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info_outline Coronavirus (COVID-19): We are now open for computer based exams and are running a reduced number of classroom courses, with safety measures in place.
Please note: Current local lockdown measures refer primarily to social interactions, as such there is no impact on our delivery

More information can be found on the institute advice pages ›

  • Building for the future, with new apprenticeships and short courses

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Sep 17, 2020

    After 4 months of dealing with COVID, and the challenges it has created for our organisation, clients and industry, we have started thinking about the future.

    We all need some positivity in our lives, after all, 2020 has just been cancelled. So I’ve naturally had to postpone all the things I look forward to at the start of the year: summer holidays, birthday parties and spending time in the beer garden!

    Right, back to positivity!

    I am, however, fortunate to work with an insightful leadership team that recognised our need to enhance our internal skills so that we can deliver for our clients’ needs, across the entire digital learning space.

    Our new Digital Learning expert

    As part of this wider digital learning strategy, we recently recruited Jason Moss. Jason is a highly experienced Digital Learning expert, having a strong track record of designing and delivering digital courses.

    When I originally trained to be an accountant we did everything with a pencil and ETB paper, but now everyone was talking about Xero and the automation of transactions.

    Today I feel almost nervous when I speak to clients, given my lack of familiarity with the digital space.

    Fortunately Jason has been able to highlight a few stats that really highlight the need for me, employers, and society in general to get on board with upskilling with digital skills:

    • 33% of companies in the UK believe they lack Cybersecurity and Cloud-based Infrastructure skills within their business
    • 27% of companies in the UK believe they lack Data Management/Analytics skills within their business
    • Over 88% of companies identified a gap in digital skills already or in the future impacting on profitability, competitiveness, agility and productivity

    Our response to the data

    For the last few months, Jason has been talking to a range of businesses to identify the most critical skills and behaviours they need to plug the gaps. From his research, Data Analytics and Business Analytics were the skills businesses were overwhelmingly needing.

    In response to this, Jason and his team created the following apprenticeship programmes to launch in January 2021:

    • Level 3 Data Technician (24 month programme)
    • Level 4 Data Analyst (24 month programme)
    • Level 4 Business Analyst (18 month programme)

    There is a strong theme around data with these apprenticeships, but later in 2021 we will be launching further apprenticeships around Cloud Infrastructure, Cybersecurity and Software Development.

    Personally, I am super excited to talk to clients about these amazing new apprenticeships, without ever losing sight of the ongoing importance of our core Accountancy and Tax apprentice.

    New Tech short course

    Kaplan has also created a number of short courses, one in particular called New Technologies for Businesses. With around 40 hours of learning, it will give your Accountancy and Tax employees the perfect introduction and insight into the digital space.

    I’m in the process of covering the course, starting from the beginning. I need to become more knowledgeable as I have recognised that I could also really benefit from bridging my skills gap.

    I recently spoke to a training partner that is keen on asking every single partner and senior manager in the organisation to complete the course as a basic upskilling requirement.

    Apprenticeships for your company

    Do you want to enrich your Accountancy and Tax apprenticeship with Kaplan? Or do you want your employees to undertake one of the digital apprenticeships we are launching with all the benefits of using your levy funds to obtain the benefits?

    We are now in a position to deliver this to your organisation and apprentices.

    With many endless possibilities to change your employees’ digital skills, is it time to have a conversation to create that proactive plan so your organisation can get ahead?

    Surju has worked at Kaplan for over 11 years, initially as a tutor and is now a Client Director. He specialises in helping accountancy firms deliver effective apprenticeship solutions to allow their workforce to grow and develop.

    If you feel a consultation would help you and your organisation, please feel free to contact him.

  • Giving back, in partnership with RefuAid

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Sep 03, 2020

    We know that education can open doors to new opportunities, a better job and a better life. Throughout our 80-year history, we’ve been a leader in expanding educational access, and giving back is a key part of our culture.

    Recently, through our work with RefuAid, we’ve been helping to upskill and develop those who have experienced forced migration.

    As stated on their website, RefuAid are a charity who offer ‘a practical response’ to those in need, be that through providing access to: language tuition, education, finance or meaningful employment.

    We work with people. All people. Regardless of nationality, religion or political affiliation.

    - RefuAid

    They offer solutions to the challenges refugees face once they are given the opportunity to restart their life in the UK. This is reflected in their official stated values and concerns: ‘There are few initiatives successfully providing long-term solutions to forced migration, meaning those forced to flee end up dependent on aid and handouts’.

    RefuAid focus on 3 main areas: finance and re-qualification, language tuition and specialist employment advice.

    We started our association with RefuAid through the English language courses we offer at Kaplan International.

    Progressing to Kaplan Financial

    After the working relationship was established, Kaplan Financial started to get involved. A number of RefuAid clients/students were showing an interest in pursuing a career in accountancy, so it felt natural to offer them accountancy training.

    The courses offered to these students are complimentary, and we offer extra support through our learning coaches to help with structure and well-being.

    So far we have welcomed 2 RefuAid students into our accountancy programme. Despite coming from very challenging circumstances, they have responded fantastically.

    Their stories

    For the sake of anonymity, we will call this first student Sam.

    Sam came to the UK from Palestine, where he was a qualified solicitor. Due to circumstances beyond his control he had to leave and start life all over again.

    Given his previous qualifications, he was looking to continue as a solicitor. But he started to develop an interest in finance and accountancy after experiencing elements of it through his exposure to property tax.

    Because I’m a refugee in the UK it is like starting from scratch. RefuAid helped me learn English at first and then I reviewed the options that were available

    - Sam, RefuAid and Kaplan student.

    Now, well into his ACCA qualification, Sam is passing his exams with flying colours. He cruised through his Applied Knowledge level and is now studying Performance Management for the Applied Skills level. 

    He is now looking beyond his studies and dreams of potentially becoming a forensic accountant. This is quite some journey in such a short space of time.

    I didn’t think this would be possible. I couldn’t even imagine it. Kaplan has made me feel special.

    - Sam

    Jon’s story

    Originally from Russia, Jon is a determined character.

    Already part way through his AAT qualification when starting out with Kaplan, he wanted to study AAT Professional level and begin his ACCA qualification at the same time.

    Jon has gotten a lot out of his experience studying, thanks to RefuAid and Kaplan, and states that he ‘admire(s) Kaplan for the opportunity’ and expresses his fondness for OnDemand.

    I love using OnDemand, it’s the best study method for me. It’s flexible and I can study whenever I want.

    - Jon, Kaplan and RefuAid student.

    Like Sam, Jon’s study momentum has allowed him to look to the future positively. In 1-2 years he sees himself becoming an accountant and possibly moving into taxation.

    This is some turnaround given that he only moved to the UK in 2016.

    Learning Coaches

    Our learning coaches are there to meet the student demand for one-on-one coaching. They offer support and facilitate study progress.

    Both students are grateful for the learning coach they have worked with. This relationship has been essential for their progress.

    Their coach, Nidaa Qureshi, has seen their development since day 1, and is delighted with what she sees.

    They are both taking to it really well, they’re so strong willed. Their determination makes them so easy to work with.

    - Nidaa Qureshi, Learning Coach.

    Support

    There are countless other potential students, who could benefit from this kind of extra support. If your company is in a strong position to support RefuAid’s cause then do visit their site.

    These stories prove it’s possible to make a difference.

  • You said, we did

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Aug 20, 2020

    Despite this year’s challenges, our aim is to keep improving and listening to you. We receive student feedback throughout the year and try our best to implement a lot of your suggestions.

    This is what we’ve done:

    MyKaplan

    We’ve made an Activity Feed available to all of our students, so you can easily communicate with your tutor and other students on your course, and also start your own posts.

    We’ve also improved our course confirmation pages so you don’t have to call Student Services to find out when your course will be available in MyKaplan.

    You said that you were struggling to find your learning resources, and you didn’t know which learning activities to do. So we’ve restructured all courses for AAT, ACCA, ACA and CIMA around the learning programme, which includes a homework folder for each day of the course.

    Some of you are finding the volume of information on MyKaplan courses overwhelming, especially at the beginning of the course.

    In response to this we’re developing a welcome area on MyKaplan with information that pertains to your qualification such as: your route to qualification, how to use MyKaplan, how we support you and important policies. This leaves the main course to focus purely on the content relating to that subject.

    You said that you weren’t sure when access to MyKaplan would end for your course. So, we’ve added information to the: online basket, the product pages on the website, and added it to the confirmation email once enrolled.

    You will also get an email four weeks before your access to MyKaplan ends. Finally, we are updating the My Account area in MyKaplan so that you can easily see the number of days you will continue to have access to your course.

    Courses

    When considering different study methods, you said that you’d like to try out an OnDemand course before buying one, so we’ve created a free OnDemand demo that you can access for 5 days. This is available for AAT, ACCA and CIMA.

    You told us that when you need to resit an exam that you would like more support. We have now introduced online resit courses for all our qualifications to help you prepare and get back on track.

    CIMA students

    You told us that you didn’t always ‘have the depth of understanding to tackle the Objective Tests’ as they are written in a way you weren’t expecting. We’ve now included Application Modules across all learning channels to help better prepare you for OT exams.

    Past exam content for the Case Study seemed to be confusing, so we have reviewed all the content and guidance, streamlining and simplifying the information so it’s easier to understand.

    We discovered that you were confused about the changes to the CIMA syllabus, and how to navigate through the transition period. So, we provided clarity and support by hosting quarterly advice webinars and updating Student Services with syllabus information, as well as updating our websites with syllabus specific guidance.

    We provided transitional support content to students who needed to sit an exam under the 2019 syllabus, having initially studied under the 2015 syllabus. This support will remain in place for the whole of 2020.

    ACCA students

    ACCA Students, with exemptions or who’d taken a study break, told us they were finding ACCA Strategic Professional challenging. We’ve improved the pre-course work by adding diagnostic tests focusing on key underpinning knowledge, with adaptive content released to those who require extra support.

    ACA students

    ACA students told us they needed more clarification on ‘personalised days’. More information has been added to your MyKaplan courses and tutors have been equipped with additional slides to share in class and prepare you for them.

    When studying remotely, students want an indication of how long it will take them to study various pieces of their learning content. Within ACA courses, we’ve added timings to each Study Module to help students understand the time commitment required for each piece of content.

    ATT students

    Those who are studying ATT said that you have ‘inadvertently sat subjects in an order that made it harder’ for yourself i.e. studied an advanced subject before an introductory one. So, we’ve improved the sitting guidance on the website.

    We’ve added a pop-up, when purchasing, that offers advice on sittings and has added information to the course introduction slides. It makes sure that all staff are giving the best possible advice to ATT students.

    Tell us more

    We always want to hear what you think, so we can keep increasing your chance of success. We’re running our next satisfaction survey in October, so keep an eye out for that.

  • Launching the Kaplan school leaver scholarship

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Aug 13, 2020

    This month, school leavers get their calculated A Level and GCSE exam results. But due to COVID-19, this year will pose unique challenges for students.

    If this reflects your situation, it may prompt many questions...

    Do you move on to college or university? And what are the prospects of getting a job and/or doing an apprenticeship when so many businesses are making staff redundant or pausing recruitment?

    We’re happy to announce that we’ve created a scholarship to help give ten young people from disadvantaged backgrounds a kick start to their careers.

    What is the Accounting Foundation Scholarship?

    Our ten 12-month scholarships allow any student to study the AAT Foundation Certificate online. This is via our Brighter Future partners, Career Ready, LTSB and NewGen Accountants, and with Kaplan directly.

    Each scholarship is worth just over £1,900 and covers the cost* of the full AAT Foundation Certificate OnDemand course, including hard copy study materials, exam fees, and full AAT Membership for the first 12 months.

    The AAT Foundation Certificate is ideal for those who are new to accountancy and finance. You don’t need any experience or prior knowledge, and it’s a great way to start a career in accounting.

    Interested? Apply now!

    For more information and to apply please visit our Kaplan Accounting Foundation Scholarship page.

    Applications close on 27th August, so don’t miss this great opportunity!

    * 12 month access to a full AAT Foundation Level OnDemand course £1316, AAT 12 month membership fee £147 and x5 first attempt exam and admin fees £440 when sat at a Kaplan exam centre.

  • AAT Award win for determined apprentice

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Jul 23, 2020

    One of our AAT apprentices has been recognised for his incredible effort and results.

    The 2020 AAT awards recognises the contribution of training providers, celebrating inspiring student journeys and highlighting the dedication of AAT tutors.

    Zak Barwell is a 21 year old Kaplan apprentice who, despite incredible personal challenges, excelled and progressed through his AAT course.

    Personal triumph

    Through sheer grit and determination, he managed to stay focused on his apprenticeship and channel his energy into making that aspect of his life a success.

    For instance, Zak was awarded 95% in his End Point Assessment, which is an astonishing achievement.

    His Talent Coach described him as ‘determined, passionate and an exemplary apprentice that should be recognised for being so conscientious and willing’.

    Congratulations Zak!

  • What type of student are you?

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Jul 02, 2020

    Do you think of yourself as a ‘Class clown’? Or maybe a ‘Procrastinator’?

    Find out with our new Instagram filter.

    The Kaplan Instagram account launched the filter in February and it’s proving to be quite popular with students. Once you activate it it assigns you a ‘student type’.

    When we released it we thought there’d be some uptake and that it’d die off after the first few months, but it’s still rolling. It’s just a fun, relatable thing that students can do.

    - Anna Cooper, Social Media Exec

    How to activate it

    To access it, all you need to do is log onto our Instagram profile with your phone, then click on the filter button (it looks like a little face icon) and away you go.

    Our Instagram account is useful for many things, we regularly post: motivational tips, well-being messages, links to useful blogs, new product announcements and course offers.

    So give us a follow, and don’t forget to discover what type of student you are!

  • Sponsoring the 2020 BAME Apprenticeship Awards

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Jun 18, 2020

    The BAME Apprenticeship Awards showcase the outstanding work and achievement of apprentices from black and minority ethnic groups (BAME), and inspires BAME apprentices to reach their full potential.

    We have a large number of apprentices from BAME groups, and we’re so proud of all the work that they do. So we’re delighted to be sponsoring this year’s awards in recognition of our amazing apprentices.

    If you have an apprentice, or work for a learning provider that excels in diversity, there is still time to get your nominations in. Nominations close on 26th June.

    Nominate your apprentice(s)

    Do your apprentices go above and beyond? Are they future leaders? Are they ambassadors for apprenticeships? You can take this opportunity to provide your rising stars with a platform to promote their great work.

    Nominate an apprentice

    Learning providers

    Are you a learning provider focused on promoting diversity and inclusion? Do you believe in social mobility? What are you doing to promote apprenticeships to diverse communities? Let the BAME Apprenticeship Awards know about the great work you’re doing.

    Nominate a learning provider

    Best of luck to all the nominees. We’re looking forward to discovering the winners in November.

  • What is online proctoring?

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | May 01, 2020

    Firstly we’ll answer the question: what is proctoring? It basically means the same as invigilating. To watch people take an exam and make sure that they don’t cheat.

    So how does that work online? With social distancing, many exams are going to be taken at home, online. If there isn’t someone physically there to watch you take the exam, how is it going to work?

    Sitting an exam at home

    If you are sitting an exam at home, you still need to be monitored to make sure you don’t have any outside help. Before you sit an exam on your own computer, you’ll need to download monitoring software that will be used to track you via your camera as you answer the questions.

    It is worth checking with your professional body if they have any checks you need to perform.

    Different types of proctoring

    During online proctoring, software is used to allow you to sit the exam wherever you like. To keep the exam secure and 100% reliable, software is used to track you and monitor you through video, so the exam goes fraud-free.

    Subsequent Proctoring

    Images and logs are captured as you do the exam, and are recorded on video. Later on, a proctor (aka an invigilator) will be able to see if you engaged in any form of cheating.

    The decision is based on the evidence from the captured images. Because everything is recorded, you can sit the exam at any time you feel like - just log in and begin an exam without prior scheduling, unless your qualification institute tells you otherwise.

    Live Proctoring

    This is more like a real exam setting. An online proctor actually watches you as you do the exam, via webcam. They can intervene if they notice anything unusual, just like in a real classroom setting. You would need to book the exam in advance to see if there's a proctor available to invigilate you.

    Automated Proctoring

    In automated proctored online exams, computer software is used to detect any instances of possible cheating or outside help. It can detect whenever different software is opened, or even if there's another person in the room. The remote proctor is alerted to any such events, and they are then in a position to review them.

    Exam setup at home

    You will need to make sure that where you are taking the exam is suitable and that the technology you have is reliable.

    So with that in mind, you will need to have:

    • A quiet private place to take the exam, where you won’t be disturbed
    • A computer with a webcam that is reliable and clear
    • An internet connection that is strong and won’t go down during your exam. Check with your institute if they have minimum requirements, or an internet connection test, just to make sure it’s going to be okay for your exam.

    Will my next exam be online?

    Each individual institute will be reviewing how they are doing their exams in the near future. Some institutes have cancelled them for the foreseeable future, and some are going to move to online as soon as they can, with at least one proposed to start exams this month.

    We will keep you as up to date as we can, but it’s best to check with your qualification provider for more information.

  • Across the board: Best in the world winners for ACCA and CIMA

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Mar 10, 2020

    Following the recent results taken from the 2019 ACCA and CIMA exams, our students have achieved an unprecedented number of first in the worlds.

    Three of the students were prizewinners from the December 2019 ACCA sitting, and three more were from the November 2019 CIMA case study exams. The latter covering all three levels.

    This is a testament to the grit, determination, and ability shown by our students up and down the country. Also, we shouldn’t forget the contributions of our dedicated tutors, support services and study methods - in our centres and online.

    Our goal is to make a difference to every learner - whether that's helping students who struggle to get over the pass mark, or those high-performing students to be the best they can be

    Zoe Robinson, Director of Learning, Kaplan UK

    At Kaplan, we strive to deliver the best possible training and support to our students. There is no better proof of this than through the performance of our students in their exams.

  • Our single-use plastic campaign wins PQ Editor’s Award

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Mar 03, 2020

    Last year we decided to stop using single-use plastic in our UK training centres, and got all our students, tutors and staff on board.

    We encouraged everyone to bring in reusable water bottles, and highlighted our refill facilities, to help people avoid relying on single use plastic. 

    In November 2019 we ran with the campaign across social media, to share this story, and it was received really well.

    Alongside this we also asked people to show us how green and environmentally friendly they were being, and if they told us, we sent them their own Kaplan bottle, packed in eco-friendly jiffy bags.

    And it was noticed!

    PQ Magazine awarded us their Editor’s Special Award for our single use plastic campaign. This is a wonderful award to win, as it really shows that innovative ideas and great engagement really pays off.

    Here’s to being greener in the future, and to more eco-friendly ideas.


  • AAT support - now in a Facebook group

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Feb 06, 2020

    We’ve launched a group on Facebook to give you extra support with AAT. It’s a place to share thoughts, experiences and concerns, as well as celebrate success and motivate each other.

    The group won’t be monitored by Kaplan tutors, so you’re free to chat about anything you want - but contact us if you have any questions about your course or any technical issues.

    We hope this group will help you feel a part of the AAT community, and that you’ll be able to connect with other students who are going through the same experience.

    And as an extra bonus, we’ll be running exclusive offers and deals, just for AAT Facebook group members.

    To find us on Facebook click Kaplan AAT Facebook group launch.

  • Winning awards for our Learning Technology

    by Kieron McDonnell | Dec 16, 2019

    On the 27th November we won 1st prize at the prestigious Learning Technology Awards for Best Online Learning (OnDemand).

    The glittering black tie ceremony was held at the Westminster Bridge Hotel in London, and honours the best and brightest in learning technology, for the UK and Internationally. 

    63 winners were announced - with Kaplan taking the first award of the night!

    The competition was fierce and impressive, as there were over 400 entries for just 22 categories. Large multinational brands were in contention, such as: L’Oreal, BBC, Oxbridge, RBS, Barclays, and countless others.

    This was a huge testament to the sophistication and innovation of our unique learning platform, OnDemand.

    Now available for the ACCA, CIMA and AAT qualifications, OnDemand is our intuitive online study platform. It’s flexible, yet structured, and uses a variety of learning formats such as bite-sized tutor-led lectures, and activities, to link topics together, helping our students stay motivated.

    And now we can say it’s multi-award winning.

  • We’re trying to make a difference

    by Kieron McDonnell | Nov 05, 2019

    This year, we’re proud to say that we’ve started to embrace a greener life. All 25 of our training centres across the country are now single use plastic free!

    And we won’t stop there. Everybody can make a small change to reduce plastic waste, everyday.

    Watch this video to see what we did.

    To discover the other ways we are trying to make a difference, view our Corporate Social Responsibility page.

  • You voted for us as a Top Apprentice Trainer - thank you!

    by Kieron McDonnell | Aug 06, 2019

    Thanks to our current apprentices, we are now one of RateMyApprenticeship's Top 50 UK Training Providers for 2019-2020. We came in 4th place and we’re so grateful to everyone who voted for us.

    Votes came from current apprentices who reviewed over 300 training providers. We were the highest rated accountancy firm on the list, and placed higher than big brands and educational companies, including Siemens, Manchester Metropolitan University, and the Open University.

    Did you know?

    We train over 5,000 apprentices every year, and 75 of the FTSE 100 companies use us for training. We have a team of over 200 qualified and expert tutors to deliver top rated courses around the country.

    The award ceremony was held in July and celebrated the achievements of apprentices, employers, schools, colleges, and apprentice training providers. There were over 350 guests on the night and it was a dynamic and fun event.

    The audience was treated to an afternoon of inspiring speakers including: Tim Campbell (MBE and winner of the BBC’s The Apprentice), and Jamala Osman (winner of Britain and Ireland’s 2018 Young Citizen Award and TEDx Speaker). There was also a panel discussion with business leaders from across the industry.

    The Top 50 table is now live on the RateMyApprenticeship Awards launch site.

    Thank you once again to everyone who voted for us - it’s fantastic to know that we’re providing the training you need.

  • PQ awards winner – an Apprenticeship role model

    by Kieron McDonnell | May 02, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

    Award-worthy

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

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

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

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

    - David Pinchin

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

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

    The rest, they say, is history.

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

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

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

    - Zane Salmon

    Well done Zane!

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

  • Xero: Certification course for Kaplan AAT students

    by User Not Found | Dec 18, 2018

    For the first time ever we’re giving our AAT students the chance to get free certification for Xero: the fastest growing accounting software in the UK.

    The online training course is proactive, flexible and accommodating. Once completed, learners receive a full Xero Advisor Certification.

    In this fast paced and ever changing world, use of Xero’s cloud accounting software is increasing rapidly  with more than 300,000 Xero subscribers in the UK and over 1,400,000 worldwide.

    For our learners who don’t currently use Xero, it’s increasingly likely that they will need to, so the free certification offer is a genuine benefit.

    Xero’s success is down to the simplicity of its software. Its customer service and advancements in technology mean that more providers are opting to transition from other software providers.

    There's never been a better time to learn Xero...If you want to be more employable in the age of cloud accounting you need to be Xero certified

    Mike Day, Xero Director

    Small investment, big reward

    The entire course takes only 6 hours, and you’re given up to three months to complete it.

    Demand for Xero skills have never been higher. The Xero partner network encompasses thousands of UK accounting and bookkeeping practices.

    Once you’ve completed the certification, if you start a Xero Practice, or work for one within 12 months, we’ll transfer your certification to that Practice. Xero allows accountants to access business finances anywhere.

    It makes businesses mobile

    Use the mobile app to reconcile, send invoices, or create expense claims.

    It offers faster payments with online invoicing

    Send online invoices – get updates when they’re opened.

    It provides live reconciliation

    Xero imports and categorises the latest bank transactions.

    Its focus is on real-time information. Giving a view of the current numbers, based on the most recent transactions, sat securely in the cloud.

    The software’s aim is to simplify financial administration and to make it easy to pull off the reporting and information needed to run a business.

    Time to get started

    Take advantage and benefit from getting Xero Certified when you purchase the Using Accounting Software (UACS) unit.
  • 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 User Not Found | 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.

  • Building for the future, with new apprenticeships and short courses

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Sep 17, 2020

    After 4 months of dealing with COVID, and the challenges it has created for our organisation, clients and industry, we have started thinking about the future.

    We all need some positivity in our lives, after all, 2020 has just been cancelled. So I’ve naturally had to postpone all the things I look forward to at the start of the year: summer holidays, birthday parties and spending time in the beer garden!

    Right, back to positivity!

    I am, however, fortunate to work with an insightful leadership team that recognised our need to enhance our internal skills so that we can deliver for our clients’ needs, across the entire digital learning space.

    Our new Digital Learning expert

    As part of this wider digital learning strategy, we recently recruited Jason Moss. Jason is a highly experienced Digital Learning expert, having a strong track record of designing and delivering digital courses.

    When I originally trained to be an accountant we did everything with a pencil and ETB paper, but now everyone was talking about Xero and the automation of transactions.

    Today I feel almost nervous when I speak to clients, given my lack of familiarity with the digital space.

    Fortunately Jason has been able to highlight a few stats that really highlight the need for me, employers, and society in general to get on board with upskilling with digital skills:

    • 33% of companies in the UK believe they lack Cybersecurity and Cloud-based Infrastructure skills within their business
    • 27% of companies in the UK believe they lack Data Management/Analytics skills within their business
    • Over 88% of companies identified a gap in digital skills already or in the future impacting on profitability, competitiveness, agility and productivity

    Our response to the data

    For the last few months, Jason has been talking to a range of businesses to identify the most critical skills and behaviours they need to plug the gaps. From his research, Data Analytics and Business Analytics were the skills businesses were overwhelmingly needing.

    In response to this, Jason and his team created the following apprenticeship programmes to launch in January 2021:

    • Level 3 Data Technician (24 month programme)
    • Level 4 Data Analyst (24 month programme)
    • Level 4 Business Analyst (18 month programme)

    There is a strong theme around data with these apprenticeships, but later in 2021 we will be launching further apprenticeships around Cloud Infrastructure, Cybersecurity and Software Development.

    Personally, I am super excited to talk to clients about these amazing new apprenticeships, without ever losing sight of the ongoing importance of our core Accountancy and Tax apprentice.

    New Tech short course

    Kaplan has also created a number of short courses, one in particular called New Technologies for Businesses. With around 40 hours of learning, it will give your Accountancy and Tax employees the perfect introduction and insight into the digital space.

    I’m in the process of covering the course, starting from the beginning. I need to become more knowledgeable as I have recognised that I could also really benefit from bridging my skills gap.

    I recently spoke to a training partner that is keen on asking every single partner and senior manager in the organisation to complete the course as a basic upskilling requirement.

    Apprenticeships for your company

    Do you want to enrich your Accountancy and Tax apprenticeship with Kaplan? Or do you want your employees to undertake one of the digital apprenticeships we are launching with all the benefits of using your levy funds to obtain the benefits?

    We are now in a position to deliver this to your organisation and apprentices.

    With many endless possibilities to change your employees’ digital skills, is it time to have a conversation to create that proactive plan so your organisation can get ahead?

    Surju has worked at Kaplan for over 11 years, initially as a tutor and is now a Client Director. He specialises in helping accountancy firms deliver effective apprenticeship solutions to allow their workforce to grow and develop.

    If you feel a consultation would help you and your organisation, please feel free to contact him.

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