Last month we had the announcement that the CII is withdrawing completely from offering any face to face revision workshops for individuals studying RO, JO or AF exams.
On Thursday 4th January, BTS found out that, for most financial services regulated exams, the CII have introduced an all-inclusive packaged approach. This means that you can no longer pay for an exam sitting without also having to fork out for the relevant CII study guide and RevisionMate package. These packages are coming in at just under £300 for most RO exams.
As many of you will know, BTS are a company that specialises in regulated exam support, and have done for the last 14 years. So, we are not a new organisation into this market but one with extensive experience of what these exams are all about and what you need to achieve a pass. The results we have achieved, tracked, and documented to date are outstanding.
What have the CII provided as rationale for these changes?
The CII now state:
‘Each qualification unit comes with the essential tools to support core learning. For a single fee, study packages typically include: study text, assessment entry and access to RevisionMate, our online study tool.’
However, some of the decisions that the CII are making seem at odds with equipping learners with the ‘essential tools’. For example, the CII have:
BTS students often tell us about the different standards of the technical information they studied initially using CII materials with what is in the exams themselves. They have also commented on how helpful it is to know why an answer they gave in a practice question is wrong, with detailed explanations, rather than simply that it is ‘wrong’.
Why are BTS so concerned?
Our first priority is, and has always been, achieving excellent pass-rates for our students through the use of high quality exam support materials. This new CII development will probably lead to lower pass-rates, additional resits and increased costs.
To date, everyone has benefitted from having the freedom to choose within a competitive market “the best” learning and development option for them. They have not been limited and restricted to the “essential tools” from the CII, as is now the case.
So, where do we go from here?
BTS will continue to provide our proven and comprehensive study guides together with our increasingly popular RO Study Buddy App support questions
Withdrawing from offering these is not an option, because we know from experience how valuable these are for students. Go onto our website, read all the feedback and decide for yourself.
These developments have the potential to affect the whole market.
Is restricting choice to “the essential tools” really preferable to the current options and choice of the best tools available for everyone to achieve the results they work for?
Is it just us…?
In such a regulated industry, surely the objective of the CII is to promote and deliver the highest possible standards and success rates?
Figures over many years show that, for many students, the option of being able to “shop around” freely for the best learning aids and packages for them has resulted in their individual success. The addition options only exist because there is a need for them, and because the CII’s essential tools don’t meet each student’s learning style. It makes no sense to deprive so many of this high-quality learning material.
If the CII truly support the goal of increasing the success rates and standards of those working so hard in our industry, they should consider these new changes very seriously.
Please could you, as our readers, customers and contacts, let us know your thoughts?
As an industry, we have a choice here. We can either roll over and accept this, or we can stand up, voice our concerns, and feedback our concerns to the CII en-masse.