5 Questions to Ask When Choosing an AAT Provider
So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and develop your accountancy career. You might have even chosen to study the subject completely from scratch. Either way, you’ve summoned up your courage and you’ve taken control over your career. Congratulations!
The next step is probably one of the most important when it comes to equipping you with the right skills and knowledge for your future career – you need to choose the right AAT qualification provider. And that means asking the right questions.
Don’t worry though – we’ve come up with 5 key questions to ask when choosing an AAT provider to help you decide which one to pick.
1. “Is the course delivered online or in a classroom – or a mix of both?”
Asking this question is crucial for helping you to get the most out of your study.
Some students sign up for a course expecting it to be delivered online and then find out to their horror that it’s going to be delivered in a classroom. For some people, it’s the other way around – they sign up for a course they think they can study in a classroom and find out it’s actually taught online.
In both cases, where you aren’t learning in the format that you originally wanted, your productivity can suffer and you might not learn as much as you expected. Choosing the right format for you is essential when it comes to studying an AAT qualification.
At ICS Learn, our AAT qualifications are delivered completely online, so there’s no need for you to attend a college or school every week. In fact, the only time you’ll need to set foot in a classroom is when you take your exams.
2. “ How much does it cost?”
AAT qualifications don’t have a set price. How much you pay to study the qualification will vary depending on the learning provider that you choose. This means that you’ll need to compare prices from different learning providers to find the best deal.
AAT recommend prices for all of their courses. If you spot learning providers charging well above these, without any good reason, steer clear. That said, you’ll usually find most of the main learning providers charging similar prices.
One of the main factors influencing the cost of your course will be the study format. Thanks to venue and teacher costs, classroom AAT courses will generally be more expensive than online options.
3. “What modules will I study?”
Most AAT qualifications have a mixture of compulsory and optional units. Some learning providers will give you a choice of which optional units you’ll study, whereas some providers will decide what optional units they offer.
If you want to study an AAT qualification specifically for one of the optional units, it’s a good idea to check in with your chosen learning provider to make sure that they offer you the chance to study it. Just because it’s listed on the AAT website, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be able to study that optional unit with every provider.
4. “Which lecturers or tutors will I have?”
Imagine you signed up to a class to learn how to knit and you discover, to your horror, that the person who’s teaching the class doesn’t know their knit from their purl and has never picked up a pair of knitting needles in their life.
Chances are you wouldn’t have much faith in the teaching that you’re being given. You might even find the teaching really confusing and not relevant to your own experience.
Unfortunately, this type of situation – where you’re being taught a qualification by people who don’t know much about the subject – can happen, although it is rare. To safeguard against it, it’s best to do some research into the lecturers or tutors on your course.
If someone with little to no relevant experience of accountancy or bookkeeping is delivering the course, that should instantly set alarm bells ringing about whether you want to choose that company to study with.
Find out the credentials of the lecturer or tutor and see if their experience marries up with the content that you’ll be covering in the course. If it does, you’re good to go!
5. “Why should I choose you?”
This is a really important question to ask when you’re trying to decide which AAT course provider to choose.
When you’re examining a learning provider’s website, marketing materials and testimonials, it’s useful to ask yourself why exactly should you choose to spend your money with a particular company?
An AAT qualification is a long-term investment that costs time and money, so you should be completely certain that your chosen provider can actually provide the things that they say they can.
You should also think about whether they’re the right choice for you. Some particular points to consider include:
- Ethos: Does the company share you attitude towards learning?
- Price: Is the course offered by the AAT provider affordable?
- Flexibility: Does the course provider offer enough flexibility in study options? (More about this below!)
- Subjects: Does the course provider offer a range of optional units that match with your professional interests?
And a bonus question...
“How flexible is your course?”
One of the main things that puts people off from studying an AAT qualification to advance their career is the fact that life is busy. We work long hours. We have families to care for. We also have social commitments too. Sometimes, our schedules can be brutally inflexible, which makes studying a qualification where you have to attend a physical classroom once a week really difficult.
Luckily, a lot of providers have realised that and have made their courses much more flexible.
Online AAT qualifications, where you can study a complete qualification whenever you want, providing that you have an internet connection, allow you to take control of how you study a qualification.
If you’re put off from studying because of the thought of having to attend a class at a set time every week, consider signing up for an online version of the qualification instead. Make sure to find out if your provider offers online learning!
We hope that you’ve found this advice helpful and that you now feel confident in how to find the best AAT learning provider for your needs.
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