In the past year, there seems to have been a sudden proliferation in the number of organisations offering PA training and legal secretarial courses.
But where did they come from and more importantly, are they any good? One education professional is concerned that this explosion of choice will dilute the quality of secretarial training in much the same way that language schools tore their own market apart before heavy regulation was imposed on them.
Shilpa Wymer, Principal of four Pitman Training centres claims: “I wouldn’t be afraid of regulation as I worry that it’s has been just too easy for these newcomers to start up. Potential students risk parting with considerable sums of money for qualifications that have little value in the jobs market.”
So what can aspiring PAs and legal secretaries do to check the value of a training provider before committing to a course?
Mrs Wymer has drawn up a simple checklist.
1. Make sure the qualifications on offer are nationally recognised by employers. The Pitman name has been recognised across the country for more than 175 years.
2. Ensure the provider has more than one faculty in case you change your accommodation. This is quite common when you are a student and you want to be sure you can continue your studies easily. Pitman Training has over 100 centres.
3. Check with the provider that they can continue to support you if they get into financial difficulties.
4. Ask how frequently their training materials are updated. Your skills need to be up to date.
5. Don’t be drawn in by the advertising alone. Visit the training facility and ask to sample the training.
By taking these five “back-office” research steps, you will quickly protect yourself against making a poor choice in a market that could easily turn into a circus and avoid the clowns.
Published by Holborn Training.
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