Coronavirus: Guidance and Information

COVID-19 update

Last updated: 16th November 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: 16th November 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.

Most of our physical centres around the UK will not be opening for face to face delivery of classroom courses until 2021. Until this time, we will continue to deliver 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.

Is my local centre open 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

AAT are not currently offering remote invigilation for any modules.

We are keeping most of our assessment venues open for exams only in order that AAT students can still progress with their qualification. 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. Alternatively, you can contact your local centre here.

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

ACCA students

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

The December 2020 exam sitting will go ahead in physical locations, with certain exceptions. If your exam centre is now temporarily closed, you will be contacted by ACCA and offered the option of taking your exam remotely.

If you have already started preparing for the December exams and have been notified that your exam venue is no longer available, we recommend you accept the remote invigilation option and sit your exam as planned. The reason we recommend you sit a remote exam rather than defer to March 2021, is that March may well see similar issues and 2020 has already seen delays to the progression of motivated students. The student feedback we have seen on remote exams has been overwhelmingly positive and pass rates under these conditions are not significantly different to exams held in physical exam centres.

For guidance on remote invigilation including how to book and how to prepare for your exam, please visit the ACCA website.

CIMA students

CIMA 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 available to be sat remotely. You can find further information on requirements and how to book an exam on their website here.

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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