Inside BPP: how we work with ICAS
Martin Taylor, CEO of BPP Professional Qualifications, explains how ICAS and BPP work in partnership to deliver the CA qualification.
At 9am, every morning in every BPP centre across the UK, the curtain goes up and the “performance” begins. For almost 40 years now, BPP has delivered accountancy exam training and has done so by trying to make the difficult become easy, the complicated become simple and the technical become entertaining.
Every day of the week, Monday through to Sunday our faculty can be found training young aspiring professionals and helping them to reach their ambitions. Our challenge is to create an inspiring and engaging learning experience for all our students.
BPP and ICAS working in partnership
Around 15 years ago, BPP and ICAS entered into a joint venture to deliver CA training throughout the UK. Over this time our relationship has evolved considerably. Our faculty, marking teams and programme teams work very closely with those at ICAS to ensure a consistent education experience is delivered across all classes, no matter what their location, or whether they are taught by an ICAS or BPP tutor.
My role at BPP
As CEO of BPP Professional Qualifications, my job is to ensure that we deliver a great experience for every student, for our clients, and for ICAS. At the heart of everything, we all want the students to succeed.
I think this is something that can be lost at times. I know it may sound obvious, but from BPP’s perspective, we really do want all of the students who study with us to pass their exams. Your success reflects well on all of us. We know that by doing course work, attempting mock exams, taking on feedback and speaking to tutors everyone can pass.
At BPP we don’t just work with ICAS. We deliver teaching for all the main accounting and tax qualifications, financial service qualifications, professional development short courses and actuarial exams.
What sets ICAS students apart?
Out of the 50,000 students studying across the BPP Group every year, what makes an ICAS student different? For starters, the technical rigour of your qualification is second to none.
From TC to TPS, the modules you take stretch you across a breadth of knowledge that may challenge you when studying, but will stand you in great stead when you qualify.
At TPE you have an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your overall skill set, both professional and technical, using a real life approach with open books and laptops. I spend a large amount of my time with clients both in the UK and abroad, and awareness of the CA qualification is exceptionally strong everywhere.
My top tips for CA students
Firstly, there can a perception from students that coming to classes might be a way of taking their foot off the pedal for a bit, having had a busy run at work – all I can say on this one is that this is a dangerous path to take.
Studying for professional exams means just that - studying professionally. Studying for the CA is not like anything you will have done before so there needs to be strong commitment from the start.
Secondly, ask questions! There is a huge amount of information that is delivered at quite a pace over some long days. If you don’t ask questions on a regular basis and confirm your understanding of what is being taught, there is a risk you may fall behind.
Thirdly, do every practice question and mock that comes your way. They are there to help you see what you need to work on. Many CA trainees think they are there to measure you, as a test.
The only real test is the actual exam. Everything else we do is to try to get you to practice so we can see what you need to work on and help you improve. The more you practice the better you perform in the exam!
I have been with BPP for over 16 years, we have helped hundreds of thousands of aspiring professionals become the leaders of our businesses today. We want every ICAS CA student that studies with us to be part of that success story.