There are many excellent training course providers in the UK – the hardest decision is choosing the right course to invest your time in. Pick a goal and aim for it – choose only training courses relevant to your goal.
Free Training Course Providers
Beware of ‘free’ courses – some are genuinely free because they are receiving payment from elsewhere, like a government grant. Some claim to be ‘free’ but will then charge for a certificate or only give you an extremely slim window to complete the course and then charge for continued access. Be wary of anything appearing too good to be true! Below are some links to course providers:
Vision2Learn – only open to UK residents, aged 19 or over and have lived in the EU for at least three years. These courses are totally free as part of the government level 2 program to try and ensure everyone has at least one level 2 equivalent qualification. The courses are entirely online and coursework based. Upon completion you will receive an official Level 2 certified qualification.
Gloucestershire College (GC) – powered by their iTrain platform GC provides a number of Level 2 certificate courses for free. These are applicable to anyone working (or planning to work) in the business, finance or health care sectors. Each course has an estimated course length; during this time you will read a variety of course materials, complete practical activities and carry out additional research until you undertake an online exam to complete the course.
OpenLearn – from the Open University, OpenLearn offers a wide variety of free courses. There are many different levels of courses and many varied topics. The courses can be extremely ‘text heavy’ with a lot of reading. You can download many courses for offline study in Word, Kindle, PDF or ePub format to read at your leisure. Upon completing the course you can print out a free ‘statement of participation‘ and summary of learning outcomes. It is not a certified qualification but it is aimed at the same relevant level.
Future Learn – has many free courses and a wide variety of topics. The courses are extremely interactive with lots of multimedia content and forums. The free access to the course is limited – if you go over the free period you will lose access to the course. If you would like unlimited access you can upgrade for a cost. Once the course is completed you can choose to purchase a certificate – prices vary depending on the level and course. It is not a certified qualification but it is aimed at the same relevant level. They do offer ‘learning programs‘ which bundle courses together to achieve a specific learning outcome.
Alison – all courses are free with unlimited access but there are adverts on the site – you can choose to pay to remove these. They offer many different levels and have and a wide variety of topics. Once you complete the course you can choose to purchase a pdf, hardcopy or framed diploma. You also have the option of purchasing a ‘attestation letter‘ as formal proof you have completed learning. They also offer ‘learning paths‘ which include several relevant courses.
LinkedIn Learning – not technically free BUT you can gain free access for one month by using a trial. This is more than enough time to complete a couple of the excellent ‘learning paths’ which is a collection of courses around a common theme. Once completed you will gain a certificate to display on your LinkedIn profile. Learning paths to note are: