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  • Why Accountancy continues to be important

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Oct 01, 2021

    With so many technological advancements and changes to the roles within accountancy, we discuss why this profession continues to be important.

    Our host Stuart Pedley Smith, Head of Learning here at Kaplan, asks the question “Why does accountancy continue to be important?”.

    Kaplan’s Learn Better Podcast covers topical subjects to support our past, present and future learners to succeed in both their studies and careers.

    This week, Paul Barnes, Managing Director of MAP, helps us understand why accountancy is still so important. Speaking about personal development, computerisation within the industry, and value perception, this episode explores ways in which accounting will continue to be important, and how to make it a successful career path for you.

    People’s lives are changed by better understanding their finances.

    Key topics

    The broad range of opportunities in accounting

    Accounting and finance can cover a very broad range of roles and responsibilities. Whatever your passion may be it is very likely you’d be able to find a position to fit your interests and skills within this industry.

    Paul explains that you don’t need to worry if you begin heading down a path that doesn’t quite suit you. There are plenty of opportunities and routes beneath the accounting and finance umbrella, so there is no need to panic that you have chosen the wrong industry for your career.

    Computerisation and the 4th industrial revolution

    It can often be thought that the evolution of computers could make many jobs obsolete - especially within the accounting world. However, there are still things only humans can do. Having someone who can have a meaningful conversation and offer sensible advice is a skill set in itself.

    In the episode our guest talks about how we should see computers as a tool, allowing us to have more time to speak with clients and offer the services which provide added value.

    Try to look at everything as an opportunity rather than a threat.

    Service value and value perception

    Building a relationship with a client or employer you are delivering a service for is very important. The way in which you deliver a service or report is where the real value comes from.

    The same service delivered slightly differently can massively change the value perception.

    Paul argues that value perception from your client is key, if they are unaware of the work you have put in it could mean you spend hours on a service that is underappreciated. Good value perception coupled with an accurate and professionally delivered service, means that you will be worth more as an individual.

    Being proactive in your development

    Finally the subject of being proactive and curious is covered, as it allows you to be ready to find your weaknesses and in-experiences to allow you to progress.

    You can quickly limit your development if you are quiet and don’t ask questions. Having a strong curiosity can make sure you are continuously looking to better yourself and learn more, helping you to progress in your career.

    Tune in now

    To hear more about these topics, tune in now.

  • Our new two day ACA-CTA Bridging courses

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Sep 24, 2021

    We've just launched our new two day ACA CTA Joint Programme Bridging courses, aimed at our joint programme students. Here's some more information about the courses.

    Who is the ideal student for the course?

    Our two day ACA CTA Joint Programme Bridging courses are specifically for students on the ACA CTA joint programme. Students on this pathway should take our CTA bridging course before starting their first CTA Advanced Technical paper which will be either Owner Managed Business (OMB) or Taxation of Major Corporates (TOMC).

    What is different about this course/what different topics are covered?

    The course aims to provide a smooth transition for our joint programme students as they move from their ACA to their CTA tax studies.

    The course will build on knowledge gained whilst studying ACA Tax Compliance and also introduce the core topics that are examined as part of the first CTA Advanced Technical paper.

    The courses are delivered online via our award winning Live Online study method. Students will receive expert tuition delivered by experienced OMB and TOMC tutors. They will also have access to our academic support team should they need it.

    Students won’t have to sit assessments as part of this course - the course is designed to fill any knowledge gaps they may have before starting CTA.

    What qualification will I receive at the end of the course?

    The ACA CTA joint programme allows students to achieve two prestigious qualifications in a shorter amount of time. They will become both an Associate Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser when the joint programme is completed.

    Interested in the ACA-CTA bridging courses?

    The courses launch on 13 December 2021, but are available to buy now. For more information see our bridging course page.

  • Join us for our Green Finance webinar

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Sep 23, 2021

    Does your organisation have the 'green skills' it needs?

    With the UN Climate Change Conference only a few weeks away, and the Green Finance Education Charter now two years old, it's time financial services and accountancy employers made time for this question.

    Join us for our Green Finance webinar, with the ACCA and CBI, on 13th October 2021, 13:00 to 13:40, and discover how climate change and sustainability affects the Banking and Financial Services employers.

    We will explore why the Green Finance Education Charter and continuous ‘green’ education is so important for organisations in the finance sector.

    We are honoured to be joined by Simon Thompson, Chief Executive of the Chartered Banker Institute, and CBI Course Leader for the Certificate in Green and Sustainable Finance - the global benchmark qualification, and Emmeline Skelton, Head of Sustainability from the ACCA. Both are members of the charter.

    Register for the Green Finance webinar now.

  • Finding a career path that helps make a difference

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Sep 23, 2021

    Rosie Wainwright, Outstanding Individual award winner at the Festival of Learning, speaks on the importance of education and finding a career path you can be proud of.

    I had a quite turbulent upbringing, which meant I was mostly raised by my grandparents, but when they passed away I went into foster care. Because of this I moved around a fair bit and attended 2 or 3 different colleges where I ended up failing quite a lot.

    I then moved to Lewisham college, it was here that I took part in the Career Ready Programme, through networking with professionals during my internship and decided to attend university. A college alumni also came in to talk to us and it really interested me in university as an option.

    The experiences of further education allow you to keep your options open.

    Helena Kennedy Foundation bursary

    Bursaries were not widely discussed when I was at college, and I was unaware of the support you could get outside of the universities with support for care leavers.

    I discovered the Foundation through one of my teachers as she mentioned that I would be eligible. So I looked it up and applied, but unfortunately I was too late.

    Later on they got back in contact to say they had found a bursary for me - sponsored by Kaplan. This gave me the option to still think about going to university and helped ease the burden of financial worries.

    Finding the right path

    I studied Law at university. I chose this following a law module in my course at college, which made me want to learn more and see how the world worked. I had a particular interest in family law as I wanted to help people.

    Law turned out not to be what I had initially thought it was, however, but I knew it was a good path to other opportunities. What I had learned didn't limit my options, as I could still apply my skills to other industries. It was still a good degree to have.

    After university I got the opportunity to go to New York and work as a Compliance Analyst in a financial institution. This was a great experience, but I realised it wasn’t something I was passionate about, and that my passion lies with having an impact, making a difference and having the option to help others.

    Building a strong career

    So I moved back and started working at my former university, in the Widening Participation Team. During this time I completed a Post Graduate degree in International Business Law, whilst also volunteering with Career Ready as a mentor.

    After two years working at the University, I turned my voluntary role at Career Ready into employment working as a Regional Manager in the London Team. This job allowed me to help make a difference as the position meant I was linking young people with employers. During my employment, I continued with education through completing a Level 5 coaching qualification with Evolve College.

    I was finally really enjoying myself but knew that it could be hard to progress within the charity sector. So in order to create a stronger career path for myself, I began looking for a new challenge. I found a more senior role with PA Consulting where I would be able to really impact change, and I got it!

    In this new role as a Consultant Analyst, from mid-November I will be working within the People and Change Capability, with an alignment to Public Services. I can see a clear path for progression with this role and I am excited about this new challenge (becoming a consultant).

    The importance of education

    It doesn't matter what you study, the experiences of further education allows you to keep your options open and helps you gain opportunities to network and meet so many different people.

    Education has to continue, university isn't the end, it's the beginning. I wouldn't be where I am today without it. I would never have been able to work in New York or have the jobs that I have had.

    Wherever you start your career, putting yourself out there, trying things and meeting new people from different backgrounds is all valuable. All these experiences help you decide what you ultimately want to do and who you are.

    Find out more

    Rosie’s inspirational success is another one of our student stories we are very proud of. We are here to make a difference to EVERY learner. Read more about our work partnering with charitable organisations to help make a difference.

  • What part does sustainability play in accounting?

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Sep 16, 2021

    Sustainability: What part does it play in accounting?

    Our host Stuart Pedley Smith, Head of Learning here at Kaplan, helps tackle the subject of sustainability within the world of accounting.

    Kaplan’s Learn Better podcast covers topical subjects to support our past, present and future learners to succeed in both their studies and careers.

    This week Richard Barker, Professor of Accounting at Oxford University, joins us to explore sustainability. With a lot of confusion around sustainability, and what it really means, this episode will help provide clarity on what it is and why it is important to employees and businesses.

    We delve further into the role sustainability plays in society, how knowledge of this growth space could help accelerate your career, and how in this space you can utilise any wider skillsets gained from other degree subjects alongside your accounting qualification.

    Key Topics:

    • What is sustainability?
    • Financial vs Sustainability reporting
    • New generation career opportunities
    • Sustainability reporting's role in society
    • Recommended reading

    Tune in now to join the discussion

  • WorldSkills UK finals - who will take first place?

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Sep 13, 2021

    The finalists for the WorldSkills UK Accounting Technician competition have been announced.

    WorldSkills supports young people across the world via competitions-based training. This particular competition has been designed by Kaplan tutors to ‘reflect the role of an Accountant and the standards that are expected within the financial sector’.

    Following the qualifiers held in July, four teams will be moving on to the final in our Accounting Technician competition: Riverside College, Lloyds Team 2, City of Glasgow College and LIFO the Party (Bridgend College).

    In the next stage, to help the teams prepare and practise for the finals, they will take part in a "development day". The aim of this day is to cover relevant topics that they'll face in the finals.

    The finals will take place on Monday 15th November at MediaCity UK, where the four teams will come together to compete for 1st place. They will have 4 hours to work through a case study, which they will then present back to the judges. The winners will be announced via an online broadcast from Channel 4’s studios on Friday 26th November at 4pm.

    We'd like to congratulate, thank, and recognise all of the teams who entered and have been a part of this year's competition. It's been great to see everyone overcome the virtual challenges and still put in a huge effort to make the competition a success.

    Keep your eyes peeled for the confirmation of the date for the UK LIVE finals, and for more information about the Worldskills competitions check out their website.

  • Kaplan shortlisted 3 times for the 2021 Learning Tech Awards

    by Sharon Cooper | Sep 10, 2021

    After one of the most challenging years in our history, we have been shortlisted 3 times for the Learning Tech awards.

    The Learning Technology awards represent one of the most prestigious international awards within the learning sector, so we’re very humbled to be recognised for another year.

    As stated on their website:

    [The Learning Technology Awards] recognise the commitment, enthusiasm and passion for learning technologies across the world. Finalists are selected by our independent judging panel of experts organised by the eLearning Network.

    We have been shortlisted for the following:

    The best digital learning transformation programme implemented in response to COVID-19.

    This submission detailed how we introduced two new digital programmes during the pandemic, to ensure our learners could continue to study and move forward in their professional careers.

    The best learning technologies project - private sector

    This nomination is for the creation of our digital training solutions with input from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). With them, we created 2 digital pathways for finance professionals to develop their Data Analytics skills.

    Best learning game

    This nomination was for the educational business game we created alongside Lloyds Banking Group and Interpretive. The game was a unique experience designed for apprentices to develop work-place skills.

    Good luck to all of the nominees! The ceremony will be held on the 17th November. For more information and the full shortlist visit their page.

  • Diversity in accounting

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Sep 02, 2021

    “Never underestimate your ability to have influence.”

    This week our host Stuart Pedley Smith, Head of learning here at Kaplan, explores the topic of diversity within the accountancy profession.

    Kaplan’s learn better podcast covers topical subjects to support our past, present and future learners to succeed in both their studies and careers.

    Guest Alice Olafare, Co-found of New Gen Accountants (NGA), shares her experiences and what led her to co-founding the NGA community initiative. She discusses the challenges diverse candidates may face, the resources they can lean on for support, and the benefits of a diverse workforce for everyone.

    Together Stuart and Alice explore what diversity is, why it is important within the accounting profession, and how to champion it and give longevity to the movements that have taken place over the past year.

    Make it a movement, not a moment.

    - Alice Olafare, Co-founder of New Gen Accountants

    Key topics:

    • What is diversity?
    • New Gen Accountants community initiative
    • The benefits of a diverse workforce
    • How to champion diversity.

    Tune in now to find out more.

  • What we are doing to help you safely return to the classroom

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Aug 19, 2021

    We give an update on the various things we’ve put in place to make our learners feel better about moving back into the classroom.

    In these times, it’s absolutely natural to feel unsettled about returning to our centres to attend a classroom course. We realise that everyone is at a different stage, in terms of their confidence in returning to a new normality.

    Some of our students will no doubt feel more confident than others, but we wanted to reassure everyone that we are doing everything that we can to make you feel safe.

    Your safety is our priority at Kaplan and our staff are here to support you every step of the way. Whilst we gradually start to increase our class capacity we will be implementing the following to keep the risk of spreading the virus as low as we reasonably can.

    We will be:

    • Running fewer physical classes overall to reduce the total volumes in the centre.

    • Staggering class start times to minimise congestion in shared spaces.

    • Limiting visitor numbers to centres, and only by prior arrangement.

    • Asking our students to wear masks when moving around the centre (however they can be removed when sat in classes or CBE suites).

    • Our tutors will be wearing face coverings when moving around the classroom and centre.

    • Our spaces will be kept well ventilated. We will be maintaining sanitation stations and undertaking additional cleaning protocols as well as clearly signposting good hygiene practices.

    • We are asking our staff to take regular lateral flow tests.

    • We display a Q-code for those using Track and Trace apps.

    Our staff in each centre are there to help you and to make you feel at ease. Our Student Experience teams and Tutors are here for you to discuss any concerns that you may have whilst you are in the centre.

    We realise that the idea of commuting again may be daunting for some. In order to ease this transition, why not think about trialling your route to the centre or bringing your own lunch if you want to avoid going out during busy lunchtimes?

    Finally, we can support you if you do test positive for Covid or are contacted via track and trace by providing you with the course recordings if you do have to isolate for a period of time.

    We hope all of these things we are putting in place will help to facilitate your return to the classroom. But if you continue to have any concerns about returning, please do share these thoughts with your employer.

    For more support and information on student wellbeing please visit our advice page, and take a look at our recent webinar on making the transition from remote working to the face to face environment.

  • Creating brighter futures: Kaplan’s outreach support

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Aug 12, 2021

    As part of our commitment to making a difference to every learner and inspiring them to succeed, we’ve partnered with charitable organisations to provide opportunities to disadvantaged groups.

    Every learner, every success, matters to us. And that's why we actively encourage our employees to take time to support mentoring; skills workshops; academic assistance and careers events to help broaden access to the professions.

    Through each of our partnerships together we can truly help make a difference and support our communities to help level the playing field.

    Here's a breakdown of some of the initiatives we have been getting involved with.

    Leadership Through Sport and Business

    Leadership Through Sport & Business is a social mobility charity that prepares and supports bright young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into meaningful roles in accounting and technology with major firms.

    Together we make sure those at risk of under-employment find careers equal to their ambition and ability, and can contribute from their first day on the job.

    We fund a number of LTSB students through the AAT Level 2 qualification, working closely with LTSB staff to ensure the students receive additional support where necessary.

    Many of the learners go on to complete further qualifications and the majority obtain employment within the profession, with a number also receiving recognition for their achievements.

    Kaplan has given LTSB’s learners the foundation in accounting concepts that they need to build an amazing career. That foundation is absolutely vital for young people facing disadvantage as they seek to secure meaningful employment in professional careers. It’s great that our learners can benefit from Kaplan’s expertise, passion and support.

    - James Hinton, Head of Operations, LTSB

    Career Ready

    Career Ready is a social mobility charity that helps young people fulfil their potential through experience and understanding of the world of work.

    Our staff act as mentors for Career Ready Year 12/13 students. They engage regularly with their mentees, helping them to become work-ready and increase their confidence.

    Even though the pandemic altered the way in which we support Career Ready students, we provided on-line workshops, interview practice, mentoring meetings and two paid for internships in Manchester.

    Career Ready mentoring helps me by extending my knowledge on topics I didn't know I needed when it comes to the working world. Having a mentor allows me to learn new things and develop new skills to prepare me for my future in the world of work.

    - Megan, Year 13 Mentee

    New Gen Accountants

    New Gen Accountants is a not for profit organisation whose aims are to provide advice to school and university students considering accountancy. They support accounting trainees on topics like balancing full time work and studies; the power of networking and how to progress their careers.

    We partnered with New Gen Accountants to host a Diversity Webinar in May 2020 to cover the topic of cultural diversity in accountancy and financial services.

    Alongside this we have been supporting a New Gen Accountant member as one of our 2020/2021 Kaplan Accounting Foundation Scholarship students.

    This partnership allows us to help widen the awareness of opportunities in the sector and improve the accessibility of qualifications through the scholarship scheme.


    RefuAid is a charity which supports access to language tuition, education, finance and meaningful employment for refugees.

    We have worked to support RefuAid learners with free AAT and ACCA qualifications and provide Progression Advisors to give additional support as needed. Offering this allows us to help upskill and develop those who have experienced forced migration.

    Find out more about our partnership with RefuAid and read the stories of some of our students here.

    BAME Apprenticeship Alliance

    The BAME Apprenticeship Alliance brings together leaders within business and education to focus on promoting apprenticeship and skills among the BAME communities through policy, advocacy and conversations.

    We support by sponsoring the BAME Apprenticeship Awards and by being a ‘Change Maker’. Change Makers reinforce the BAME Apprenticeship Alliance mission by promoting apprenticeship diversity and help to bring real action and change in the UK.

    Every learner, every success, matters to us

    Read our other blogs and take a deeper look at some ways in which we continue to help a diverse range of students.

  • Kaplan Podcast - University vs Apprenticeships

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Aug 05, 2021

    We discuss the big question: What do I do next?

    Kaplan’s Learn Better Podcast is our brand new series, covering topical subjects to support our past, present, and future learners to succeed in both their studies and careers.

    In our first episode, host Stuart Pedley Smith, Head of Learning, and guest, help clarify the differences between pursuing the University vs Apprenticeships route into work.

    Joined by Apprenticeships Partnerships Director, Jenny Pelling, this episode covers where the job market is going, the difference in learning experiences, and how apprenticeships have become a genuine alternative to University.

    From practical application, to freedom of exploration, and the importance of money to personal development, this podcast will help you to understand the key questions you must ask yourself to decide what route is right for you.

    Key topics:

    • Pros and cons of Apprenticeships
    • Pros and cons of University
    • Where the job market is going
    • What questions you need to ask yourself to make an informed decision
    • Where to find further information.

    Tune in now to join the discussion.

  • Kaplan launches new podcast for students

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Jul 22, 2021

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

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

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

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

    And more!

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

    You can listen right now and the podcast is available on all major podcast platforms.

    Subscribe and listen now.  

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

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Jul 15, 2021

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

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

    2020 survey

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

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

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

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

    2021 survey

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

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

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

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

    Back in the classroom

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

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

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

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

  • Kaplan ranked 8th place in the RateMyApprenticeship’s Top 50 Training Providers

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Jul 08, 2021

    Kaplan have been shortlisted and ranked highly in the RateMyApprenticeship Top Training Providers Table 2021-2022.

    (Updated July 2021)

    The RateMyApprenticeship Awards took place on 15th July, and we are delighted to not only be shortlisted, but to be ranked 8th place. 

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

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

    Last year we ranked 10th out of 300 providers, so are very proud to be recognised again, and to also surpass our previous accomplishment. It's great acknowledgment of our continued dedication to supporting our learners again this year.

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

    - Richard Marsh - Apprenticeship Partnerships Director

    The Awards took place virtually on Thursday 15th July 2021.

  • WorldSkills National Qualifiers are almost here

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Jul 08, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

    A total of 16 made it through the initial stage and will be taking part in the Qualifiers in mid July.

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

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

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

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

  • Kaplan’s apprentice success at the 2021 BAME apprenticeship awards

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | May 27, 2021

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

    (Updated 1st October 2021) 

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

    This year, these were the categories that were up for grabs:

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

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


    We encouraged our apprentices to submit entries for the 2021 awards, and are delighted to report that the following Kaplan apprentices were shortlisted:

    Accounting and finance category:

    Omolade Ojo - Lloyds Banking Group

    Prem Manimaran - PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

    Tianna Oti - RSA

    Melissa Boadu - Jigsaw Business Solutions Ltd

    Judges choice:

    Brian Kasanda - EY

    Last night (30th September) the event was held in person with over 500 people attending to celebrate and showcase BAME talent, their employers and learning providers.

    We are happy to announce the success of Kaplan apprentices, Prem Manimaran and Omolade Ojo. Prem Manimaran came away with the title of Apprentice of the Year in the Accounting and Finance category, and in the same category Omolade Ojo was named as highly commended. We would like to congratulate all the nominees and winners for their outstanding achievements. 

    It is great to see so much talent recognised this year at the awards, especially as the presentation combined the 2020 and 2021 award winners for the in person event.

    You can now watch last night's presentation here, and for more information on how we did last year, read our previous awards blog. 

  • Kaplan wins PQ award for Private Sector of the year

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | May 13, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

    And also our commitment to our student welfare:

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

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

  • Meet our new SENCo

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | May 13, 2021

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

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

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

    It was following my early experiences really.

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

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

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

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

    Why did you decide to come to Kaplan?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Fantastic! How will you support learners at Kaplan?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Important info for the upcoming Advanced Synoptic Assessment

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | May 06, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Our Student Services team are always happy to help you.

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

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Apr 29, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Kaplan partners with CIPS

    by Katy Thomason-Stewart | Mar 01, 2024

    We are proud to announce the launch of our exclusive partnership with CIPS.

    We recently partnered with the largest organisation in the world that represents procurement and supply professionals - the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).

    What does the Kaplan and CIPS partnership mean?

    The exclusive partnership was launched to develop a new CIPS OnDemand guided online course, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    Pairing Kaplan’s award-winning content creators with CIPS’ excellent subject experts, the online course delivers internationally-recognised qualifications in a powerful, innovative new learning format, making it easier than ever to follow the qualification pathway to Chartered status and professional success.

    The partnership will see us working together to develop smart study options for aspiring procurement and supply professionals. With efficient learning, we’re hoping to raise ethical standards, propel sustainable innovation within the procurement and supply industry, and be part of the journey that lifts learners to the next step of their career ladder.

    CIPS OnDemand

    We are happy to announce that CIPS OnDemand is now available, providing learners with a structured learning environment by combining the organisation of a tutor-led course with the flexibility of interactive online study.

    Learners will gain access to additional support from Academic Tutors and advisors during their studies. The high-quality guided content follows the CIPS Level 4 Diploma syllabus, delivered through engaging interactive study modules - which is a new way of learning for CIPS students.

    What levels are included?

    We have initially offered the CIPS OnDemand course for the Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply. This level is a go-to option for those new to the profession.

    However, there are plans to roll out this method of learning onto the Level 5 Advanced and Level 6 Professional Diploma courses for those seeking more senior procurement roles in their career.

    About CIPS

    CIPS is the leading international body representing procurement and supply professionals. They have over 60,000 members in 150 countries, making them the worldwide centre of excellence on procurement and supply management issues.

    The activities of procurement professionals have a major impact on the profitability and efficiency of all types of organisations. CIPS offers corporate solutions packages to improve business profitability.

    What do the experts say?

    Amanda Boustred, CIPS Group Director of Professional Development, spoke about the new partnership:

    “New technologies and flexible ways of working are opening up exciting new ways in which people can build learning and professional development around their busy work and home lives.

    Through this collaboration with Kaplan, CIPS is aiming to maximise the success of ambitious procurement and supply professionals around the world, with a learning pathway that offers an alternative way to study.

    Our students will benefit from Kaplan’s expertise in developing user-focused training courses which, for years, have led to outstanding pass rates that exceed global averages. CIPS OnDemand supplements our other ways of learning enabling students to study around the clock, if they choose. And, as the profession continues to grow in stature, we hope this opportunity will empower more individuals to take the opportunity to embrace our qualifications - and make an even greater impact on the issues that matter.”

    Michael Smith, Managing director at Kaplan Publishing and Director of Business Growth Development, said:

    “We are delighted to be partnering with CIPS, who have an unparalleled reputation as the leading global procurement and supply institute. Together, we have produced a truly unique, engaging, and flexible learning experience that is fully aligned with the Global Standard and tailored to qualification learning outcomes for procurement and supply professionals seeking to advance their careers.”

    Kaplan and CIPS share a long history of success, since 1938 for Kaplan and 1932 for CIPS. Both organisations are leaders in their respective fields: CIPS is the world’s largest and most established procurement institute with over 60,000 members and 27,000 learners studying annually. Kaplan is a leading global education company and one of the largest professional training companies in the UK, training over 48,000 finance and accounting professionals each year.

    Interested in developing your career in procurement and supply?

    Our brand new CIPS OnDemand course is now available to purchase. The Level 4 Diploma will grant you the best starting point when seeking a new career in procurement and supply.

    Interested in developing your career?

    Find out more

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