Home For everyone Chat and off-topic discussion
Current updates regarding coronavirus (Covid-19) and the precautions AAT are taking will be continually updated on the below page.

Please check this link for the latest updates:
We hope you are all safe and well and if you need us we will be here. 💚


Home study - which provider??

MeltMelt Settling In NicelyRegistered Posts: 23
Hi all,

I'm planning to start the AAT Foundation this year but want to do it from home so that I can carry on working and hopefully get some relevant experience (going for a complete change of career at the age of 26).
I've spoken to a guy at the Home Learning College who told me all about the package they offer and it sounded pretty good but I don't know what else is out there really - was hoping someone who had done more research than me could help me out!

The total price for the Home Learning College was about £1365, but that includes the Sage software, all materials, AAT membership, exams etc. And you can pay monthly which works out at around £110 a month which wouldn't be too bad.
Does anyone know how this sounds compared to other course providers?

Much appreciated...

Comments

  • JanJan Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 654
    There are various providers who specialise in accountancy courses - Premier, Kaplan, BPP to name but a few. I think Home Learning College don't specialise, they do all sorts. I often see their leaflets - along the lines of change career and earn £25-£30 per hour as a bookkeeper using Sage.

    You need to look at how much tutor support they give you and what happens if you don't pass an exam, do you have to pay again to enter? Not a problem at Foundation maybe, but if you are going onto Technician they are more exams and more chances of failing (sorry I'm meant to say not been succesful!)
    Google Distance Learning Providers Accounancy Courses and you will be able to compare what is on offer.
  • aatfreeaatfree Feels At Home Registered Posts: 86
    That is extremely expensive for distance learning. I'm studying with Kaplan taught - so I go to the lessons (day, evenings or weekends). That was £1500 for the technician stage and they are more expensive than the local college. You do have to pay for your exams and aat membership seperately. The distance learning was about £700 including email contact with a tutor.
    http://www.kaplanfinancial.co.uk/
    There is also BPP but I haven't used them
    http://www.bpp.com/
  • Emma1708Emma1708 Well-Known Registered Posts: 217
    I have used Premier Training and they have been very good
  • MeltMelt Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 23
    Thanks for your help guys, I've been speaking to Kaplan and they certainly seem a lot cheaper - about £412 with exams and AAT membership on top which works out about £800 cheaper than the Home Learning College! Only problem is that the nearest Kaplan centre to me is 200 miles away but I think it will still make more sense to go with them.
    Thanks again :001_smile:
  • aatfreeaatfree Feels At Home Registered Posts: 86
    Its only really a problem if you want to take their revision classes - which are basically just a refresher and the test papers and they go through anything you don't understand. You can take your exams in any college. I remember going to one of the branch events and someone told me they took their exams in the kaplan centre despite not being a student. I believe you get an option to search when you pay for your exams online but you should check this out with aat direct.
  • leanne2183leanne2183 Just Joined Registered Posts: 2
    im taking aat with home learning college and i only paid £806 paid at 31.50 a month
  • CelticStarCelticStar Well-Known MAAT Posts: 142
    I have to say that I wouldn't recommend Premier. They were great up until about a year ago, but my experience with them in the last year has been a chapter of 'lost' papers, unanswered emails & queries, slow marking and general chaos. I think that they are understaffed as I am not a particularly demanding student, I mostly teach myself from my books and past papers. I dread to think what type of service anyone who really needs a lot of help and support has been getting.

    Also, please be aware that if you are studying via distance learning you will need to find an exam centre that will let you sit your exams as an 'external' entrant. This is ok in some areas of the county but in other areas - like mine - they are very thin on the ground and you could find yourself with a long journey to and from the exam centre.

    HTH.
    CelticStar :001_smile:
  • X5wranglerX5wrangler Well-Known Registered Posts: 170
    I have to say with some regret that I totally agree with CelticStar. Premier have gone so downhill it is quite scary. I had a note stuck in with my last skills test saying that because of their rigourous quality testing don't contact them for about 4 weeks to enquire about your skills test. That is just too long, what if extra questions are needed, it will take forever. I passed my CM&CC skills test in December and I'm still waiting for the paperwork to be completed on it. I've now taking to threatening them with my employer to make them shift. :thumbdown:
  • JillMJillM Just Joined Registered Posts: 2
    Hi Melt

    I have found the replies to your question interesting, as I am also studying aat at my local college whilst working fulltime. I have considered studying this way, but from the replies you have had I think I will stay at my local college.

    All the very best and good luck.
  • MeltMelt Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 23
    Thanks for all your replies everyone, I'm very glad I decided not to go with Premier - or Home Learning College for that matter as it sounds like they were trying to rip me off!

    I sent off for the course from Kaplan yesterday - so wish me luck and don't tell me any horror stories about them cos it's too late now! I'll have to have a look and see if there are any colleges that accept external entrants near me, otherwise I'm going to be seeing quite a lot of the M5!

    Thanks again :thumbup:
  • CelticStarCelticStar Well-Known MAAT Posts: 142
    Good luck Melt. Hope everything goes well for you! :thumbup:
  • JanJan Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 654
    Good luck Melt.

    Can anybody tell me how I find colleges that except external entrants? I'm thinking of doing Payroll, but it will have to be via D/L as I haven't found a college near that does the course.
  • aatfreeaatfree Feels At Home Registered Posts: 86
    Have you tried Student Services 0845 863 0801 ? They might have a list of colleges.
  • CelticStarCelticStar Well-Known MAAT Posts: 142
    Jan

    If you PM me your email address I will send you the list of AAT centres that will accept external students.

    HTH
    CelticStar :001_smile:
  • YaziYazi Well-Known Registered Posts: 225
    Hi

    The college I took my exams with were not listed on the AAT list.

    I just phoned the colleges nearby to see if they accept external candidates.
    If they have their own students sitting the exams you are doing, they often allow external candidates. Its worth asking.
    I had a 45-50 mile journey (One way) for my first few exams and this was stressful with the rush hour too.
    The college nearer which allowed me to sit, was only 10 miles away, so that helped with the stress on the day.

    Yas
  • cherub76cherub76 Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 22
    Oh blmiey, just read all the bad reports on Premier, thats who I'm studying with, I had a chap round from Home Learning Direct, but he was just strange, and very pushy, eventually he told me he used to be a double glazing salesman! He was out the door quick.

    So far so good with Premier though, but just about the send my first assignment off...............so fingers crossed!!!!
  • RichardRichard Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 373
    I've been with Premier for nearly 18 months, and have not experienced any problems with them at all.

    My tutor always responds to emails within 24 hours and assignments are marked and returned to me with 7 days.

    Skills Tests usually take about 4-6 weeks to be marked, but they do send a letter explaining this when you book your test.
  • cherub76cherub76 Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 22
    Thanks for the reassurance Richard, its a bit daunting enough!!!
  • LisaLisa Just Joined Registered Posts: 2
    Hello all,

    Gosh I wish I'dve read this earlier. I had the guy round from the Home Learning College and ended up signing up with them for £1300 for the AAT Certificate with Sage and AAT Student Membership/exams. :crying:.

    The course material seems pretty good so far (but then I guess it should be) but I've had problems with responses and its taken them an age to send me a valid payment reference to enrol with the AAT.

    Think I should maybe look into a further provider for the Tech :confused1:.

    Glad I found the student forums at last tho.
  • MeltMelt Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 23
    I'd definitely recommend shopping around a bit for your next level, the man I met from Home Learning was so pushy and 'salesy' that he really put me off them anyway, otherwise I probably would have signed up with them without looking into it too much because it did sound like a good deal at the time. I'm with Kaplan now and they've been fine so far, haven't had any contact with my tutor yet though, I though she would at least call to introduce herself?? I've just sent off my first progress test so we shall see how quickly she comes back to me on it...
  • CelticStarCelticStar Well-Known MAAT Posts: 142
    Richard wrote: »
    I've been with Premier for nearly 18 months, and have not experienced any problems with them at all.

    My tutor always responds to emails within 24 hours and assignments are marked and returned to me with 7 days.

    Skills Tests usually take about 4-6 weeks to be marked, but they do send a letter explaining this when you book your test.

    Glad to hear you are having a good experience with Premier, Richard. To be fair, they have been a lot better in the last 3-4 months, so perhaps they have got their act together again - although it seems that you have had a good experience throughout. :001_smile:

    I am still annoyed with them about last year though as they really held me back with my studies. I'm hoping they've learned from their mistakes.
  • purplegirlpurplegirl Feels At Home Registered Posts: 47
    I am with Home Learning College, but only as a top-up after doing AAT. I wouldn't use them to learn AAT as that's not what they do.
  • LisaLisa Just Joined Registered Posts: 2
    purplegirl wrote: »
    I am with Home Learning College, but only as a top-up after doing AAT. I wouldn't use them to learn AAT as that's not what they do.

    I'm definately looking for a different training provider for my next level, thanks purplegirl.

    I've worked in admin and accounts for almost 20 years now and having no formal qualifications (since 'O' level anyway :blushing:) and a director who is less than interested in employee developement or cpd I felt it time to invest in myself, yet the HLC recommended I started at Certificate level. I have really enjoyed the course but having completed all the assignments in block 30 (and not yet had the first back from marking so have been advised not to submit any more as yet .) I feel I should have been assessed beforehand.:thumbdown:
  • jp27jp27 New Member Registered Posts: 9
    i am doing my training through Premier, and although I haven't actually used them much, my tutor has always either answered my emails, or spoken to me on the phone ver quickly. However, i hadn't had any contact with her in a while, and thought that maybe she'd drop me a little line to see how i was getting on. I'd missed about 3 deadlines for assignments, but i didn't hear anything. i'm going for the exam in June, so don't have a great deal of time now, but i do think (fingers crossed!) that i will do OK. I've started looking around for the next level, and through Kaplan it was £1450??! but only £439 with premier as i did the Certificate level throguh them.
    So, outcome being, costs have to play a part in it for me. and whilst i would have liked a bit more encouragement from my tutor, the fact that I've paid all this money myself is encouragement enough to get myself through it. i would have liked to do the Kaplan as i could have gone to actual classes, rather than doing it from home, but there is no way i can pay that sort of money.
Sign In or Register to comment.