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  • Kaplan appointed as SQE assessment organisation

    by Sharon Cooper | Aug 01, 2018

    The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has appointed Kaplan as the assessment organisation to develop and run the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).

    Selected following a rigorous, year-long process, Kaplan provides education, training and assessment across professional services, including in law, financial services, accountancy and banking. It has direct experience of assessment within the legal sector in England and Wales as the provider of the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS). Kaplan will not provide training for the SQE.

    The SRA and Kaplan will work with stakeholders from across the legal and education sectors to develop and test the SQE. Kaplan will then run the SQE on behalf of the SRA. They have been appointed for a period of eight years from the introduction of the SQE.

    The SQE will provide a single common assessment for all aspiring solicitors. It will be introduced, at the earliest, in September 2020. The costs of the assessment will be determined once the final design is fixed, although the SRA is aiming to provide guidance on indicative costs before then.

    Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to appoint Kaplan after a robust, competitive and open process. Their bid succeeded against some very strong competition.

    “We are now another step closer to delivering a rigorous assessment that helps build trust that all qualifying solicitors are meeting the same high standards, regardless of their route into the profession.”

    Peter Houillon, Chief Executive Officer, Kaplan: “Kaplan is thrilled to have been selected to run the SQE on behalf of the SRA and build on our partnership founded in the delivery of the QLTS. We look forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to build and deliver a world class Solicitors Qualifying Examination.”

    The starting point for developing, testing and piloting the SQE will be the ‘Draft Assessment Specification’, which the SRA published in June 2017:

    www.sra.org.uk/sra/policy/sqe/research-reports.page

    As well as further building trust and confidence in professional standards, the SQE will also support wider access to the profession, by making sure that all the different routes to entry, including 'earn as you learn' pathways such as apprenticeships, are tested in the exactly the same way.

    It will also remove the need for would-be solicitors to pay significant up-front costs, often up to £16,000, to take the Legal Practice Course, which offers no guarantee of a training contract or qualification as a solicitor.

    The SRA has also confirmed that it has been approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships as the external quality assurance body for the solicitor apprenticeship. In this role it will be responsible for making sure that the apprenticeship standard and assessment plan are fit-for-purpose and that the assessment that apprentices do at the end of their apprenticeship is fair, consistent, and rigorous. Kaplan will be applying in due course to be the end point assessment organisation for the solicitor apprenticeship.

    Last year around 100 people started the solicitor apprenticeship route.

    Notes to Editors

    1. The SRA is the regulator of solicitors and law firms in England and Wales, protecting consumers and supporting the rule of law and the administration of justice. The SRA does this by overseeing all education and training requirements necessary to practise as a solicitor, licensing individuals and firms to practise, setting the standards of the profession and regulating and enforcing compliance against these standards. Further information is available at www.sra.org.uk

    2. About Kaplan

    Kaplan is a leading education and assessment provider operating in more than 30 countries, offering professional education, test preparation, English-language training, university preparation, and higher education. Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC) and its largest division.

    3. Contact the SRA press office on 0121 329 6428/07865 728165

  • Kaplan Wins 2nd Award for OnDemand Study Method

    by Lewis Charlesworth | Jun 01, 2018

    We’re delighted to announce that our OnDemand study method has won the ‘Best Use of E-Learning’ award at this year’s AAT awards.

    Picking up the trophy were some of Kaplan’s finest, Zoe Robinson, Director of Accountancy Product, Sally Brummit, Kaplan National AAT Product Manager and Nicky Fisher, AAT President.

    Zoe, who has played an integral role in the development of the two time award winning study method, was overjoyed at the team’s success.

    She said: “It feels great to get this award. It’s been a significant investment for Kaplan and is a reflection of our commitment to delivering high quality online learning to create success. To have this recognised by external judges is amazing.”

    This isn’t the first time the study method has picked up an award. Back in February, OnDemand won ‘Online College of the Year’ at the PQ awards.

    But what is it that sets OnDemand apart? Zoe explains…

    “Three things:  the design, the quality and the support. Every single module has been through a detailed instructional design process – so for each topic we consider how best to explain it, the format of the content to ensure there is variety and the length so that everything is concise bite-sized.”

    Despite being a study method with bite-sized learning, it’s safe to say there’s nothing small about the effort that has gone into creating the stalwart study method.

    Every module is scripted beforehand, and animations are created to link to what the student sees in their integrated workbook.

    “This is so much more than a recording of a live session, or a tutor simply highlighting words from a textbook and talking over the top. Those techniques have their place but it isn’t in a high quality online learning course designed to help students learn in the best way” Zoe said.

    Outside of the content offering, it’s also the student support from the Kaplan team that has cemented OnDemand as an effective learning source.

    What’s next?

    OnDemand is already available for CIMA and AAT qualifications and our pass rates show what an amazing product it is. In the past year OnDemand has produced the highest pass rates for CIMA, out of all study methods. For AAT it produced the second highest - after distance learning.

    “We’re about to launch OnDemand for ACCA, starting next week for Applied Skills with Strategic Professional following later in the year. We’re also using the exact same concept around design, quality and support to introduce online elements to our ACA Professional Level Courses in 2019.”

  • Listening to our customers

    by Kieron McDonnell | Apr 03, 2018

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

    In 2017, we made several changes to the way we gather and act on student feedback. We hope the changes will help us to gather feedback more frequently, with quicker resolution of issues, and avoid over surveying our students.

    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 to a friend or colleague.
    • An annual student satisfaction survey - gather more 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 and on what they need from Kaplan; what students feel we do well and where we need to improve; and how easy it is to study with Kaplan.
    • Ad Hoc surveys - allow us to focus on specific initiatives at appropriate times.

    Around 4,800 students took part in our latest annual student satisfaction survey, conducted in Q4 2017, and it generated some interesting results.

    What are we doing well?

    Improved Net Promoter Score

    We use a 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 +33.

    Whilst this still leaves room for improvement, its an increase from our score of +28 in July 2017 and is strong when benchmarked against other industries and other education providers.

    Did you know?

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

    Satisfaction scores with our tutors’ expertise & knowledge and approachability & helpfulness remains high, as is satisfaction with the availability of support from tutors.

    Confident, helpful & happy

    Our ease of study score is 8 out of 10 and the three most common words used to describe studying with Kaplan are confident, helpful and happy, which suggests the student experience is in general a positive one.

    What can we do better?

    Improved our mock exam feedback

    The satisfaction scores suggested we needed to improve the speed and quality of our feedback for mock exams. To rectify this, we’ve migrated all the marking that can be done via an electronic format to MyKaplan, which will improve the speed and accuracy of marking.

    User Experience (UX) design to improve navigation

    Navigation within our updated MyKaplan learning resource received a relatively low score and improvements to its structure have been scheduled in to be implemented following user experience and interface research planned for Q1 2018.

    New SLAs

    To improve satisfaction scores for the speed at how quickly we respond to non-academic queries, we’ve established Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for response to phone calls and emails, which will be reviewed by the Senior Leadership Team every month.

    Win £250

    The next annual satisfaction survey will take place in October 2018. 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 into the prize draw.

  • Apprenticeships & the Public Sector: Kaplan as an approved supplier

    by Kieron McDonnell | Nov 15, 2017

    Did you know that since 12th September 2017 Kaplan is approved as an official Crown Supplier of Accountancy and Tax Apprenticeships?

    This means that any Public Sector organisation can use Kaplan for Finance Apprenticeship training without the need for further procurement.

    You will find more information about this agreement and what this means on the government website.

    Are you a Public Sector organisation looking at enrolling your staff onto an Accountancy & Tax Apprenticeship? Contact our team today.

  • Level 7 Apprenticeship video update

    by Kieron McDonnell | Nov 06, 2017

    Listen to Kaplan directors Cassandra MacDonald and Richard Marsh, as they go through the recently launched Level 7 Professional Apprenticeship standards

    This long awaited Apprenticeship standard has now been formally signed off by Anne Milton, the skills minister, and completes the new Apprenticeship Accounting family of standards at Level 3, 4 and now 7.

    You can also find information of the new Level 7 Professional Apprenticeship standard in our handy factsheet.

    If you still have questions or would like to see how Kaplan can help you introduce Level 7 apprenticeships to your business call 0333 009 5330.

  • Interview with Gail Ramiz, Head of Academic Support

    by Sharon Cooper | Oct 30, 2017

    Finding enough time to study can be a challenge, so when you do get to opening that textbook or logging on to MyKaplan, you want it to be as productive as possible. That’s why our Academic Support team is now open longer and guarantees that a subject specialist (CIMA, AAT, ACCA and ACA) will get back to you straight away with Live Chat or within 4 working hours by email or request a callback.

    We interviewed Kaplan’s Gail Ramiz, who heads up Academic Support to find out what’s changed and what you can take advantage of as a Kaplan student.

    Hi Gail. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do at Kaplan?

    I’ve been with Kaplan for 10 years now, starting as an ACA Tutor before becoming Head of Tutors for London ACCA & CIMA. I’ve recently taken up my new role as Head of Academic Support, overseeing the team of expert tutors offering help to students.

    What does the Academic Support team do?

    We’re here to help our students with their studies and answer subject specific queries when they have them - just like they would ask a tutor in class. The team include dedicated subject specialists who have years of experience in the industry. For example, our tax expert Jenni Hudson has been a Kaplan support tutor for 13 years and our financial management expert Bill McCarthy has been with Kaplan for 26 years. They’re all available to speak to through live chat, email or request a callback when you need them. We also have discussion forums on MyKaplan where tutors will be there to respond to questions posted by students. We think having these experts on hand when you need them most really sets us apart from what anyone else in the market offers.

    And how has Academic Support changed recently?

    About 18 months ago, we did lots of research with students to understand what they liked about our tutor support, what was missing and what they found frustrating with their studies.

    One of the big things that came out was that students wanted a quick response to their problem. It’s great having your tutor’s mobile number or email address, but if they’re busy teaching or with another student, you could end up waiting days for a response, and this was frustrating. And when they did get through to someone, they wanted an answer there and then, without being passed around.

    So, we now have a team of subject specialists that are on standby to answer questions instantly via Live Chat. Because you're chatting to a specialist, you'll get the answer you need first time. And if you prefer to email or speak over the phone, someone will get back to you within 4 working hours. So you have the speed of response and the confidence that you'll get the answer you need.

    Apart from getting a quick response, how else do you think this helps students?

    Well, we also looked at a lot of research on the effect of response times on academic performance. Not surprisingly, getting an immediate response to a problem you have means you’re much more likely to perform better in the exam. If it’s fresh in your mind and you’re engaged with the subject, you’ll get more from the response. So for us, it’s really important that we offer this to our students.

    As part of the changes, Kaplan also introduced Learning Coaches. What do they do?

    A lot of students told us they found it hard to stay motivated and on track and would like more regular progress checks with Kaplan to see how they were progressing - particularly if they weren’t studying in the classroom.

    So our Learning Coaches were introduced to do just that. They’ll monitor a student’s performance and progression in the background, intervening if they see them struggling or falling behind. This allows them to then provide individual support and arrange tailored one-on-one coaching sessions to get them back on track.

    And how do Learning Coaches help improve a student’s performance?

    Learning Coaches can see a student’s individual progress through the course, test scores etc. So they can provide much more individual feedback and pointers on how to improve. They can also see at what point they should intervene, without a student being ‘too far gone’ to get their studies back on track.

    This all aids with motivation and helping them stay engaged with the course. Research we did with CIMA shows that students are much more likely to pass if they stick with the course, book their exam and sit it within a few weeks of completing their studies.

  • Changes to ACCA Professional Level

    by Rebecca Evans | Oct 19, 2017

    ACCA are redesigning the Professional Level of their qualification with changes coming into effect from the September 2018 exam sitting. These changes will most significantly apply to the Essentials level. How these changes will affect you will depend on where you are currently up to with your studies.

    It’s important that you are aware of these changes and plan ahead to ensure you’re not caught out by the transition arrangements that are in place.

    The main changes will be:

    • The Professional Level will be renamed Strategic Professional.
    • Governance Risk & Ethics (P1) and Business Analysis (P3) will be removed from the qualification and replaced with Strategic Business Leader. This will be a 4 hour case study exam, with no pre-seen information.
    • Corporate Reporting (P2) will be replaced with Strategic Business Reporting, which consists of a 3 hour 15 minute exam.
    • The current Professional Ethics Module will be replaced with a new Ethics and Professional Skills module (available from 31st October 2017).
    • Other modules will be renamed.

    June 2018 will be your last chance to sit your exams under the current structure, so after the December exams you’ll have just two more sittings before the changes come into play. Consider how you want to use these exam sittings when planning your studies for next year taking into consideration the transition arrangement detailed below.

    Transition arrangements

    If you have nearly finished your Fundamental papers, or have already started Essentials, it is really important that you are aware of ACCA’s transition arrangements and take them into account when you are considering which papers to tackle over the next few sittings.

    1. If, come September 2018, you have passed both P1 and P3, you will be exempt from the Strategic Business Leader.
    2. If you have only passed one of those papers, you will effectively lose that pass as there is no equivalent exemption and no opportunity to sit those papers after June 2018.
    3. If you have passed P2 then you will be exempt from Strategic Business Reporting.

    How should you plan your studies?

    There are a variety of things to consider when deciding whether you should sit P1 and P3 before the changes or wait until the introduction of Strategic Business Leader.

    • P1 and P3 are both established exams so there are plenty of resources and past papers to help you to prepare. You would however have to sit two 3 hour and 15 minute exams rather than one 4 hour exam.
    • Strategic Business Leader on the other hand is relatively unknown, but ACCA have provided lots of resources to help you prepare for it. It’s worth bearing in mind that the exam is different to those you are used to, with lots of information to assimilate on the day and will test your professional skills.
    • It’s a similar situation for deciding between P2 or Strategic Business Reporting, although the changes to exam format are less significant. There will be a change in focus in both the syllabus and style of questioning to allow ACCA to test your professional judgement, interpretation of financial statements and ability to communicate to various stakeholders.

    Did you know?

    ACCA was established in 1904 - they’ve been going for over 100 years, and now have over 175,000 members. And just over half of ACCA members are under 40, making this the time for young ambition to shine.

    A key factor in your decision will be how far along you currently are with your ACCA studies, so we’ve outlined a few options below:

    You have currently passed P1, P2 and P3: These changes will have no effect on you. Sit your Options in March and June 2018.

    You’ve sat and passed P1 or P3 but not attempted or passed the other paper: You should sit the outstanding paper at the next available sitting to avoid losing your exemption. Remember you must have passed both P1 and P3 to be exempt from Strategic Business Leader.

    You’ve passed P1 and P3, but not passed P2: You don’t need to worry about the Strategic Business Leader, but you may want to try and pass P2 before the changes come into place so you can move on to Options without delaying your path to qualification. If you’re able to sit in March, there is the added benefit of being able to sit P7 in June under the same accounting standards and this gives you time for a P2 resit if things don’t go your way first time. Although there is much crossover between P2 and Strategic Business Reporting, students who have attempted P2, but are required to resit under SBR, will find they have more work than usual when resitting as they will need to familiarise themselves with some new areas of content and the new exam style.

    What if you haven’t passed P1, P2 or P3 by the end of 2017?

    You have a more difficult decision to make and one which will depend upon your level of exam confidence. The most important thing is that you sit two exams in the first half of 2018 and don’t delay your qualification by 6 months. Here are a few options:

    Option 1: You could choose to sit P1 and P3, either together in March to give you a resit if things don’t go to plan, or one in March and the other in June - although this is a risky strategy as you could find yourself caught in the transition arrangements should you need to resit.

    Option 2: You could sit P2 in March 2018 to gain your exemption from Strategic Business Reporting and then an Option paper in June. You should then aim to sit Strategic Business Leader in the December sitting following your final Option in September.

    Option 3: You study only for Option papers in March and June and leave both Strategic Business Leader and Strategic Business Reporting until the second half of the year.

    Ethics and Professional Skills - get ahead on Strategic Business Leader

    If you plan to wait to sit Strategic Business Leader, it is essential that you sit ACCA’s new Ethics and Professional Skills module (available from 31st October 2017) prior to the course. In fact, ACCA advise you attempt it prior to sitting any exams on the Strategic Professional Level.

    The module will introduce you to the professional skills that are required at Strategic Business Leader and will effectively increase your chances of passing. Even if you have completed the existing Professional Ethics module, you can access the new module and brush up your knowledge and develop your skills.

    For more information, visit the ACCA website. If you haven’t completed the existing Professional Ethics Module by the end of October 2017 you will have to complete the new Ethics and Professional Skills module.

    To find out more about the changes that ACCA are making, visit their website: http://future.accaglobal.com/changes-to-the-qualification/what-do-the-changes-mean-for-me/strategic-professional

  • How Kaplan Norwich consistently produces award winning students

    by Sharon Cooper | Aug 22, 2017

    Whilst we're always very proud of our high pass rates at Kaplan, it's particularly pleasing to see our students awarded the top honours by the institutes. Prize-winning students are those who have performed outstandingly in their exams, going the extra mile and achieving some of the highest marks in the world in the process.

    For a relatively small centre, Kaplan Norwich has had a lot to celebrate over the last year. Back in the December 2016 sitting, Lauren Day of local firm Larking Gowen was awarded the ACCA Gold Medal for the highest scoring Global Affiliate in that sitting, hot on the heels of her P2 award in June 2016. In the same sitting Jonathan Gray, an employee at Lees Accountants, was awarded the P1 prize, whilst Charlotte Ruffles, of GT in Ipswich, was the recipient of 1st place in the ICAEW order of merit for the Advanced Case Study examination in November 2016.

    When the ACCA prize-winners for the March 2017 sitting were announced, we were thrilled to see that Jonathan Gray had won another award, picking up the Silver Global prize for his P papers.

    Most recently, ACCA's list of Global Prize-winners for the June 2017 sitting saw Norwich celebrating again, with Dominic Smith picking up an award for his P2 paper and Georgina Lemmon achieving the Silver Global Prize - her second time as a Prize-winner!

    So what is it that makes Norwich so special when it comes to producing global prize-winners?

    "Obviously, it partly comes down to having some excellent students coming through" explains tutor Belinda Wargent, "but also I really think that Kaplan Norwich has some excellent tutors who work hard to really understand the exams they teach and nail how to pass. We create a very friendly and engaging classroom environment that aids learning and development."

    Centre manager Tim Howes agrees that the environment the tutors in Norwich and Ipswich are able to create helps to produce successful students.

    "We're are a small centre but with the small size of everything comes the real difference, which is that students are individually known to tutors and the support staff. Whenever we have visiting tutors come here, they always remark about the 'friendliness' of the groups they teach."

    Two time ACCA Prize-winner Georgina Lemmon was full of praise for the tutor team, explaining "all of the tutors have an approachable attitude and they all seem down to earth and relatable with their subjects."

    Both Tom Bulman, another tutor at the Norwich centre, and Belinda agree that the tutors take an exam-focused approach to teaching from the start. "We offer solid tuition" says Tom, "encouraging the students to start thinking towards their exams early and doing mocks, followed by lots of question practice in the revision phase."

    "We ensure students know along the way how what they are learning could be examined and how it fits into the exam structure" adds Belinda. "During the tuition phase we concentrate on making sure that they grasp the basics, then on the revision phase we ensure that we expose students to exam-style questions and a lot of exam technique."

    Kaplan Norwich runs AAT, ACCA and ICAEW courses, whilst the satellite centre in Ipswich offer AAT and ACCA courses. Both centres are located centrally, in close proximity to the rail stations and with good transport links.

    "Students should choose Kaplan Norwich because of our excellent tutors, friendly classroom environment and our proven exam success record" says Tim. "We consistently have the best pass rates in the country across the board".

    If you are based in the local area, find out more about Kaplan Norwich.

  • Tax Doesn’t Need to be Taxing – Kaplan’s ATT & CTA Prizewinners

    by Kieron McDonnell | Aug 14, 2017

    The recent set of results for the May 17 sitting of ATT and CTA examinations proved to be exceptionally successful for Kaplan’s tax students.

    Our students scooped a phenomenal number of prizes and distinctions as follows:

    • 3 of the 10 ATT Prizes awarded
    • 32 of the 97 ATT Distinctions awarded
    • 7 of the 10 CTA Prizes awarded
    • All 4 of the CTA Distinctions awarded.

    One of our students walked away with 2 of the CTA prizes and a distinction for outstanding performance in the Advisory Individuals paper, achieving the highest distinction mark at this sitting, a truly remarkable accomplishment.

    These results are a true testament to the quality of delivery and support that our students receive whilst studying with us.

    For the latest industry news and opinion, why not sign up for the Insights newsletter?

  • Discover why AAT for OnDemand is the perfect study option for you

    by Kieron McDonnell | Jun 15, 2017

    Do you want an easier and more efficient way to study and pass your exams? OnDemand for AAT has a proven track record of helping students succeed.

    OnDemand for AAT is an online course which combines the support and guidance of a tutor-led course, with the flexibility to study wherever and whenever you want. Every module and topic has been through a detailed instructional design process to make your learning more effective.

    OnDemand for AAT includes a variety of formats to cement your learning, including bite-sized tutor-led lectures and activities to link topics together and help you stay motivated. Every module is scripted and links on screen animations with the graphics found within your integrated workbook. This provides a high-quality online learning experience, which is so much more than a live recorded tutor session, or even a tutor narrating highlighted text book visuals. The integrated workbook helps you keep all your notes in one place, making revision easier and more efficient.

    You spoke, we listened

    To make OnDemand for AAT the best it could possibly be, we consulted the experts - our students. We asked AAT students what they believed would increase success while studying and we used their responses to develop the features of OnDemand for AAT:

    Extended tutor support - 7 days a week

    I want to know there’s someone to speak to when I need them - not waste time waiting for a response.

    We want to provide support as soon as we can, so you don’t have to put your studies on hold waiting for a tutor response. We’re keeping our tutor support team open longer than any other provider - 7 days a week.

    In a hurry? You can get an instant response from a qualified Kaplan tutor through live chat, arrange a phone call at a convenient time, or email them your questions - even on evenings and weekends. You are guaranteed a response by email or requesting a callback in 4 hours or less and support is available until 8pm on weekdays - perfect if you have work or family commitments.

    Guidance from subject specialists

    I want a subject expert to motivate me and give me feedback.

    To get the most out of your course, you need full confidence in your tutor. Every Kaplan tutor is a subject specialist, and OnDemand gives you full access to their expertise. Our tutors will be there to guide you through the whole syllabus, so you know exactly what you need to complete and when - just like in a classroom.

    In addition we have Talent Coaches who help you achieve your goals. It can be difficult to stay motivated when studying on your own, so if you get stuck or fall behind, a Talent Coach will get in touch to motivate you and get you back on track.

    Flexibility & support

    I want flexibility, but to know there’s still structure to keep me motivated.

    OnDemand allows you to study the way you want and complements the ‘on-demand’ nature of many of the AAT exams, which can be taken any time. You can start the course 365 days a year, meaning waiting for course start dates is a thing of the past. You can work through the syllabus at your own pace, and all the content is accessible on a range of devices - allowing you to study on the go.

    Some students told us that they find it difficult to keep on track with no fixed dates, which is why OnDemand for AAT also provides structure to help you maintain progress and approach the exam with confidence.

    Example structure:

    • Your tutor will introduce and explain each unit with a recorded video. Together with a thorough course programme, you’ll have a suggested order in which to complete your course.
    • You’ll have an integrated workbook which follows the tutor-led online content, allowing you to keep all your course notes in one place and track your progress.
    • At the end of each unit, you’ll complete an assessment - these will gradually build on what you learn to fully prepare you for the exams.

    Instructionally-designed content

    I want high quality content that makes it easier to learn.

    Students told us that the quality of learning resources was the most important factor for them in choosing a flexible course. We believe that just because you decide to study remotely doesn’t mean you should compromise on quality. Every module and topic in OnDemand has been through a detailed design process to help you learn and understand in the best way possible.

    With OnDemand you’ll benefit from:

    • A wide range of high-quality and engaging online content, all designed specifically for the OnDemand course. Created by our expert tutors, this includes a mixture of tutor-led videos, worked examples and interactive tests will guide you through every part of the syllabus.
    • Integrated workbook that mirrors the online content.
    • High-quality printed study materials to boost your online learning.

    Practice with real-feel mock exams

    I want lots of question practice, but in a format that’s like the actual exams.

    Practice questions are an important part of learning. But rather than just focusing on the total volume of questions, OnDemand for AAT assessments are designed in a way that will help you better prepare for the exams.

    Knowledge Checks and Progress Tests help deepen your understanding as you go along and highlight areas you still need to work on. Plus you can build your own tests from a bank of hundreds of questions, so you can focus on the areas you need to practice most. The final two mock exams even look and feel like the real exams to maximise your confidence. When you take a mock exam, you’ll get immediate, personalised feedback so you can learn from any mistakes and access your performance.

    Don’t just take our word for it

    OnDemand is a fantastic study option, but don’t just take our word for it, here’s what our students have to say:

    OnDemand allows me to learn at my own pace and at a time to suit me, but still have support available.  I have young children and work part-time so learning has to fit in around them.
    It gives me the support and resources I feel are helpful and important for passing exams.
    The instant feedback provided on the mock exams are a massive help to see where there is room for improvement.

    Fancying trying OnDemand for yourself? Try our free OnDemand demo.  Or learn more about our award-winning study option OnDemand.

  • Listening to our customers - the results of our latest student satisfaction survey

    by Richard Sealby - Head of Customer Insight | Apr 26, 2017
    Listening to our customers - the results of our latest student satisfaction survey

    Twice a year Kaplan runs a large satisfaction survey asking for feedback from students who have studied with us during the previous six months. In January 2017 around 5,700 students across our accountancy, tax and financial qualifications took part in the survey. This article is intended to give you an overview of the survey headlines and our response.

    What is Kaplan doing well?

    • Kaplan uses a Net Promoter Score 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 score is +30. Whilst this still leaves room for improvement, it is a good score that benchmarks well with other industries; for example a 2015 report covering 60 UK brands across 10 sectors, placed First Direct as best in the UK with a NPS of +73. Kaplan's score would have placed us 6th1 in the report, slightly ahead of Santander Bank.
    • Students have again told us that the expertise and knowledge of our tutors is the most important feature of studying with Kaplan and this is also one of the areas of highest satisfaction.
    • There remain high levels of satisfaction with customer service teams across Kaplan, including in centre, distance learning and live online.
    • Students have indicated that some of the most important features of our products are resources that can be clearly linked to enabling exam success, for example study notes / workbooks, question banks, exam practice kits etc. These resources are also where we have some of our highest satisfaction scores.

    What can Kaplan do better?

    • Mock exams / progress tests and assessments are integral to exam success and as a result our students score these as highly important, however we need to improve the speed and quality of our feedback. In 2016 Kaplan initiated a full review of our processes and approach to marking, with a key objective being to improve the quality of feedback and changes will be implemented throughout 2017.
    • Navigation within 'old' MyKaplan, the speed with which materials opened in 'old' MyKaplan and its compatibility across different software platforms was also a concern to students. Our new look 'MyKaplan' has now been rolled out to all students and has improved navigation, is significantly quicker than the old system and importantly works across a wider range of operating systems. More details can be found here.
    • The speed at which we respond to queries has also been highlighted as an area where we can improve. Kaplan are already planning changes which will both simplify and extend the support available to our students. In 2017 we will be building a new dedicated student services team, providing support across all qualifications and learning channels seven days a week.

    The next survey will take place in July 2017 and anyone completing the survey will be entered into a prize draw to win one of four £250 prizes - so please keep an eye out for it in your inbox as your feedback enables us to constantly improve our products and services.

    Note 1: Satmetrix® UK Net Promoter Customer Loyalty Benchmark Reports - April 22 2015

  • Kaplan Islington - an award winning place to study AAT

    by Kieron McDonnell | Mar 01, 2017

    If you’re considering studying AAT in London, you will definitely want to consider Kaplan Islington. It was recently named “Private Sector Accountancy College of The Year” by PQ at its annual awards ceremony.

    Islington has 20 purpose-built classrooms, all newly-refurbished using the latest learning science research. It’s also home to over 30 tutors who regularly help their students become prizewinners, achieving the best exams results in the world. As the UK’s largest provider of AAT training, pass rates of 94%* and a tutor rating of ‘Outstanding’ you can be confident of success.

    Kaplan Islington classroom

    Located at Highbury Corner, it has great transport links, being just a two minute walk from Highbury & Islington station on the Victoria line, as well as being on many main bus routes.

    As an AAT student at Islington, you benefit from having plenty of communal space and private learning pods to work from. And whilst you wait for your class to start, you can pick up some refreshments from the nearby shops and cafes, or enjoy a walk through Highbury Fields.

    Kaplan Islington breakout area

    You can also sit your exams at the Islington centre, with it being one of the largest single centres in the UK running around 30,000 e-assessments a year.

    To start studying AAT or find out more about the courses we offer at Kaplan Islington, please contact reception on 020 7833 0700.

    *AAT pass rate of 94% based on overall AQ2013 Level 2 pass rates from Sept 14 - Aug 15

  • PwC and Kaplan UK win the PQ “Innovation in Accountancy” award for 2017

    by Sharon Cooper | Feb 22, 2017

    Now in its 14th year, the PQ Awards, held at the prestigious Café de Paris last night, recognised the achievements of part qualified accountants and those that help train and develop them. PwC and Kaplan UK celebrated on the night having won the prestigious award for Innovation in Accountancy.

    Innovation is a key driver for both PwC and Kaplan UK, ensuring student learning continues to evolve and to meet the increasing demands of the millennials, the most digital savvy of all generations.

    Jim Hinchliffe, Commercial Manager at Kaplan UK outlined: "After extensive research into how gamified learning can engage students, support innovative learning techniques, and improve student success, Kaplan created a gamification pilot for the ACA training course tailored for PwC students."

    "Evidence suggests that students who practice more exam questions have a greater chance of success so we set out to use some aspects of gamification to encourage students to practice more tests, on a more timely basis."

    "The simple logic behind gamification is that it attempts to harness the power that playing games holds over people, where individuals will 'game' for hours yet, for example, find studying for more than 30 minutes impossible."

    How did it work?

    Gamification creates competition and taps into other aspects found in gaming: a league table to measure improvements, being part of a team which creates a responsibility to others, building in additional commitment, and recognising individual achievements by awarding badges to reinforce positive behaviours and create a sense of pride.

    Kaplan created both structured gamification league tables, where individuals and teams are allocated points and badges, and in-class gamification through the use of the Socrative mobile app tools.

    Students were informed during their 'onboarding' sessions at Kaplan by their PLA (Personal Learning Advisor) about the gamification aspect of their studies. Weekly leaderboards were sent out during the course via email and the PLAs would refer back to these to instil friendly competition during contact days at Kaplan.

    Tom Hartgill, Head of Delivery and Operations at PwC commented: "We were delighted with how this new way of learning developed, working closely throughout with Kaplan UK. The level of collaboration and innovation in the team was inspiring, and team members spurred each other on to produce a highly effective learning method that was carefully tailored to the needs of the students. The end results spoke for themselves - the pass rate for the students' Accounting exam was 91%, 9% higher than in the previous year."

    Indeed, evaluating its success was a fundamental requirement from PwC and something Kaplan UK through its Customer Insight team are set-up to provide, every time. Jim Hinchliffe, continued: "In order to evaluate the success of this new approach to teaching and learning, we compared the exam results of a group using gamification versus the results for the previous years' cohort who followed the same study programme but without gamification. We will continue to monitor performance throughout 2017 as gamification is not a short term fix, it requires some time to fully embed."


  • ​​Kaplan acquires Genesis Institute

    by Sharon Cooper | Feb 13, 2017

    Newly formed Kaplan Genesis to offer CFA® and Leadership and Professional Development programmes in Middle East.

    The deal was signed at the Genesis headquarters in Dubai by Kaplan UK Chief Executive Officer Peter Houillon and Binod Shankar, Managing Director of Genesis Institute. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Genesis and its team will trade under the name Kaplan Genesis and will continue to be based in Dubai and operate across the GCC. It will now be able to integrate the world-class Kaplan Schweser CFA® materials into its already exceptional CFA programmes. The organisation will also offer preparation for other financial and business qualifications, as well as leadership and professional development programmes for corporates.

    Peter Houillon, Chief Executive Officer of Kaplan UK, said: “The combination of Kaplan’s distinguished learning heritage and global reach with the Genesis brand and local expertise provides exciting opportunities to build a highly competitive offering. Many of Kaplan’s UK and US clients, already with a significant presence in the region, will benefit from our combined expertise and global network.”

    Andrew Perkins, Global Director of Kaplan Leadership and Professional Development, said: “At Kaplan, we approach learning and development differently: we combine the development of technical competence and behavioural confidence that enables better decision making by individuals, teams and organisations. We will now tailor these programmes to support the development of regionally based talent for our GCC, UK and US clients.”

    Binod Shankar, Managing Director of Genesis, said: “Being part of Kaplan gives us the resources and infrastructure to enhance the fantastic student experience we have worked hard to create at Genesis. This is great news for our current and future students.”

    Kaplan UK Chief Executive Officer Peter Houillon and Binod Shankar, Managing Director of Genesis Institute

    About Genesis Institute

    Genesis Institute, founded ten years ago, leads the CFA examination market in the UAE and is a leading provider of financial training solutions. It was set up by highly qualified and experienced professionals who are passionate about the delivery of relevant, high quality and effective financial education.

    Genesis Institute’s innovative programs are structured to combine the right balance of practical case studies and insights from business reality to hone both the skills and knowledge of participants. Genesis offers a wide range of courses for Finance and Non-Finance Professionals working at entry, mid-career, or senior level positions.

    For more information about Kaplan Genesis, please contact:

    UK - Andrew Perkins, Director, Leadership and Professional Development, Kaplan, +44 (0) 7768 876 255, andrew.perkins@kaplan.co.uk

    GCC - Binod Shankar, Managing Director, Kaplan Genesis, +971-527775611, binod.shankar@kaplangenesis.com

  • CIMA Certificate - 2017 syllabus explained

    by Kieron McDonnell | Jan 11, 2017

    FREE webinar – 19th January, 12:30 - 13:30 – Watch the recording

    Speaker – Sally Brummitt, Head of CIMA Certificate Product

    The new Certificate in Business Accounting (Cert BA) was introduced on 11th January 2017, and as of this date students are no longer able to take exams on the old 2011 syllabus.

    The biggest difference of the new syllabus is the removal of the C03 Business Mathematics subject, which will be spread across the four subjects:

    • BA1 Fundamentals of Business Economics
    • BA2 Fundamentals of Management Accounting
    • BA3 Fundamentals of Financial Accounting
    • BA4 Fundamentals of Ethics, Corporate Governance and Business Law

    Sally Brummitt, Kaplan’s Head of CIMA Certificate Product, discusses the main changes to the BA Certificate and how these changes will affect students who are moving from the old syllabus to the new one.

  • What is important to you when studying?

    by Sharon Cooper | Dec 19, 2016

    We’ve recently redesigned our CIMA 2017 courses, based on feedback from students and employers like you.

    We’ve listened to what you want, what you like, and what is important to you, to make sure we have a range of courses that suit everyone’s needs and the way you like to learn.

    Our new courses have been designed and built around you. Find out more about our new CIMA courses.

    Here’s what you told us, and what we’ve changed...

    What is important to you when studying?
  • CIMA Complete Courses

    by Kieron McDonnell | Dec 05, 2016

    From January our CIMA Objective Test courses will be changing. Following extensive student and employer research, the overwhelming feature you said you wanted from our courses was all the resources you need to pass your exam. We’ve listened and created our new complete courses to do just that.

    Our complete courses, move away from separate tuition & revision elements to just one course consisting of three study phases, no matter how you choose to study.

    • Knowledge to help you develop the factual building blocks needed to understand the subject.
    • Application to translate the knowledge and build a deeper level of understanding using real world examples and exam standard questions.
    • Exam Preparation to practise what you have learnt in exam standard tests and mock exams, building exam confidence to thoroughly prepare you for the exam.

    So what does this actually mean in terms of your courses? Each course will initially focus on building the knowledge you require of each individual syllabus area.  That knowledge is developed and embedded further by considering real life examples and working through case style scenario questions, which also have the added benefit of preparing you for the case study exam at the end of the level.  As you will now get access to all of your study resources on day 1 of the course, you will be introduced to exam standard questions earlier within your course, giving you a better appreciation of how the content you are learning will be examined.

    The final day (2 evenings) of every classroom and Live Online course will focus purely on exam preparation.  Your tutor will analyse data on how your class is performing on each of the key syllabus areas, and will use the day to recap over your trickier topics, whilst also honing exam technique and providing top tips to help you be successful in your exam.   With all students now getting four full mock exams, each one mirroring the look and feel of your actual exam, you will have plenty of opportunity to practise and ensure maximum confidence on the day of your real exam.

    This new integrated, complete approach has been designed to give you peace of mind, confidence and a great experience; it’s a better way of learning that build around you.

    To find out more about our new CIMA courses, visit www.kaplanfinancial.co.uk/cima
  • Introducing our exciting new range of CIMA 2017 courses

    by Sharon Cooper | Dec 01, 2016

    In January 2017, we are launching a new range of CIMA courses, based on your trainees’ feedback and what they value the most to ensure they pass first time.

    Here are some of the changes that we are making:

    • All our courses now include tuition and revision, providing everything your trainees need to pass their exam
    • Instant tutor response, 7 days a week: All trainees have instant access to tutor support, now open 7 days a week, until 8pm weekdays and until 1pm on weekends
    • More Classroom and Live Online course start dates than any other UK provider
    • Additional online video content and resources for Live Online and Classroom trainees to brush up on tricky topics
    • More insight and reporting will be available for you to keep track of your trainees' performance
    • We are now offering proactive support for your trainees to monitor their progress and keep them on track with their studies

    What do these changes mean to your business?

    • Greater flexibility means less days out of the office for your trainees
    • Improved support for maximised exam success to enhance your return on investment
    • Simplified product offering making it easier to work with us and reducing your training spend
    • Improved tracking and support to re-engage off track trainees

    Did you know that Kaplan offers the largest portfolio of CIMA study methods in the marketplace? We are best placed to design the perfect training solution to match your specific business needs and budget.

    Download our factsheet to learn more about about our flexible study methods.

    If you would like to find out more about our new CIMA courses, use the form to request a callback.

  • New and improved MyKaplan, your trainees’ online learning environment

    by Kieron McDonnell | Nov 30, 2016

    Kaplan is delighted to announce significant improvements to MyKaplan, our online learning environment. The sleek design will make it easier and quicker for your trainees and their tutors to access content and learning tools.

    The changes to MyKaplan will be taking place across January, February and March 2017. So what’s new for your trainees?

    If you are responsible for training in your organisation and would like a demonstration of the new site then please fill in the request a callback form below and we will call you back within 24 hours. The changes to MyKaplan are summarised below.

    Easier access to course content

    • Improved responsive design for enhanced user navigation
    • Easier to search and to find content & ‘favourite’ items

    Built-in marking tool

    • Easy online submission of assessments completed at home
    • Your trainees receive marks and feedback online as soon as they are available from the marker

    Progress and performance check

    • New visual dashboard to see progress through each course
    • Your trainees can track and monitor their performance against fellow students for confidence and motivation

    Discussion forum and tutor support

    • Your trainees can interact and discuss topics with other students studying the same course
    • Questions and comments will be monitored and responded to quickly by our expert tutors
    • Tutors can be contacted directly from the built-in email tool

    News & updates

    • Your trainees receive updates and news relevant to their course and qualification and can manage how much they want to see
    • Your trainees receive information from their tutors including course notes and relevant articles
    • Opt-in option to receive a reminder when assessment submission deadlines are only two days away

    To find out when your trainees’ courses will be migrated to the new and improved MyKaplan, download the table.

    Please note that to enable us to make these improvements, MyKaplan will experience a downtime window from 8pm to 8am from Tuesday 20th December into Wed 21st December.

    Kaplan will utilise Brightspace (by D2L)for the provision of MyKaplan from January 2017. Brightspace is a cloud hosted Learning Management System which will be hosted within the EU, and our agreement with D2L is designed to ensure that this service is provided in accordance with our security requirements (ISO27001) and to ensure all personal data processed by D2L as part of the service is done so appropriately.

  • Storytelling in Business - New York Event

    by Sharon Cooper | Nov 23, 2016

    In late September 2016, Kaplan Leadership and Professional Development held an evening event with clients on the Hudson River, NYC, based around Corporate Storytelling.

    Corporate Storytelling is a very topical subject within Learning and Development and is beginning to be applied in a variety of environments to enhance people's skills - from sales to personal impact and managing teams.

    This video gives you a little snapshot of our event and the key takeaways.

  • Kaplan appointed as SQE assessment organisation

    by Sharon Cooper | Aug 01, 2018

    The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has appointed Kaplan as the assessment organisation to develop and run the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).

    Selected following a rigorous, year-long process, Kaplan provides education, training and assessment across professional services, including in law, financial services, accountancy and banking. It has direct experience of assessment within the legal sector in England and Wales as the provider of the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS). Kaplan will not provide training for the SQE.

    The SRA and Kaplan will work with stakeholders from across the legal and education sectors to develop and test the SQE. Kaplan will then run the SQE on behalf of the SRA. They have been appointed for a period of eight years from the introduction of the SQE.

    The SQE will provide a single common assessment for all aspiring solicitors. It will be introduced, at the earliest, in September 2020. The costs of the assessment will be determined once the final design is fixed, although the SRA is aiming to provide guidance on indicative costs before then.

    Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to appoint Kaplan after a robust, competitive and open process. Their bid succeeded against some very strong competition.

    “We are now another step closer to delivering a rigorous assessment that helps build trust that all qualifying solicitors are meeting the same high standards, regardless of their route into the profession.”

    Peter Houillon, Chief Executive Officer, Kaplan: “Kaplan is thrilled to have been selected to run the SQE on behalf of the SRA and build on our partnership founded in the delivery of the QLTS. We look forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to build and deliver a world class Solicitors Qualifying Examination.”

    The starting point for developing, testing and piloting the SQE will be the ‘Draft Assessment Specification’, which the SRA published in June 2017:

    www.sra.org.uk/sra/policy/sqe/research-reports.page

    As well as further building trust and confidence in professional standards, the SQE will also support wider access to the profession, by making sure that all the different routes to entry, including 'earn as you learn' pathways such as apprenticeships, are tested in the exactly the same way.

    It will also remove the need for would-be solicitors to pay significant up-front costs, often up to £16,000, to take the Legal Practice Course, which offers no guarantee of a training contract or qualification as a solicitor.

    The SRA has also confirmed that it has been approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships as the external quality assurance body for the solicitor apprenticeship. In this role it will be responsible for making sure that the apprenticeship standard and assessment plan are fit-for-purpose and that the assessment that apprentices do at the end of their apprenticeship is fair, consistent, and rigorous. Kaplan will be applying in due course to be the end point assessment organisation for the solicitor apprenticeship.

    Last year around 100 people started the solicitor apprenticeship route.

    Notes to Editors

    1. The SRA is the regulator of solicitors and law firms in England and Wales, protecting consumers and supporting the rule of law and the administration of justice. The SRA does this by overseeing all education and training requirements necessary to practise as a solicitor, licensing individuals and firms to practise, setting the standards of the profession and regulating and enforcing compliance against these standards. Further information is available at www.sra.org.uk

    2. About Kaplan

    Kaplan is a leading education and assessment provider operating in more than 30 countries, offering professional education, test preparation, English-language training, university preparation, and higher education. Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC) and its largest division.

    3. Contact the SRA press office on 0121 329 6428/07865 728165

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