My first experience with BPP online classroom live

Photo of an online learning setup
By Philip McNeill, Head of Taxation (Tax Practice and Owner Managed Business Taxes)

17 October 2018

Online training has become an online classroom. Philip McNeill reflects on a recent experience with BPP as an intro for people who may be new to the technology.

Digital nowhere

My introduction to digital training began in the Highlands. It arrived in a mass of scart plugs, unreliable satellite broadband and fuzzy audio signals. Face to face was still the preferred option, particularly if it could be combined with a London business trip and a few hours on Oxford Street.

But with the arrival of Online Classroom, digital training has come of age.

Online classroom - corporation tax update

For my first experience with BPP I tuned in to a corporation tax update.

Visually, the online classroom has a number of panels: a webcam of the presenter – so you know there really is someone at the other end; a chat box, with the option of private messages; and a PowerPoint-like slide presentation, but with the difference that the presenter can liberally scribble on it with a red pen thus enabling highlighting, and adlib responses to questions.

Overcoming a few login issues (and deleting whole batches of cookies in the process) the overall feel was connected: it felt like being part of the session rather than just a casual observer.

Covering the cracks

If franked investment income means anything to you, then you probably started your CA training in a similar era. That gives a while to acquire all sorts of bits and pieces of knowledge.

Life in practice can mean that one’s initial coherent training is supplemented by subsequent knowledge acquired in piecemeal and for specific purpose.

The Corporation tax course was somewhat like reviewing a jigsaw from a height when you have been used to dealing with individual pieces – ‘ah, so that’s where this one fits in!’

There were some old favourites like the Law Shipping case on capital allowances, alongside Senior Accounting Officer penalties.


Given the choice of the London round trip, or an evening at home in the online classroom, my vote is now for OCR.

ICAS offers an extensive selection of 100% live and interactive online courses, allowing you to engage with your presenter, other delegates and a wealth of online content. Take advantage of the Trial Before you Buy offer, where members can join the first session of a range of upcoming OCR Live courses for just £10+VAT.

View the list of upcoming Online Classroom Live Programmes:

  • Corporation Tax Refresher & Update course
  • Financial Modelling - Essential Introduction course
  • Artificial Intelligence course
  • GDPR - a comprehensive introduction course
  • IFRS Introduction course
  • FRS 102 - Practical Challenges & Emerging Issues course
  • Enhance Your Finance Business Partner Skills course
  • Financial Awareness for Non-finance Managers - Essentials course
  • IFRS Changes - what you need to know
  • Management Accounting - Adding Value Beyond the Numbers course
  • IFRS 15 - Revenue from Contracts with Customers course
  • IFRS 16 - the new leases standard course

And this is just the beginning, as the next generation of online learning platforms are already being developed by BPP and will be brought to you soon!

Advance your skills now for £10+VAT

Try it now


  • Online learning
  • Technology

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