Registering With AAT/Distance Learning/Need Provider??

Darron24 Registered Posts: 40 ? ? ?

Please Help!

I have been reading these forums for a few weeks now and have already had good advice, as such i bought the Osborne Books for Unit 30 (at a cost of £40) and have proceeded to begin self teaching.

I have encountered a potentially huge problem though. I was about to register with the AAT to sit my exams in June but the AAT are saying i need to be registered to a Training Centre first and that i cannot do self study as due to the nature of the course i need to do skills tests. I thought these were not applicable for unit 30 and i was reading Sebastian and Neil recommending buying the books yourself and just purchasing the units which require a skills test. I do not want to spend hundreds of pounds (i havent got it for a start) when i believe for unit 30 at least i could do it myself especially as i have got the books already.
FYI i am in Dorset.
Please could someone advise and hopefully confirm that the AAT lady was incorrect? If she wasn't then why did Sebastian recommend doing it this way?

Thanks in advance


  • sebastianforbes
    sebastianforbes Registered Posts: 172 ? ? ?
    hi there darron,

    i'm not so up-to-date with the aat anymore. i completed my studies back in june 2008. i completed the 2nd and 3rd years in the manner you suggested.

    it is possible that things have changed, but i would recommend that you register online, and enter for your exam as you expected. you don't have much to lose... membership is normally your own responsibility anyway.

    it is not an aat encouraged method, but it is still the cheapest.

    if you're still refused by aat, then i can only apologise but if you're committed to gaining the aat qualification, then at least the membership fee won't be wasted, and you won't have paid for the exam anyway.

    if i can be of any further help, please get in touch.
  • mini_schnauzer
    mini_schnauzer Registered Posts: 347

    I am currently mid way through Level 4 Diploma and for the simulations I use Kaplan distance learning but for the units that require an exam to be sat I just purchase the books from Amazon, as I am paying for it myself. For the Training Centre I told AAT when I registered that I am with Kaplan distance learning and chose the most local Kaplan centre to me (in my case Manchester). This is were I sit the exams.

    My first unit was Unit 15 (Level 3) as I was exempt from the first level. As this was a simulation I gave Kaplan's name and no problems to date.
  • Rinske
    Rinske Registered Posts: 2,453
    As for which centre for distance learning, it doesn't matter, but for those that need a skillstest you need a centre. I guess if you sign up with a distance learning centre and buy a skillstest unit from them, you can use that to sign up for the AAT.

    For the exams you can then find out if there is a centre nearby that takes external students, and sign up to the nearest available. Not sure where in Dorset you live, but Eastleigh, Salisbury and BBP Southampton for example take external students for the exams and there were a few others, which I forgot.
  • Darron24
    Darron24 Registered Posts: 40 ? ? ?
    Thankyou very much for your replies. Rinske i will ring Salisbury college tomorrow and ask if they would accept me for the exam. The nearest one to me would be poole college so i'll try there too. If so i will put them down as my registered centre.
    I appreciate that for the skill tests i will need a training provider but as unit 30 is the only one in cert level i wanted to save myself £500.

  • Rinske
    Rinske Registered Posts: 2,453
    Are you planning on the whole qualification? It just seems odd that you can't register for one unit and an exam in one unit. Although I think they expect you to do the whole qualification.

    Poole and Bournemouth didn't take external students when I checked, but not sure if that was one exam or more often.
  • Darron24
    Darron24 Registered Posts: 40 ? ? ?
    i am planning on doing the whole qualification and i may well go with premier or eagle or someone for the level 3 and 4 stuff but for this it just seems unfair that it looks like i may be forced to spend around £500. i'd much rather teach myself.
    i thought what would happen is that i would sign up with the aat then they would send me a list of centres where i could sit my exams but it seems its back to front which doesnt favour the self study option at all!
  • Rinske
    Rinske Registered Posts: 2,453
    Ye it seems a bit odd. But if you do the whole qualification, would it be possible to decide what study centre to go with eagle/ premier) and check with them if you can list them as your centre yet, even if you don't want to buy the units yet?

    I know it's not logical, but it might be a way around spending the money.
  • Darron24
    Darron24 Registered Posts: 40 ? ? ?
    I have just spoken to the AAT again, i told them i was undecided as to who i want to study with so could i put anyone down as the learning provider and she said yes for the time being just to successfully apply i could do and then change it online if the one i did put down wasnt who i went with in the end.
    she also confirmed that i would recieve an exam booking form and i could sit my exams anywhere (i'm not limited to just who i am 'studying with') so long as i have my AAT membership number.
    I will put down bpp for example when i join AAT and then when the unit 30 exam form comes through i'll choose to sit it wherever i want.
    i guess this means i am in the clear?
  • Rinske
    Rinske Registered Posts: 2,453
    Sounds like it indeed. Glad it got sorted and that actually does make sense.

    One point, when you sign up for the exams online, you can pick the nearest venue as well. And it lists all the ones that take external students, so you can compare easily. I'm not sure if they got limited entries, so it might pay to book early.
  • Darron24
    Darron24 Registered Posts: 40 ? ? ?
    Rinske thanks for your help. However, having checked again i am not 100 % sure if i am in the clear and i don't want to be banned or anything like that so i have given a few providers a call and i am leaning towards studying with premier training. the price is competitive £373 for cert stage plus sage) plus you can pay in installments which is a BIG bonus for me.

    if i do that i'll have osborne unit 30 books for sale lol unless anyone recommends keeping them if the premier material is not great?

    with the exams do you get a reminder as to when you have to sign up by? I'd hate to not know and then fail to register in time!
  • taskey
    taskey Registered Posts: 1,800
    you should receive an email saying exam entry is open
  • Rinske
    Rinske Registered Posts: 2,453
    I thought you could buy the course/ unit from Premier training without the books! It might pay to check with them :) Premier training uses the Osbourne books as well, so maybe you can get it deducted or something alike?
  • Darron24
    Darron24 Registered Posts: 40 ? ? ?
    thanks Rinske i will ask them tomorrow if you can
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