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Think about studying ICB levels 1, 2 and 3...

  • 3 posts
  • # 93009

...and wondering...

which distance learning provider has the best reputation?
anyone I should avoid like the plague? 
what would be a fair price to cover the 3 levels?
realistically how long should it take?   


thanks :)

Please see moderators comments below re advertising and student advice . 





Edited at 23 Aug 2013 10:02 PM GMT by sarah (MODERATOR)

  • 103 posts
  • # 93011

which distance learning provider has the best reputation?
That question will no doubt get you many different answers, but from my personal point of view just a few days of browsing some of the threads on this forum will speak volumes. As the ICB is the largest body of its kind you could safely assume that the best learning provider(s) will frequent this site.
Many colleges provide similar courses (they are aimed at the same qualifications afterall) but my Internet searches narrowed it down to just three inside a day and finally down to one when I started comparing feedback on these very forums.
A google search for ICB training providers will throw up some good results, but be aware that the best companies are not always at the top. Wink

anyone I should avoid like the plague?
I doubt very much if anyone would be unprofessional enough to openly name and shame here, but for the same reasons as above if the provider you are interested in does not contribute to the ICB forums perhaps you need to ask the question why?
One factor that saw me drop a few contenders was that not all colleges provide all the courses. They may be excellent training providers, but only offer levels 1 and 2 and/or not offer the advanced elements. I decided that once I had begun a relationship with a college I would prefer to do the whole lot with them rather than have to look for a new college some time in the future.

what would be a fair price to cover the 3 levels?
My searches resulted in a very wide range of prices, some saw my jaw hit the floor, others I wrote off with the thought "you get what you pay for".
It is dependant on your budget, but always keep in mind that if you are seriously considering bookkeeping and/or a financial career, then what price for your future?
I ended up going with a provider who offers 0% finance (no credit checks as they were not necessary) and I even got some freeby course items thrown in which was ideal for me. Wink

realistically how long should it take? 
I believe the record is just short of four months, but again, it is down to the individual. How quickly do you need to do it, how much time can you commit to distance learning and will outside commitments permit you to maintain a structured study schedule? I personally have a loose schedule due to odd work hours, but I fully intend to complete the career path inside a year (that is levels 1,2 and 3 manual, 2 and 3 computerised, but I am also doing payroll and small business finance).

I wish you the very best of luck in finding a good training provider and hope to see you on these forums often in the future.

  • 7 posts
  • # 93030

Hi Martyn

Could you clarify what you are saying and are your coments based on experience with other course providers? 
Am I missing something but the course provider on the top Training Link seems to be the best for me. You seem to imply something about them rather than say what you know. All of them offer interst free flexible payments and the odd free course thrown in. What interest me is exactly what value a free course has. What did you get?
The record of four months to achieve what? 
Why do you assume that the best providers use this forum?
Sorry but I am a bit confused and would like a some clarity on your views and experience.

Helen    

  • Associate
  • Practice Licence
  • 164 posts
  • # 93034

One way would be to look in the ICB shop, get the book you want, teach yourself and anything you don't understand, ask on this forum.

  • 7 posts
  • # 93035

This is an option but I would still need to take extra courses to find work. I am living off redundancy money at the moment so cost is important, but then so is the time taken to get qualified as each week that passes I am losing out on a salary.

Helen

  • 103 posts
  • # 93037

Helen,

The links found at the top of a google search can be bought and/or manipulated to put any company in first spot. Being at the top of any search engine results is not necessarily a reflection of how good that company is at their particular business. Getting companies to the top of search engine listings is a business in itself.

Not all training providers offer interst free flexible payments.
I bought the career path (level 1,2 and 3 with 2 and 3 comp) from Ideal Schools at £1299. I also got Payroll, self assessment and Small Business finance bundled in, with a fully functional non time restricted version Sage instant and the option to upgrade should I wish to. I considered that a particularly good deal after the time I spent looking through other providers sites as well. Ideal Schools consistantly featured in peoples good reviews and I have read a multitude of helpful posts on these forums from Brian of Ideal Schools.

The record of four months was in answer to the fourth question in the original post. I believe the question was pertaining to the 3 levels mentioned in the title and question three.
Edit: I have since seen something that now makes me believe that the 4 month record was actually for the complete career path including Payroll, self assessment and Small Business finance. That makes the acheivement all the more outstanding.

 
Why do you assume that the best providers use this forum?
I answered this in original my reply.

I thought that I had covered everything well enough in my first reply, my apologies if I confused you. But when it comes down to it finding a training provider is a personal thing and other peoples opinions will differ with regard to what is important, so searching yourself would be highly recommended. What works for some may not work for others, our budgets may differ and the way we wish to pay, or you may not place as high an importance on the personality of your trainers and how they interact with you and others. As I said earlier, once I create a relationship with a trainer I would want to stay with them.

I spent a few weeks searching for information on ACCA, AAT, ICB and IAB. Once I had decided on ICB it took just a couple of days reading these forums and searching the Internet for me to rest at Ideal Schools door.
I have spoken to people at Kaplan, Training Link, Homelearning college, Openstudy college, ICB, AAT (and many more) in those few weeks, so yes, I think I have a broad understanding of the marketplace.

I hope that clarifies my perspective for you.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.



Edited at 22 Aug 2013 06:14 PM GMT

Edited at 22 Aug 2013 07:00 PM GMT

  • 7 posts
  • # 93045

Martyn

Firstly I found your twice pre edited reply rather aggressive and defensive. I don’t really like using forums, as often you find idiots leading the blind or people with nothing better going on in their lives, but whilst reading through this one I got interested and found a question in another thread  http://my.bookkeepers.org.uk/Forum.aspx?type=&cid=0&tid=86780&lp=0&page=1&sort= where I knew I could provide a qualified and educated answer. I thought maybe I had some knowledge and experience that would be welcome here---- seemingly not. In fact I have become a little put off the idea of getting involved with the ICB if this is the standard I am to expect from fellow students.

However, apologies for interpreting your reference to search engines incorrectly. I thought you were refering to the course providers listed on the ICB web site as surely this is based on merit of some kind.

I have lot more I could say but frankly I wont wast my time trying to reason with aggressive sales people.

 

Helen

  • 103 posts
  • # 93047

Helen,

If you re-read my posts and replies you will see that at no point was I aggressive, a little defensive perhaps but that is due to the fact that you are the only person who seems not to have understood my explanation of my own experiences and questioned me not once but several times in the two posts that you contributed to.
I believe that I have clarified my position and understanding of the subjects in the posts and believe the two matters now closed.

In future I will refrain from answering any of your questions until you are either a student or a member, if indeed that is your intention at all.

With regard to the assumption of my being an aggressive sale person, I am actually a postman and have never sold a training course or piece of software in my life.

I do not get involved in pointless forum flame wars and will not do so now, but I must remark on your comment and I quote " In fact I have become a little put off the idea of getting involved with the ICB if this is the standard I am to expect from fellow students." To suggest that every student is the same and to base that on the few posts you and I have shared here is to my mind very short sighted if not a little immature. Had you taken the time to browse these forums you would see that there are many different personalities contributing and helping out, all of whom I have seen to be polite, pleasant and professional.

Please do not base your future or decisions on your short online relationship with me. Take your time to meet people online here, at the ICB and from the training colleges. I have found them all to be very worthwhile knowing.

Again, I now regard these matters closed and wish you good luck with whatever you decide to do.

  • 7 posts
  • # 93051

Your posts prior to being edited were very aggresive. Would you like the screenshots?

Given there are at least 13 course providers listed on the ICB web site would I be correct in assuming that one of them has more than ten times the amount of students than the rest. I ask because they just happen to have what seems like ten times more users and followers on the forums. Massive when you take into account how many members and students the ICB have. This could be seen as incredibly impressive. Or is this a massive coincidence?

You wont need a calculator to work this out, just a bit of logic.
Helen   

  • 3 posts
  • # 93057

Helen and Martyn, please don't fall out on my thread :(


As the OP I was actually very happy with Martyn's answer, so thank you Martyn for taking the time to respond, and thank you to everyone else who has responded.


Life's too short...  

  • 103 posts
  • # 93058

Hi Scottishlass,

Please accept my sincere apologies for our hijacking of your thread. It really is unacceptable for other people to divert the subject away from the OP's original question. I for one will endeavour to not let it happen again and will try not to get dragged into the same type of situation again.

I am happy that I have at least pleased you with my reply, but a concern I have is that due to the unnecessary banter other people with valid input may have been put off from replying, for this I apologise again.

  • 3 posts
  • # 93059

Martynsaid:

“Hi Scottishlass,

Please accept my sincere apologies for our hijacking of your thread. It really is unacceptable for other people to divert the subject away from the OP's original question. I for one will endeavour to not let it happen again and will try not to get dragged into the same type of situation again.

I am happy that I have at least pleased you with my reply, but a concern I have is that due to the unnecessary banter other people with valid input may have been put off from replying, for this I apologise again.



No problem Martyn :)

  • Fellow
  • Practice Licence
  • 1073 posts
  • # 93061

As a moderator this thread is on very dangerous grounds once again involving training providers indirectly and advertising.  I will be highlighting this thread to ICB headquarters.  

For any student trying to research the best training provider, it has nothing to do with advertising or how much they are involved in the forum .  It is up to you to ring each provider and find the one that suits you.

Edited at 23 Aug 2013 09:48 PM GMT

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