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  • Kaplan launches new podcast for students

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Jul 22, 2021

    Featuring some of the best entrepreneurs and thinkers in the sector, and hosted by our very own Head of Learning Stuart Pedley-Smith, our new podcast launches in early August.

    In development since March this year, our podcast is created with our current students and future students in mind. It comes in the form of a relaxed, yet structured, interview and aims to help with: study tips, wellbeing and career information.

    Much care and consideration has gone into the selection of each guest and theme and you will see subjects covered such as:

    Sleep and study
    24 hours before an exam (what to do)
    How sustainability and accountancy are linked
    Diversity within accountancy and the professional services
    Accountancy around the world
    Apprenticeship vs University (which route?)

    And more!

    The guest selections are a combination of those who work for Kaplan and those outside - who work in companies around the world. From Oxford University to California to Columbia.

    We hope you stay tuned and keep abreast of our social channels and blog for ways to subscribe and listen.

  • We care about our student well-being - survey results

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Jul 15, 2021

    In our Mental Health Awareness Week roundup blog, we referenced our student well-being survey. Well, the results are in so we thought we’d share them with you.

    The survey was timed to coincide with Mental Health Awareness week (10 - 14th May) and covered current mental health, coping strategies, Kaplan’s role in supporting our students, and confidence post lockdown.

    2020 survey

    We knew that in our 2020 survey, 45% of our students reported that their mental health had declined as a result of the Pandemic. The survey was sent to a random selection of students based on responses to the question:

    To what extent do you agree with the following statement: My mental health has declined over the past year

    The survey went out to 2346 students and had a 16% response rate.

    374 students responded to the seven questions that we posed. We also used this opportunity to inform learners about a series of well-being seminars that we are running throughout May, June and July with experts Mindset Pro.

    2021 survey

    The more recent survey revealed that those who responded claimed that their mental health had improved by 5% since the annual survey in Dec 2020. However 22.5% of students still rated this as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.

    ‘Exercise’, ‘friends and family’, ‘sleep’ and ‘routine’ were regarded as the most beneficial coping strategies. The students who felt their mental health had declined were more likely to have found a coping strategy beneficial.

    Around half of students did not expect Kaplan to play any role in supporting their well-being, however 40% would expect this if requested. A minority expected Kaplan to play a proactive role and this was higher for those who felt that their mental health had declined.

    Talent Coaches, Tutors and the student well-being page would be the most popular first choices of contact for those looking for support. 37.9% rated Kaplan’s well-being support as ‘good’ or ‘very good’ throughout Covid.

    Back in the classroom

    47.6% of our students felt confident or very confident about returning to the classroom. 56.2% felt confident or very confident about returning to work/hybrid working.

    Students who felt that their mental health did not decline are more confident about returning to the classroom and to working in an office. But the students who felt that their mental health had declined said they are less confident in returning to both.

    For further information about how Kaplan supports student well-being, please visit our student well-being page or ask your talent coach or tutor about our microsites.

    This piece was written by Kaplan’s Wellbeing lead, Sarah Powell.

  • Kaplan shortlisted in RateMyApprenticeship’s Top Training Providers

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Jul 08, 2021

    Kaplan has been shortlisted in the RateMyApprenticeship Top Training Providers Table 2021-2022.

    The RateMyApprenticeship Awards will take place on 15th July, and we are delighted to have been shortlisted once again.

    The table consists of the top 50 training providers based on 6,000 student-written reviews, spanning across all apprenticeship and school leaver schemes on RateMyApprenticeship.

    At the awards all of the Top Training Providers will be announced in descending order along with the winners of the other awards.

    Last year we ranked 10th out of 300 providers, and are very proud to be recognised again for our continued dedication in supporting our learners again this year.

    We’ve had to make changes due to the corona outbreak. Moving away from physical classrooms to online classrooms and working hard to add that community and social element to the learning experience, so that people still feel part of a group

    - Richard Marsh - Apprenticeship Partnerships Director

    The Awards will take place virtually on Thursday 15th July 2021, 3-5pm. If you would like to join us on the day, you can sign up to watch live.

  • WorldSkills National Qualifiers are almost here

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Jul 08, 2021

    Apprentices across the UK will compete to secure a place in the WorldSkills UK LIVE finals.

    Kaplan values showcasing the talent of UK apprentices, as well as recognising their hard work. So we are extremely proud to be hosting the WorldSkills Accounting Technician competition this year.

    WorldSkills UK is an independent charity and a partnership between employers, education and governments who support young people across the world via competitions-based training, assessment and benchmarking.

    The Qualifiers for the National Accounting Technician competition are due to take place on Thursday 15th July and will be held via Zoom.

    The team competition is aimed at learners currently undertaking a Level 3 apprenticeship or higher, those with an equivalent qualification (e.g. HND in Accounting), or those who have completed one of these within the past 12 months.

    Designed by our industry expert Kaplan tutors, the competition looks to assess knowledge, practical skills and employability attributes of competitors. It also helps develop qualities valued by employers such as team work, problem solving, time management, judgment and working under pressure.

    A total of 19 made it through the initial stage and will be taking part in the Qualifiers in mid July.

    The qualifying teams are from Lloyds Banking Group, Oldham College, Lincoln College, Bridgend College, City of Glasgow College, Riverside College, and Neath Port Talbot College.

    Each team will have two hours to complete a case study task and present it back to the three judges. The results will then be announced within a few weeks to see who will move forward to compete in the National Finals in November.

    We’ll be sharing further details following the results, so keep an eye out to see who will progress, and for the full details of the UK LIVE finals.

    For more information about WorldSkills UK and the competitions check out their website.

  • Kaplan apprentices shortlisted for the 2021 BAME apprenticeship awards

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | May 27, 2021

    The BAME Apprenticeship Awards celebrate diversity and reflect the outstanding work and achievement of apprentices from black and minority ethnic groups. This year is no different.

    The awards are such a force for positivity and change, across the board. As stated by the board themselves previously “It wasn’t just apprentices being recognised, but a number of employers were awarded for their contribution to equality, diversity and inclusion in apprenticeships.”

    This year, the categories that are up for grabs are:

    • Accounting and Finance (sponsored by Kaplan)
    • Legal and Professional Services
    • Health, Medical and Social Care
    • Retail, Hospitality and Tourism
    • Charity, Voluntary, and Public Services
    • Construction Services
    • Engineering and Manufacturing
    • Creative, Media and Marketing
    • Digital and Technology
    • Transport and Logistics
    • Judges Choice
    • Small Medium Employer
    • Large Employer
    • Learning Provider

    We have a large number of apprentices from BAME backgrounds and are so proud of all the work that they do. Given that it’s an award we are especially invested in, this year we were more than happy to sponsor the Accounting and Finance category.


    Over the past month we encouraged our apprentices to submit entries for the 2021 awards, and we are delighted to report that the following Kaplan apprentices have been shortlisted:

    Accounting and finance category:

    Omolade Ojo - Lloyds Banking Group

    Prem Manimaran - PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

    Tianna Oti - RSA

    Melissa Boadu - Jigsaw Business Solutions Ltd

    Judges choice:

    Brian Kasanda - EY

    Hopefully there’ll be at least one Kaplan winner on the night!

    The final judging day will take place in June, with the event taking place virtually on the 30th September. We hope you can make time to attend what will no doubt be an inspiring event.

    For more information on how we did last year, read our previous awards blog.

  • Kaplan wins PQ award for Private Sector of the year

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | May 13, 2021

    At the 2021 annual award ceremony we took home the prize for our response to the unpredictable events of 2020.

    As to be expected, this year’s award was hosted online but was executed with just as much enthusiasm and good humour as ever.

    The win represents strong recognition for our dedication to student wellbeing and continued success in very difficult circumstances. So it was a real honour to get the nod in such a year.

    Our submission referenced the challenge we had to overcome at very short notice:

    We moved 24,000 students into virtual classrooms within a matter of days whilst maintaining high academic standards. On the first day of the March 2020 lockdown we successfully delivered 57 virtual classes compared to the expected 17 - testing our ability to move quickly and at scale.

    And also our commitment to our student welfare:

    Student wellbeing was a concern and from the very start of the pandemic we provided information and resources concerning mental health.

    We are delighted to receive the award and more than happy that our student results and satisfaction levels continue to remain high.

  • Meet our new SENCo

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | May 13, 2021

    We are delighted to welcome Poppy Laila as our Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo). We discover more about her in this short Q&A.

    Poppy carries vast experience in post 16 years education, and has a passion for supporting learners with a variety of special educational needs.

    Hi Poppy - How did you become interested in helping learners with additional learning needs?

    It was following my early experiences really.

    I came to live in the UK when I was seven years old, and therefore missed out on some of my early years education. As an EAL (English as an additional language) learner I struggled and had TA support for most of my primary/secondary education.

    My parents were not familiar with the SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) and ALS (Additional Learning Support) process, so were unable to access the full support that was available to me.

    Fortunately I was able to persevere and ultimately get to university, but having experienced difficulties with my additional learning needs made me want to help others that were in similar situations.

    Learning should be accessible to all and being in a position to help aid those with additional needs gives me great purpose.

    Why did you decide to come to Kaplan?

    I’ve been supporting students with SEND for the past nine years.

    I started as a TA (Teaching Assistant) in the FE (Further Education) sector and then completed my PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) and have taught in the SEND department for the past five years. This enabled me to explore and progress my career to other roles, while still supporting students with additional learning needs.

    I was responsible for coordinating qualifications such as Pearsons, Prince’s Trust and NOCN. I then landed my role as SENCo where I supported students with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

    My role as SENCo was in conjunction with my role as a teacher so I was spread thin and felt supporting learners with additional needs became a secondary task. Being a SENCo should not be an additional role.

    So I’m grateful that Kaplan has given me the opportunity to support learning as a full time priority, rather than a box ticking exercise.

    Being the first ever SENCo at Kaplan is a great milestone in my career and an exciting opportunity. I can now draw on my prior experience, skills and knowledge to help support and aid learning for those with additional learning needs.

    I want my contributions to facilitate learners’ autonomy and independence, in their learning and their work placements.

    Fantastic! How will you support learners at Kaplan?

    I will work alongside my Kaplan colleagues and the exam centres to make sure the correct provisions and interventions are in place.

    In order to make learning as inclusive as possible and break any barriers that may be an obstacle to their learning and achievement, I also aim to work closely with the learners and regularly monitor and review their progress.

    I will run training sessions for Talent Coaches and tutors so that they have the skills and knowledge on additional learning needs too.

    Finally, I will be actively involved in the ALS policy process and guidelines for both staff and clients. In order to make sure all avenues are being accessed, so the learners have the support they need, I will also help collate evidence for ALS funding where appropriate.

    And finally, how can learners with support needs contact you?

    Once I have the knowledge of the learners’ additional needs, I will aim to make contact with them ASAP. Learners will be able to email me or call me when they require support.

    For learners with a support plan, I will be contacting them every six weeks to monitor their progress. However, they are welcome to email me whenever the need arises at

    For apprentices, the Talent Coach, HR manager and line manager will also be copied into the emails so that all relevant parties are notified and kept up to date.

    Need support? Find out how we can help you with your learning needs.

  • Important info for the upcoming Advanced Synoptic Assessment

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | May 06, 2021

    This information is for AAT students who have booked their AVSYs.

    If you have your Advanced Synoptic Assessment (AVSY) booked for next week's exam window, you’ll be aware that you have to upload your excel work into the AAT SecureAssess platform.

    For those who are sitting their exam at a Kaplan centre, you’ll have access to the exam guide document before you start the exam. However, we recommend that you familiarise yourself with the process prior to your exam.

    This can be accessed via MyKaplan - or directly: AAT AVSY Exam Guidance document.

    The AAT has both documents on their study support pages, so you can read through for some understanding and then use it as a guide in the exam itself.

    Please remember we are here to support you through your AAT qualification. If you need any help please get in touch with us and good luck with your exams.

    Our Student Services team are always happy to help you.

  • Kathy Walton announced as new Kaplan Financial C.E.O.

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Apr 29, 2021

    Kaplan is pleased to announce Kathy Walton as the new C.E.O. of Kaplan Financial.

    Kathy has been with Kaplan Financial for many years, holding numerous positions along the way. With previous experience in audit practice, Kathy joined Kaplan (or the Financial Training Company as it was then) to pass those learnings on to students first hand as a tutor. She progressed through the ranks, previously holding the positions of Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer.

    On route to being the first female C.E.O. of Kaplan Financial, Kathy has played a key role in the development of apprenticeships within professional and financial services, and the expansion of Kaplan into online as well as classroom-based learning.

    She’s also a passionate voice when it comes to encouraging organisations to provide opportunity for those from all walks of life and backgrounds.

    As the youngest of nine, Kathy thrives in a lively debate - including the relative merits of apprenticeships versus university as the route to your career goals. She enjoys mentoring those ready to leave school in what their choices are to get the career they want. Outside of work, Kathy can be found walking around her beloved local countryside in the West Pennines.

    Kathy on her new position as Kaplan Financial C.E.O.:

    As someone who was never expected to rise to the position I now hold, doing something I love, I am passionate about making sure there are opportunities for all to become the very best version of themselves. Education is the key that opens the door.

    Kathy succeeds Peter Houillon who steps into the roles of Chairman of Kaplan Professional UK & Ireland, and CFO of Kaplan International.

  • Kaplan gears up for phase two of Data & IT apprenticeships

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Apr 29, 2021

    Following the launch of our initial digital apprenticeship programmes, we are now gearing up for several new standards launching in 2021.

    Originally set up to combat the rising skills shortage in the UK workforce, Kaplan’s digital apprenticeship programmes have proven popular with learners, with cohorts underway or scheduled across all three standards.

    Looking forward to the next phase of our foray into data and IT apprenticeships, we have several exciting new programmes in the pipeline this year. These new programmes further diversify our digital learning options for both learners and clients, and represent the second phase of our digital roadmap throughout 2021 and beyond.

    What new programmes are launching?

    There are five new Data and IT apprenticeship programmes launching in the next 6 months.

    They are:

    • Finance Data Technician, Level 3 - May
    • Information Communication Technician, Level 3 - September
    • Software Development Technician, Level 3 - September
    • Software Developer, Level 4 - September
    • DevOps Engineer, Level 4 - October

    These programmes cross a range of technical disciplines, and are a stepping stone into some of the careers most in need in the UK at present.

    These standards last between 12 and 21 months and, as per all our apprenticeship programmes, have funding options for non-levy paying companies up to 95%. They will also benefit from the best-in-class pathways and study options offered by Kaplan, as well as access to experienced talent coaches and some of the best tutors in these fields.

    Jason Moss, Director of Digital Apprenticeship development, comments:

    Kaplan’s digital apprenticeship standards provide a great way of preparing your business for the challenges of tomorrow. They also have a vital role to play in helping job seekers access the still buoyant Digital jobs market - providing opportunities for anyone to access well paid and rewarding careers.

    Interested in one of our new digital apprenticeships?

    We’ll be announcing more about these programmes in the coming months, but if you want to give your company a competitive advantage through one of these new apprenticeships, you can request a callback and our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

    We also have further cohorts of our current digital apprenticeships starting soon. Check them out on our apprenticeship standards page, and get in touch to discuss.

  • Win £1000 towards your accountancy studies

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Apr 22, 2021

    Given the challenges of today, we thought this competition could help someone who’d like a financial boost to their studies.

    From Monday 19th April we have launched the competition from our Instagram account. The rules are very simple and, as stated in the title, the winner receives £1000 towards their studies.

    What do I need to do?

    To enter the competition you simply respond to our competition post by:

    • Tagging at least one person who’d love to win this
    • Liking our post
    • You and your tags need to be following our account @Kaplanuk
    • Also you can share to your story (optional)


    A screenprint of our Instagram competition post 

    What happens if I win?

    If you win (chosen randomly) you’ll be contacted by our team. Once you have been notified you will have 3 months to redeem your prize.

    The money can be applied to any of the following qualification courses: ACCA, CIMA, AAT, ACA/ICAEW, IMC or CFA course and for any study method. The competition closes on the 30th April.

    So what are you waiting for? Good luck!!

    Terms and conditions are here.

  • 2021 Budget extends Apprenticeship deadline and boosts incentive

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Mar 03, 2021

    As part of an economic support package released in summer 2020, the Government introduced a financial incentive for employers to take on new employees as Apprentices. It has now been extended.

    This incentive was due to end in April 2021 but, following the Chancellor’s announcement, it has been extended until September 2021. This will now cover the vital summer recruitment period.

    And to make things even more attractive, the amount payable has been increased to £3,000 per Apprentice, regardless of age (it was £2,000 for younger apprentices but just £1,500 for anyone employed over 25).

    This means that any employer taking on an Apprentice can benefit from:

    • A £3,000 cash payment per Apprentice hired (new employees only)
    • A 95% subsidy of the training costs (if not paying via the Apprenticeship levy)
    • National Insurance breaks if the Apprentice is aged under 25

    All in all, it’s a very supportive package.


    Another headline grabbing measure is an extension of the Apprenticeship Training Association (ATA) model, which is a bit like a temp agency for apprentices.

    ATAs employ Apprentices and then ‘hire’ them out to other employers to complete elements of their Apprenticeship. That way Apprentices get lots of experience, plus smaller employers who perhaps couldn't afford to provide a whole apprenticeship can now participate by offering a limited amount of employment.

    Unfortunately, however, the 10 Apprentice maximum for non Levy paying employers has been retained. But apart from that there is now a very good reason to see what an Apprentice can do for your business!

  • What’s the difference between standard and full day Live Online courses?

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Feb 11, 2021

    If you don’t already know, Live Online is our accessible and flexible online study method. You get the structure and schedule of classroom learning, but you can study wherever you want.

    We offer afternoon and evening (standard) or full day options. But what does this mean? Let us explain.

    Full day Live Online

    As it suggests, you study all day on a full day Live Online course. So that’s 9:30am - 4:30 pm.

    The classes are capped at 40 students, and they provide an exact replica of a classroom course and programme in terms of syllabus coverage. You also get the same short breaks as you would if you were in a face to face situation.

    This is to replace any classroom lessons that can’t take place, at the moment, or in the future.

    Afternoon/Evening (Standard) Live Online

    Afternoon or Evening Live Online classes are our usual offering. Each session lasts two and a half hours, though AAT does offer morning sessions at some levels.

    You have to do slightly more home study and reading in your own time around the sessions than on the full day option, but it’s still like classroom learning. You have to attend and stick to the scheduled session times.


    So apart from the timings, it’s mostly the same.

    You still get live, tutor led classes at set times, the ability to rewatch your lessons, and the ability to talk to your classmates during the class via a live chat panel. So you know you’ll get to ask questions and interact.

    You’ll also get marked mock exams, learning materials, tutor support, and access to the academic support team seven days a week.

    Like the sound of Live Online?

    To take up either option you have to select the course you want from the product pages, and the study method, then you will eventually be given the option to select which Live Online version you want. It will give you the options: ‘day’, ‘afternoon’ or ‘evening’ and show the times of the classes.

    If you think this might be the study method for you check out our Live Online information - you can find out which qualifications you can study, and when the sessions take place.

  • How KAAP is benefitting our apprentices

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Jan 28, 2021

    In December 2020 we held our latest Kaplan Apprenticeship Advisory Panel, which is an open forum that explores ways to refine and improve our apprenticeship programmes.

    The panel is made up of apprentices and senior apprenticeship staff members at Kaplan, and the discussion is honest, open and informal. December’s meeting was held online and was clearly structured to enable us to cover a lot of ground.

    Here’s a breakdown of each section.

    Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) update

    Our Quality and Equality Manager, Sarah Powell, revealed what Kaplan is doing for EDI. She detailed the feedback taken onboard after the last KAAP meeting and actions taken in response.

    Here are some of the actions mentioned:

    We plan to promote EDI through…

    • Being more transparent with data and what we are doing to improve
    • Increasing our presence at EDI events (i.e. BAME apprenticeship awards)
    • Having an EDI social calendar
    • Speaking to clients about what is important to them in relation to this.
    • Gaining more insight from our students.

    Website improvements workshop

    Following this we had an interactive session with our website team. Using the latest in online collaborative tech our web team conducted a live feedback exercise to get a stronger insight into the apprentices’ user journey on our site.

    For context, the team created a story of a fictional apprentice ‘Claire’, and how she decided to embark on her apprenticeship. It explored: where she might look for information, how she was feeling throughout the application, how she was feeling during her apprenticeship.

    The aim of this session was to ensure that our site can become more intuitive at every stage of our learners’ development with Kaplan. This is an ongoing project and we should see the fruits of this labour very soon.

    End Point Assessments feedback

    At the end of the session Apprenticeships Partnerships Director, Jenny Pelling, facilitated questions and feedback directly from a few of our current apprentices. This mainly centred around EPAs.

    Jenny invited feedback by posing the question ‘What would you like to see throughout your EPA journey?’.

    The apprentices discussed areas they felt they could use more support around, in relation to their EPAs, such as portfolios.

    Although they appreciated that they received much information about the EPAs, in the early stages of their programmes, they felt they didn’t absorb all of it at the time as their focus was elsewhere.

    Then there was a discussion around possible solutions, such as more support in the form of phonecall at a relevant time to help them feel better prepared, and improving the timing of feedback so that they have enough time to action it.

    National Apprenticeship week 2021

    Finally, and to wrap up, the panel acknowledged the forthcoming NAW in February 2021. We offered up potential ideas around what we could do to make the next KAAP relevant to it.

    Some thoughts were suggested around hosting a webinar with polls and questions, a Q&A panel, and ensuring it would be relevant to school and college leavers considering an apprenticeship. Following this we have decided to host an event during National Apprenticeship Week.

    Register for Kaplan Introduces: Kaplan Apprenticeship Advisory Panel - Build the Future

    If you are passionate about Apprenticeships and how they can make a difference in the professions, visit our advisory panel web page for more information. 

  • What is Kahoot?

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Jan 18, 2021

    Kahoot is a game-based learning platform, which a growing number of Kaplan tutors are using when delivering lessons. But how does it work?

    Essentially it’s a digital quiz platform that can be customised to any subject you like, and can be synced up to your phones or tablets.

    We spoke to one of popular tutors, Andrew Mower, who swears by the tool and uses it as part of his every day teaching.

    He comments ‘It’s basically a game based learning software, which can help embed the students’ learning. I use it online or in the classroom (when we were in the classroom). The students all log in, using a pin’.

    So it’s easy to use with the devices that students and Kaplan tutors already have at their disposal.

    Competitive lessons

    For those with a competitive streak it’s particularly ideal, as there’s a leaderboard function which can introduce an element of friendly competition. But the tutors and students are free to use however they want.

    I use Kahoot at the end of the day to see if the students have understood everything. They are usually pretty proud when they win! It’s a great way to break up the day and cement knowledge

    - Andrew Mower, Kaplan tutor

    Kahoot partnership

    Kaplan are now official partners with Kahoot, which allows us to access more features of the platform. We’re now in a position where every tutor can gain access to the platform.

    So if you like the idea of live streaming Kahoot, and it’s not already part of your lessons, then speak to your tutor!

  • Kaplan win CIMA Excellence Award

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Jan 14, 2021

    CIMA honours Kaplan Financial for its outstanding contribution to the accounting profession in 2020.

    Kaplan has won a CIMA Global Pass Rate Excellence Award at the first-ever CIMA Excellence Awards virtual ceremony, which were held on 11 December 2020.

    This award recognises Registered Tuition Providers who have consistently achieved excellent pass rates across all Case Study levels, and multiple exam windows.

    The CIMA Excellence Awards celebrate outstanding academic partners, tuition providers and students who have made significant contributions to the accounting profession and the Institute over the past year. They highlight high-quality teaching, research, and learning in accounting education across the world.

    Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA, Chief Executive – Management Accounting at CIMA, commented:

    The CIMA Excellence Awards honour institutions and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the accounting profession and worked tirelessly to enrich their students, providing them with the best possible tuition and prepare the next generation of accounting professionals. The award received by Kaplan is a true testament of its commitment and dedication to building the future of our profession.

    The award is sponsored by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the global accounting organisation formed by CIMA and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).

    The CIMA Excellence Awards will be presented annually to those who have made a difference to the global accounting community, and proactively supported their students towards earning their Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation: the most widely held management accounting designation in the world.

    We are delighted to have received such prestigious recognition in an incredibly tough year full of unique challenges. Here’s to more student successes in 2021!

    What is CIMA?

    The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), founded in 1919, is the world’s leading and largest professional body of management accountants. As part of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association) its members and students operate in 179 countries, working at the heart of business.

  • New year, new challenge, more fitness

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Jan 14, 2021

    It’s widely known that exercise is linked to better mental health, so we are making efforts to keep active across Kaplan Financial UK.

    In normal circumstances January can be difficult. But we don’t live in normal times, and the challenges have become boosted furthermore by recent announcements.

    So how can we respond, within the limitations?

    Of course, one way to combat this is through exercise. And since last September’s National Fitness Day, at Kaplan we’ve dedicated one hour a month to exercise. Initially this was a one off event to coincide with the special day, but our colleagues at Kaplan embraced it so much that we made it a permanent fixture for the winter months in 2020-2021.

    The links between fitness and mental health are notoriously stark. As per’s comment:

    Participation in regular physical activity can increase our self-esteem and can reduce stress and anxiety. It also plays a role in preventing the development of mental health problems and in improving the quality of life of people experiencing mental health problems.


    Working from home all the time can make us feel stagnated and a little claustrophobic, so getting out into the open, before it gets dark, can be an enormous boost, particularly when you might be looking to work off some of that holiday weight.

    In that hour many of our staff have simply gone for a walk, a run, rode their bike or completed an online aerobics class. Of course there are many options.

    So if you’re struggling to motivate yourself in these difficult times, yet are working towards a goal with your studies, please try to be mindful of your physical well being as it could inspire your mental health and productivity.

    And we hope it helps to know that we are trying our best to practice what we preach!

    Here’s to a healthy and successful 2021 with your studies.

  • Winning awards for adapting to change

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Dec 03, 2020

    Kaplan have been awarded Bronze at the Learning Technology 2020 Awards for the 'Best UK digital transformation of a training programme’ for our response to COVID-19.

    The judges stated:

    [We] were particularly impressed by how quickly and boldly Kaplan reacted to the pandemic. The ambition and sophistication that was shown in the design of their solution, their thorough support for their customers and learners, and the strong evidence of initial business impact that they achieved.

    Recognition for adapting

    The award submission outlined our reaction to the pandemic this year. Due to the unprecedented disruption presented by Covid-19, our response had to be fast, well executed, and extremely coordinated.

    Our changes were applied consistently, to ensure our students’ ambitions could still be achieved, and client expectations met.

    Kaplan moved 24,000 learners - within a matter of days - from the classroom to live online teaching. Suddenly, training had to be delivered remotely by 175 tutors and we added an activity feed to 1,000 courses to help our students ask questions and share ideas.

    It was an enormous undertaking that we were determined to complete.

    Head of Product Management, Rebecca Evans comments:

    “2020 has been a year when we have all seen restrictions placed on our lives and have had to make changes to adapt. The 2020 annual Learning Technology Awards was no exception.

    “Gone were the evening dresses / dinner jackets at the London hotel. This year’s virtual event was over and done within little more than 45 minutes.

    “To achieve the Bronze award was, in Learning Technology’s words, ‘a very tough field with the highest number of entries to a single category ever’. This is phenomenal and a huge credit to the enormous amount of effort and dedication from every member of the Kaplan team.”

    A team effort

    With help from many teams around the business the award submission and presentation was a collaboration between many of the senior staff members involved in the project - Rebecca Evans (Head of Product Management), Lisa Nelson (Head of Product), Stuart Pedley Smith (Head of Learning), and Andrew Mower (ACA Product Manager and member of faculty).

    For more information about the awards please visit the Learning Technologies website.

  • Success at the BAME Apprenticeship Awards 2020

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Nov 19, 2020

    Kaplan was proud to sponsor the BAME Apprenticeship Awards 2020, which recognised the fantastic achievements of apprentices from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic groups, their employers, and learning providers.

    Hosted online, the live stream had all the glamour of a regular awards show and was a huge success. The event was a welcome reminder of the ongoing efforts of apprentices, as they studied throughout a difficult year.

    We were pleased to sponsor the Construction Services award category, presented by our Client Director Surju Kanani.

    Romario Cazaubon of the Mace Group took home the Apprentice of the Year award in this category, with Dionne Alder of Southwark Council and Pritam Bhojani of Atkins Global being Highly Commended. The Employer of the Year in this category was JS Wright & Co Ltd.

    Fantastic achievements all round.

    We were also delighted to see one of our own learners named as Apprentice of the Year in the Accounting and Finance category. Haider Ali, is a Level 7 apprentice with Kaplan and was delighted to be named as the winner:

    “Being crowned the national apprentice winner in the Accounting and Finance category feels incredibly overwhelming to say the least, particularly given the outstanding quality of competing entries.

    “Both my family back home in Pakistan and here in the UK are incredibly proud of what I’ve achieved, after my A-Levels, with my Kaplan apprenticeship at Rolls-Royce.

    “Growing up, I never had an abundance of ‘real’ models who looked like or came from the same background as me.

    “This victory isn’t just important for me but for every young boy/girl that will come across my story who may be Black, Asian or from any other ethnic minority that feels they can’t succeed in life because they aren’t always represented in society.

    “Your heritage is your power and absolutely nothing in this life is impossible.”

    Haider is currently studying towards the Level 7 CIMA Professional qualification with Kaplan. He had previously completed his Level 4 AAT qualification, and is on course to become a fully qualified Chartered Accountant.

    His employers, Rolls Royce, were also delighted by his win:

    “It comes as no surprise to us that he could win such an award, he is a great role model to apprentices of what can be achieved, well done!”

    A huge congratulations also to our partners EY, who picked up the Employer of the Year award in the Financial, Legal and Professional Services category. Their win reflected the company’s continued efforts in championing diversity and inclusion in their recruitment processes, and support for apprentices throughout their learning journey.

    We’d like to pass on our congratulations again to all the nominees and winners from the awards. We have a large number of talented apprentices from BAME groups, and look forward to supporting the work they do.

    You can still watch the awards ceremony if you missed it, or for more on Kaplan Apprenticeships, check out our Apprenticeship pages.

  • Dates announced for National Apprenticeship Week 2021

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Oct 29, 2020

    The UK government has recently announced the dates for the 14th annual National Apprenticeship Week.

    Next year’s edition of the much-celebrated National Apprenticeship Week will take place between the 8th and 14th of February 2021.

    Running since 2008, this week-long celebration of apprenticeships has received widespread praise and engagement from apprentices, employers and providers. Events have traditionally taken place up and down the country, showcasing how apprenticeships have helped both businesses and people from across the employment spectrum.

    Focus for 2021

    Whilst a theme has yet to be announced, a key focus will be placed on the amazing work by employers and apprentices across the country over the past 12 months. It will also recognise how employers and providers have stepped up combat the challenges during these unprecedented times.

    It’s expected to have a different feel than in previous years, with a large emphasis on digital and virtual events. Kaplan will be no exception to this, and has plans for exciting activities and content during the week.

    Jenny Pelling, Apprenticeship Partnerships Director at Kaplan, comments:

    “The success of this year’s apprentices has been a remarkable and humbling achievement. As well as showcasing the positive impact they’ve made in the workplace, National Apprenticeship Week highlights the impressive dedication of employers in developing apprentices.

    The brand of apprenticeships is improving all the time and we are delighted to be helping boost the awareness during National Apprenticeship Week.”

    With learners in over one third of the top 100 Apprenticeship employers of 2020-2021, we pride ourselves on the quality of our apprenticeship programmes, and look forward to celebrating with our amazing apprentices and partners during National Apprenticeship Week 2021.

    Keep an eye out on our social channels and insights section for further information on our upcoming events for NAW 2021 in the coming months.

  • Kaplan launches new podcast for students

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Jul 22, 2021

    Featuring some of the best entrepreneurs and thinkers in the sector, and hosted by our very own Head of Learning Stuart Pedley-Smith, our new podcast launches in early August.

    In development since March this year, our podcast is created with our current students and future students in mind. It comes in the form of a relaxed, yet structured, interview and aims to help with: study tips, wellbeing and career information.

    Much care and consideration has gone into the selection of each guest and theme and you will see subjects covered such as:

    Sleep and study
    24 hours before an exam (what to do)
    How sustainability and accountancy are linked
    Diversity within accountancy and the professional services
    Accountancy around the world
    Apprenticeship vs University (which route?)

    And more!

    The guest selections are a combination of those who work for Kaplan and those outside - who work in companies around the world. From Oxford University to California to Columbia.

    We hope you stay tuned and keep abreast of our social channels and blog for ways to subscribe and listen.

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