How much will it cost?

Check the total cost before registering.  Does the price include the cost of books or equipment; exam fees; travel and accommodation to any face-to-face training; extending the course beyond specified time limits; or re-taking exams if you fail first time round?

Is financial support available?

The National Careers Service (0800 100 900) will know if there’s a current government scheme to help pay for learning. 

Grants and loans can be spent with lots of different organisations. Providers don’t have to have been independently assessed to accept a grant or loan.   The fact that a provider can access government funds does not imply it has been independently approved or recognised. 

When can you get your money back?

You may change jobs, become pregnant, fall ill, or lose interest.  You may decide the course is not right for you.  You may fail your exams.  Can you get a refund?

Policies on refunds vary considerably.  Accredited organisations do not have to conform to a standard policy, but they must make their policy on refunds clear in their promotional material.

There should be a trial period at the start.   But check when this starts, and how long it lasts.   Refunds may be available later in the course, or even at the end, if you have not been successful.  But they may not be available, or only available in exceptional circumstances.

Read before you sign.   If in doubt, get it in writing.