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Institute Targets ‘Cowboy’ IT Trainers


The Institute of IT Training (IITT) is to launch its new accreditation programme specifically aimed at training providers who sell directly to the public.

The move follows increasing complaints, the IITT said, about unscrupulous providers with hard sales techniques often promising unrealistic jobs and giving the commercial training market a bad name.

Colin Steed said: “We get very few complaints about our commercial providers but receive many complaints from the public about mis-selling and broken promises from this area of the market. We are extremely concerned that the rate of these complaints is growing by the week and causing even the good providers to be viewed with suspicion. The market is worth multi-millions of pounds and the less reputable training providers in the market are earning fortunes at the expense of the public. This is a pity as there is a real need for this training to help individuals change career or get started in the IT industry and the IT industry needs this influx of new, well trained staff.”

The IITT has formed a steering group of training providers including Computeach, Cerco and JustIT in order to compile an accreditation programme for the personally-funded training market. “The new accreditation programme will still encompass the quality of the training delivery, but will provide a strong focus on the training providers' sales processes,” Steed said. “We shall set up the scheme so that the buyer is protected against mis-selling in much the same way as the FSA has cleaned up the financial services industry.”

Steed wants the Government to help him in the campaign. “The Learning & Skills Council (LSC) should be particularly interested in joining up with the Institute as the LSC Career Development Loans are used in the majority of cases. We need them to work with us on this campaign so that, for example, only those providers who are Institute Accredited will receive CDLs from them,” he said. “In that way we can make a real difference and clean-up this market.”

He added that so far he had failed to get LSC backing. However, Steed explained that he had approached Barry Sheerman MP, who heads up the Parliamentary Education Committee, and has an interview with him regarding the situation next week. "I am delighted that at last someone from Government is taking an interest. I am hopeful that this initiative, with Government backing, will eliminate the cowboys and protect the public."

The Institute will issue a new accreditation logo, a kite mark specifically for the public and shall be embarking on an extensive publicity programme very soon.


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