Many people would love to study but they have too many other obligations to take care of. Maybe they have a family to take care of, or they are already working but wish to improve themselves further. Fortunately, there are ways in which they can still study such as through distance learning. One such option is to study ICB distance learning courses.
What is the ICB?
The ICB is the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. They are an organisation that offers accredited business qualifications. The qualifications offered by the ICB are not only about bookkeeping. They offer courses in five different business focussed streams.
There are many different courses out there. The problem is that many of them you can only do by going to class full-time. Fortunately, the ICB has a solution. Not only are there ICB in-classroom courses but also ICB distance learning courses. This means that you can study wherever you are and in your own time, making distance learning a very attractive option.
What’s The Difference Between Distance Learning and Classroom Learning?
Classroom Learning is also referred to as traditional learning. This is the kind of learning you get at school or at a university. It requires you to sit in a classroom on a very specific schedule every day. You have textbooks that you take to class and you cannot attend your class except at the set time.
Distance Learning is done through companies like Skills Academy. Distance Learning means that you do not go to classes and you work from wherever you are, and whenever suits you. Your study materials are either sent to you or available online.
Which one is Better?
There is a great debate about Distance Learning VS Classroom Learning. The number of people choosing Distance Learning rather than Classroom Learning is slowly growing every year but most people are still choosing Classroom Learning.
Advantages of Distance Learning
Distance Learning has many advantages that Classroom Learning doesn’t.
- Your study time is more flexible. Since you don’t need to sit in a class, you can study when it suits you best.
- You can work while you study. Since you study in your own time it is much easier to work full-time while you study.
- It’s often cheaper. There are a number of reasons for this but in most cases, studying through Distance Learning is cheaper the Classroom Learning.
- You don’t need to buy or carry expensive books. Most of your materials are supplied by your distance learning college or are available online.
- No travel hassles. You don’t need to travel to your classes. This means that you don’t need to sit in traffic, use petrol, struggle to find parking or rely on public transport. You can study wherever you are.
- Your feedback is more convenient. Any feedback on your assignments is usually sent to you as a document or is available online. This means you can access it at any time and you don’t need to go to a specific location to collect it.
- Reviewing your classes is simpler. Lectures are normally provided as videos. This means that you can watch the video over and over, you can pause, stop, and rewind the lecture at any time. This makes it easier to ensure that you don’t miss any important information.
These are just some of the advantages of Distance Learning.
Disadvantages of Distance Learning
As many advantages as there may be, there are still disadvantages to Distance Learning, however.
- There may be additional costs. You might have to buy special software or hardware to be able to study your course.
- It takes more commitment. Since you are not forced to sit in a class at a certain time, it takes more commitment and dedication from you to study. If you don’t study as much as you should, you might fail the course.
- It can be unclear and confusing. Because everything is virtual, instructions might be unclear or confusing. Sometimes seeing something being done makes it easier to understand than having a list of instructions.
- There is no human interaction. While you can get support online or through chat rooms, it can sometimes be difficult to not talk to someone face to face.
It’s important to remember that there are always two sides to everything. Just like there are advantages and disadvantages to Distance Learning there are also disadvantages and advantages to Classroom Learning.
Advantages of Classroom Learning
The advantages of Classroom Learning include
- Extra notes. Your notes are on the board in class and you can write down your own notes as well. You can also compare notes with classmates and get even more information.
- Quicker answers. When you ask a question, it gets answered immediately and you don’t need to wait for someone to get back to you.
- Your time is managed for you. You don’t need to try and plan a schedule for yourself. Your schedule and class times are given to you. This ensures you get enough studying done.
- Confirmed delivery. When you hand in an assignment you give it directly to your lecturer. This means that they have it and there can be no problems like poor internet stopping your assignment from being submitted or sending it to the wrong place.
Disadvantages of Classroom Learning
Just like anything else, there are also disadvantages to Classroom Learning.
- Timing problems. Classes are at specific times and if you can’t make it to a class you might miss out on important information and you can’t redo that specific class.
- No backups. You can easily lose your textbook and then you can’t access it and will need to borrow someone else’s book or buy a new one.
- Expensive study materials. Unlike with Distance Learning, your study materials are usually not supplied to you. This means that you need to buy all your study materials and some of these books can be very expensive.
- Limited interaction. You only have a certain amount of time in a class and there are many other students too. This means that you might not get to ask a question or get as much feedback from the lecturer as you would like.
- Slow feedback. Assignments need to be individually marked by hand. This means that it could take quite a while before you get feedback on your assignments.
What Sets Skills Academy Apart From Other Distance Learning Colleges?
Skills Academy is committed to helping our students succeed. That is why we have many different ways in which we help our students. All our students get access to the Together We Pass study groups. This allows you to communicate and share information with other students as well as your tutors. We also have WhatsApp groups where our students can ask questions and get answers directly from their tutors. These are just two examples of how we help our students to succeed in their studies.
What ICB Courses Can I Study?
The ICB has five study routes you can choose from. These are Financial Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Public Sector Accounting, Business Management, and Office Administration. Each of these study routes contains several different courses.
ICB Financial Accounting Courses
Financial Accountants work in a company and collect and analyse data about all the transactions a company makes. They will create financial reports which are publically available to the media, employees, investors, and even competitors. The ICB Financial Accounting courses are:
- ICB National Certified Junior Bookkeeper
- ICB FET Certificate: Bookkeeping (Certified Senior Bookkeeper)
- ICB National Diploma: Technical Financial Accounting
- ICB National Diploma: Financial Accounting
ICB Entrepreneurship Courses
Entrepreneurship is about starting your own business. Entrepreneurs have to manage every part of their business in the beginning. The ICB offers three different Entrepreneurship courses.
The ICB Entrepreneurship courses are:
- ICB National Certificate: Small Business Financial Management (Entrepreneurship)
- ICB Higher Certificate: Office Administration (Entrepreneurship)
- ICB National Diploma: Financial Accounting (Entrepreneurship)
ICB Public Sector Accounting Courses
Public Sector Accountants do things like investigating fraud in government departments, tax audits, and generally, help to keep the government running smoothly. The ICB Public Sector Accounting courses are:
- ICB National Certificate: Public Sector Accounting
- ICB Diploma: Public Sector Accounting
- ICB National Diploma: Public Sector Accounting
ICB Business Management Courses
Business Management is important to every business. Business Managers help to make sure that businesses run properly. They are involved in things like hiring and training staff. The ICB Business Management courses are:
- ICB National Certificate: Small Business Financial Management (Business Management)
- ICB National Diploma: Financial Accounting (Business Management)
- ICB Higher Certificate: Office Administration (Business Management)
ICB Office Administration Courses
Office Administrators are involved in the day-to-day running of any office. They do things like organising, scheduling, ordering supplies, and much more. The ICB Office Administration courses are:
- ICB National Certificate: Office Administration (Junior Office Admin)
- ICB Diploma: Office Administration (Certified Office Manager)
- ICB Higher Certificate: Office Administration (Office Admin)
Where can I Study ICB Distance Learning Courses?
There are many companies and colleges that offer distance learning courses. Skills Academy is one such company. Skills Academy is one of the ICB’s accredited partners. This means that they are allowed to offer the ICB courses. You can see the ICB courses that Skills Academy has to offer on the ICB Distance Learning Courses page.
Are ICB Qualifications Recognised?
ICB Qualifications are recognised nationally as well as internationally. That means that once you have an ICB qualification you can apply for a job all over the world. An ICB qualification can go up to level 6 on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
How Much Does an ICB Course Cost?
The ICB doesn’t have a fixed rate per course. You have to pay a registration fee as well as a fee per subject you enrol for. There are other fees like exam fees too. You will need to make sure that you are aware of all the fees you need to pay for your course. The ICB Regristration Fees 2019 page will give you more information about paying ICB fees and how it works.
How do the ICB Exams Work?
ICB exams are external exams which means they are done at an external venue and not by your training provider. There are many different venues across the country where you can do your ICB exams. You can find your closest venue by looking on the ICB Venues page and register to write at a venue most convenient to you. You need to pay the exam fees to the ICB itself and not to your training provider.
You can receive your exam results in one of two ways. In-classroom students results get sent to their college on the day that the results are released. You have to contact your training provider to get your results.
Students who study through distance learning can either log on to the ICB Learner Portal to check their results online or they can wait to receive their results via email. The ICB sends the email on the Friday when the results are released. This email can arrive as late as on Tuesday. The general rule of thumb is that the results are released seven weeks after the exam is written.
When are the ICB Exams?
There are typically two opportunities per year to write exams. The dates may vary every year so the best thing to do is to look at the ICB 2019 Exam Dates page and find the dates for your exams.
How to Register
Get in touch with one of the ICB’s accredited partners to register for one of these amazing courses. You can call Skills Academy toll-free on 0800 39 00 27 and a consultant will help you register today!
Written by: Clifford Ekron
Last Updated: April 18, 2019