BTS/PFS collaborative exam support success!
Six months ago, BTS teamed up with the Personal Finance Society, supported by the Insurance Institutes of Leicester and Nottingham, to offer accessible R0 workshops that were both affordable and convenient for candidates.
The programme focused on the subjects members historically find the most difficult; R01 Financial services, regulation and compliance, R02 Investment and risk, R03 Personal taxation and R04 Pensions and retirement planning.
In quarter 4 of 2020, the first programme of one-day workshops were offered. BTS realised quickly that a one-dayer was simply not enough for these subjects. So, how could we offer a two-day workshop, in a pandemic, to individuals who were probably working at the same time (unless on furlough, unemployed or between roles)? Janice at the Leicester institute had a flash of inspiration; how about running the first day on a Friday and the second on the following Monday to minimise time away from the working week? BTS and the PFS Institutes agreed to offer two-day workshops on this basis, from quarter one of 2021. These workshops are subsidised by the PFS and the Insurance Institutes of Leicester and Nottingham (through additional funding), and by BTS (offering lower daily rates than our commercial fees).
As with any new initiative, especially one funded through subsidies, there was some nervousness from a couple of perspectives:
- Could BTS/PFS fill these two-day workshops?
- Would the feedback and results justify the organisation, promotion and subsidising by both parties?
In terms of filling the two days with the minimum numbers to make them viable, we need not have worried. So far, in 2021 Q1 BTS and the two PFS Institutes have put on two R01, two R02 and two R04 workshops due to overwhelming demand (we are amazed it was not the same case with R03). We have had one non-starter – offering support for R05 Financial protection. It seems the consensus is that members can cope with R05 on their own (let’s hope they are using any combination of the BTS study guide, e-Learning and App R0 study buddy).
Results and feedback from the workshops have been outstanding. So far, we have recorded 8/8 passes for R01 and 9/9 for R04.
Feedback on BTS facilitators and the workshops has been outstanding too, including comments such as:
The response has been so good, we have even had requests to extend the two days to three (now that’s keen for you!)
Why is this collaboration so important?
- Firstly, many R0 candidates have no access to in-house training support, which can be really tough for some candidates (others are fine). With some of the R0 subjects, you need a qualified facilitator to explain key concepts to you, to ask questions of, and to focus your mind on the exam standard itself.
- Such support can be outside the financial reach of some candidates. Self-funding through the six R0 papers can be a big ask, especially if you are unlucky enough to not quite meet the examining body standard first time round and have to pay for a resit. The fact that these days are subsidised by both the PFS and BTS makes them way more accessible for candidates.
- Finding a company with the skills, knowledge and R0 experience that BTS have is a bit of a lottery if you need to do it yourself. Many firms can call themselves ‘experts’ – that’s so easy to do. The PFS Institutes have sourced a firm that deserve this term – BTS have years of R0 exam experience supporting tens of thousands of candidates through these exams. We really are the experts in this field.
- Many candidates still have no idea that they have choice and options in terms of the R0 support materials they use. They assume that the examining body materials are their ‘default’ choice. These workshops show them that this is not, nor should it be, the case. BTS have always championed consumer choice and have never been afraid of being judged on our materials, expertise, experience and results.
So, what's in store going forward?
BTS and the PFS Insurance Institutes of Leicester and Nottingham have agreed to fund and facilitate a quarterly programme of workshop support for these four R0 subjects. We will be offering one two-day workshop in each quarter on R01/2/3 and 4. Follow this link if you want to see which dates are available:
Spread the word and get booked on a workshop if you are sitting any of these exams this year; they will sell out pretty quickly, especially as we get closer to each set of dates.
The next workshop on offer is an R01 on 23rd and 26th April.
Get the word out to your connections and network. These days are an absolute steal in terms of costs and are amazing quality, as you can see from results and feedback. They really will make a difference to your R0 exam sittings.
Contact us for more details. We are always delighted to talk to candidates to see how we can help – get in touch.