What to look for the next time you commission qualification training support services

Training Courses

Having recently completed another round of financial services exams, many of you will have only just had a chance to reflect on how well you managed your studies leading up to the all important exam date. Some questions you may have subsequently asked yourself could have included:

Did I prepare in the right ways?

Did I have enough time to prepare?

Did I do justice to myself on exam day?

These are just a few and I am sure that you are now planning your next steps taking account of what you learnt previously.

If you are working in a busy firm with little time to study effectively, you may be considering additional support from a training provider. There are a wide range available these days to suit a variety of different learning styles. Some specialise in face-to-face provision, some in online and some provide blended solutions. So what questions should you be asking yourself before signing up with anyone? Here are a few I would ask:

1.     Does the provider offer something that suits my learning style? This is key. I would only recommend that you commission the sort of support that is going to suit the way you learn. If your preferred route is face to face, you still need to know how sessions will be run. How big will class sizes be? For high-level exams, small class numbers will allow everyone to become practically involved and have their concerns dealt with.

      Some people learn much more effectively if faced with relevant example scenarios that they can become directly involved in, others may prefer the tutor to take the lead and guide them carefully through topics. Some may want to know about the minutiae of a subject. A good provider will be trying to accommodate all needs rather than offering a one size fits all approach. This is just as important where the provider offers support in other ways such as online.

2.    Is the support I am being offered relevant? If you are studying for an exam, it’s no good just learning the knowledge required. You need to be able learn about and practice good exam technique to enable you to pass first time. A reputable provider will be incorporating this aspect right the way through their service.

3.    Can the provider offer support that fits my work / lifestyle patterns? Again, this is extremely important. A good training provider will appreciate that clients have many and varied work patterns. The more flexible they can be in this regard, the better. As well as core support packages, clients often want extra help such as additional one to one support via email, phone or face to face. Some clients are extremely independent learners and don’t want or need the inconvenience of a full training course instead preferring to ask for limited help near the exam date.

4.    Will my provider help to “manage” the learning process? This is rarely requested by clients but I believe is something that all students (myself included) have come to expect. After all we are human. We expect to receive both pastoral and technical support even if perhaps learning online. A good training provider will have thought of this and developed a system of 360 degree communication between itself, the student and their sponsor where relevant. Why? Well the whole learning process especially for complex exams can take some time. We like to know that help is at hand from someone approachable but also technically capable of answering our queries. We don’t like “shocks”. The more we communicate along the journey, the less shocks we tend to all get.

I hope these points have given you food for thought. The next time you consider commissioning learning support, contact a reputable provider who is prepared to discuss these points and design a solution that is going to fit in with your own needs.

Contact Glascow Consulting either via email: info@glascow.co.uk or by phone on 0203 292 9229 for an informal discussion as to how we can help you. Glascow.co.uk


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