Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Fast-Track Way to Learn New Skills; Vocational Courses

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Fast-Track Way to Learn New Skills; Vocational Courses

Article excerpt

Byline: SARAH RICHARDSON

WHILE there can be obvious benefits to drawing on your workplace experience while studying for vocational qualifications, there are times when your course can stop you doing your job. For example, compiling coursework and completing a heavy study programme can hinder rather than enhance your professional performance.

The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) has responded to this conundrum by launching a streamlined assessment model for its accounting qualification called the Diploma Pathway. AAT qualifications development projects manager Martina Legg says: "Although the NVQ [National Vocational Qualification] in accounting can work well in some situations, it is not fit for purpose for many - particularly for those students who aren't lucky enough to be in employment that covers all of the areas required for the NVQs. There are also centres that find the bureaucracy of the system makes it very difficult to manage and deliver the NVQs."

Legg says that the Diploma Pathway leads to the same high quality, highly recognised qualification and gains the same recognition from employers and chartered accountancy bodies.

"But it delivers this outcome via a significantly more streamlined, attractive and accessible framework, particularly for those who are wishing to study, but are either not in financerelated roles or are not able to provide real work examples to support their learning," she adds.

"The key differences are significantly reduced assessment burden, reviewed content to make the overall structure more logical and the introduction of market-leading professional ethics unit."

London School of Accountancy & Management (SAM) is one place delivering the AAT Diploma Pathway. Course director Raj Kumar says: "The NVQ requires you to collect work-based evidence and present a portfolio as part of the qualification, which can be very time-consuming.

"As a college based in the Square Mile our clients include banks, building societies and other financial institutions that want staff training in the shortest time possible. …

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