Coronavirus: Guidance and Information

COVID-19 update

Last updated: 3rd September 2020

Following the government announcements on 16th March, First Intuition has taken the extremely difficult decision to move to a virtual classroom delivery model for those who were due to attend in-centre courses.

We have made this decision in light of many conversations with our employers and taking into account our duty of care to our own staff.

We are extremely fortunate to have a strong online learning platform at FI. We are able to provide an excellent experience for online and online live classrooms (PQ Online College of the Year 2020) to enable us to continue to deliver excellent education to all of our learners.

Coronavirus: Guidance and Information

COVID-19 update

Last updated: 3rd September 2020

Following the government announcements on 16th March, First Intuition has taken the extremely difficult decision to move to a virtual classroom delivery model for those who were due to attend in-centre courses.

We have made this decision in light of many conversations with our employers and taking into account our duty of care to our own staff.

We are extremely fortunate to have a strong online learning platform at FI. We are able to provide an excellent experience for online and online live classrooms (PQ Online College of the Year 2020) to enable us to continue to deliver excellent education to all of our learners.

We have pulled together a list of answers to questions we are being asked. We hope you find them helpful, but if you are still unclear then please do call or email your local centre and we will chat this through with you.

We are also running live webinars and Q&A sessions for employers and students over the coming weeks – you can register for these events here.

FAQs

When will First Intuition centres re-open for classroom courses?

We consider ourselves to be in a very fortunate position – we have been delivering all of our courses remotely since the nationwide lockdown was implemented.

We expect social distancing restrictions to be in place for some time, and therefore want to provide our students and employers with as much clarity as possible to support ongoing plans for learning.

Our physical centres around the UK will not be opening for face to face delivery of classroom courses until October at the very earliest. Until this time, we will continue to deliver all of our scheduled classroom courses, skills modules, progress reviews and introduction days remotely, utilising online technology as we have been doing since March.

You can find course dates and information for your local centre on your local centre page.

Will my local centre be re-opening for exams?

FI centres have carefully considered when to reopen based on government advice, student and employer feedback and local conditions. Some FI centres are now open for exams only. You can find a list of these exam centres here.

The good news is that most of the professional accountancy bodies are progressing with remote proctoring for on-demand exams.

I am booked onto an Online course, what do I do?

There is no change for you, all materials will be dispatched directly to your chosen address and all classes will be delivered per your schedule. We have added more courses to our Online schedules to increase capacity and choice.

Where your Online course was planned for an exam sitting which has now been cancelled or postponed, we will extend access to the next exam sitting and provide additional resources to keep you updated on any changes in the syllabus from September.

I’m an apprentice and have a face-to-face review meeting booked with my FI Skills Coach. Should it still go ahead?

Progress reviews will continue to be held with skills coaches, apprentices and line managers. Your skills coach will be in touch regarding remote meeting arrangements.

During this uncertain period, our skills coaches will work with apprentices as flexibly as possible to help you identify how the current situation and new ways of working can be applied to the skills and behaviours within the standard.

Our skills coaches are there to support you – you do not have to wait until your next scheduled review to speak to us and we’d encourage all apprentices to reach out to their skills coach for support during this period.

I’m an apprentice and have an in-centre Skills module booked in the next few weeks, will it still go ahead?

We have redesigned our skills modules so that you are still able to learn the key concepts and then be able to put these into practice in the workplace, even if that working is being done from home. Your FI skills coach will be in touch with you directly about these changes.

I’m a new apprentice and due to start my programme in the next few weeks. What should I do?

All of our upcoming programmes for new apprentices will be going ahead as planned. Your local FI centre will be in touch regarding arrangements for your introduction to the programme.

What is the status of my qualification and the availability of exams?

AAT students

The latest AAT announcement confirmed that remote invigilation will not be offered for any modules.

We are contacting students and employers to understand their preferences and will base our decision to re-open local centres to support AAT assessments on your feedback. If you are an AAT student with assessments outstanding, or an employer supporting AAT students, your local FI centre will be in touch with you directly.

More information will be released over the coming weeks – you can find the latest information on the AAT website here.

ACCA students

Please see our blog about ACCA June 2020 exam cancellation for more detailed study guidance and advice on managing the disruption to your studies.

ACCA confirmed that Applied Knowledge and Foundation Level exams are now available for remote invigilation. You can find the latest updates on the ACCA website here.

I intended to sit ACCA exams in June, what do I do?

The ACCA announced on Thursday 26 March that the June exam session is being cancelled in the UK.

Our strong recommendation is that any ACCA students originally planning to sit exams in June should now sit in September. We have contacted all students already booked onto a course with us, but if you would like any further advice on your options and next steps, please contact your local FI centre.

The ACCA website includes some FAQs for students on exam registrations here.

CIMA students

CIMA has introduced remote exam sittings from May 2020 – find more information here.

Therefore we strongly encourage students to continue with studies as planned where personal circumstances allow for this.

ICAEW students

ICAEW Certificate Level exams are now available to be sat remotely. You can find further information on requirements and how to book an exam on their website here.

I intended to sit ICAEW Professional Level exams in June, what do I do?

Our strong recommendation is that you complete your original tuition course (many of you will have already completed your tuition course for the June exam sitting) and sit your exams at the September sitting.

All affected students originally sitting exams in June will now have been contacted by their local centre with details of revised revision course dates and our support programme.

If you were not originally booked onto a June tuition course and would like to sit ICAEW exams in September, please contact your local centre for details of suitable courses.

I intended to sit ICAEW Advanced Level exams in July, what do I do?

ICAEW confirmed on Friday 20 March that the July Advanced Level exams will be postponed until 24-26 August.

All affected students originally sitting exams in June will now have been contacted by their local centre with details of revised revision course dates and our support programme.

If you were not originally booked onto a June tuition course and would like to sit ICAEW exams in August, please contact your local centre for details of suitable courses.

How will pass guarantee work now that I cannot sit my exams as originally planned?

We will extend the terms and conditions of our pass guarantee scheme for ACCA courses to account for the recent exam sitting cancellations and unavailability of computer-based exams, by relaxing the rule requiring full attendance at the tuition and revision course for the same sitting.

We understand that the current circumstances may also impact your ability to attend Online Live and Virtual Classroom courses in real-time and submit course exams to the deadlines set. If this applies to you, please contact your local FI centre, as we’ll be reviewing pass guarantee eligibility where these requirements are not met on a case by case basis.

We will continue to update this information as we make further decisions or new information comes to light. We’d like to thank all of our students and employers for your patience and ongoing support.

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