses, mainly in the area of auditing and ethics. We are creating a new OnDemand product which is launching throughout this year. I also help out with tutor observations. We observe all the Kaplan tutors throughout the country, and give them constructive feedback.
Have you worked in different roles whilst at Kaplan? How have you progressed?
I started out as a tutor, in the Leeds office, then I got the chance to be the Hull Centre Manager for a few years. Following that I became the national AAT Manager, where I looked after the AAT products and revenue. 5 years ago, I left that role to create the Kaplan Tutor Academy.
What do you remember about first joining Kaplan?
I remember that there weren’t as many people in the office and I was trusted to use my own initiative. I would find study materials I thought would be relevant and start using them. In those days, the tutors used to share one computer. Most of us didn’t use it very often; we didn’t see it as being relevant. How the times have changed.
What was your career background prior to starting with Kaplan?
Before joining Kaplan, I was a Chartered Accountant and worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers (when it was Price Waterhouse). I had been an internal trainer there.
What do you teach at Kaplan?
I used to teach about 120 days out of the year, but now I am working with the OnDemand team I will teach about 40 days per year. I predominantly teach Audit, but also Business Strategy and Financial Management.
How many students do you train, per year?
It’s difficult to measure. In classes, we can teach to about 10 or 12 students; but then, if I teach via Live Online, it can be around 100 students.
What has continued to inspire you over the years working for Kaplan?
For me, I prefer training to working as an Accountant, as it combines my skills, qualifications and interests. I have always wanted to teach and I still have a passion for it. I’m usually happy to see the Christmas break, but very glad to get back into the classroom again in the new year. I still think results day is the most stressful, but also the most exciting, day in the calendar.
What have been the biggest challenges you have faced professionally?
For me, as a technophobe, every time we get a new technological advancement I find that it presents a new personal challenge. It’s quite a departure from the time when just used a projector.
Why do you think Kaplan’s students have such a good pass rate?
Undoubtedly it’s because of the tutors and their commitment to getting people through. When it comes to a marginal student, I can’t think of any colleague who wouldn’t do everything they can to get their student to improve and qualify.
What’s your favourite memory of working at Kaplan?
I always enjoy teaching and presenting abroad. Visiting new places is something I’m not sure any other job would’ve given me the chance to do. Teaching a first prize winner was also great, and any time I spend at Caer Rhun Hall is memorable. It’s the home of everything we created.
How do you see Accountancy Training evolving into the future?
Again, I think technology plays a big part. We need to make sure that what we offer is matching the next generation’s expectations.
OnDemand is a new flexible way of learning, that combines the structure of the classroom with the convenience and flexibility of virtual study. Find out more about OnDemand.