With so many online learning companies out there, it can be hard to distinguish the good, the bad and the downright ugly. There are many scam training companies on the internet with no intention to teach anything (aside from how to part a learner from their money!) These ‘companies’ typically lure learners in with flashy offers and discounts while overpromising what their service can do. The victims quickly find that they won’t be able to complete their course, leaving them out of pocket and out of luck.
We strongly advise doing some basic research on online learning companies before you pay them any money. In this article, we explain the few key elements you should be on the lookout for to identify a legitimate provider.
Check the regulators
Legitimate courses will be regulated by a recognised regulatory body. The Office of Qualification and Examinations Regulation (OFQUAL) is the regulator for qualifications in the UK. They’re responsible for making sure that:
- Regulated qualifications reliably indicate the knowledge, skills and understanding of the learners
- Assessments and exams show the achievements of the learners
- Learners have confidence in the qualifications they regulate
- Students get sufficient information on the full range of qualifications they regulate
The first thing you should do is check if the course mentions being regulated. If it does, check with the regulators to find out if the course is legitimate. You can search courses with OFQUAL here.
Check the reviews
Reviews are a good immediate indicator of whether a service should be trusted or not. Any trustworthy business will have reviews from Reviews.io or Google displayed on their site. Alternatively, you can search online to find reviews. CTC Training currently has a score of 4.81/5 out of 183 reviews on Reviews.io. This is considered a very trustworthy score.
Check Companies House
Companies House is the UK’s registrar of companies. Here you’ll be able to find information and history about the company providing your online course.
The company should display a company registration number (CRN) on their website. This shows that they are listed with Companies House. Visit the listing on Companies House to check their information. If the information is sparse, there is a chance that the company is illegitimate and should be avoided.
Check how long they’ve been established
By using Companies House you’ll also be able to identify how long the company has been established. Companies that have only just been established are less trustworthy than companies that have been trading for years or decades and have a long history of reviews. Of course, not every new company is going to be a scam — everyone has to start somewhere — but you should be more cautious of any business that has only been established in the past year.
Check for blogs
Trusted businesses will typically have a blog page full of news, resources and information that demonstrates a wealth of knowledge in their field. A lack of blogs or any useful information written by the company should be considered a red flag.
CTC Training is committed to offering you the best service when it comes to your online qualifications. In addition to having a wealth of experience, blogs and great reviews, we also offer a range of extras to help you get the most from your course. For example:
- We allow you to fit your course around your schedule.
- You’ll be given access to our 24/7 student portal, where you can view course content and upload assessments any time of day, any day of the week.
- You’ll be assigned a named tutor who will offer help and advice throughout your course should you need it.
- Finally, we offer upfront or monthly payment options depending on what best suits you.