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D M Jones & Associates Ltd - providing CIPS training for over 30 years

CIPS Frequently asked questions

Below are responses to some common student questions. If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us using the contact form or phone Eleanor Wolf - Course Principal - 01200 429048 or 07737 136056.

“There are other centres offering this course cheaper – what do I get for the extra money?”

As with most things in purchasing, it is the total acquisition cost that is critical. Whilst other centres may have a cheaper initial price, the service will reflect this and there can be substantial additional costs because of this.

  • At other centres, students may only sit 5 subjects a year – meaning MCIPS takes 3 years to attain – we study two subjects at once so students can complete in 23 months – thus the student’s organisation can benefit from the increased skills and knowledge faster.
  • Tutors may have little understanding of the subject or have no purchasing experience – students will become frustrated as the studies will not appear relevant to them and this demotivation can spread into their work roles as well – all of our tutors have strong purchasing backgrounds at a variety of positions from both the private and public sectors. They are also highly qualified (minimum MCIPS and a degree), have proven teaching records and produce 150+ page notes for each subject that students receive free of charge.
  • Students may simply attend lectures – it is difficult to contextualise information when you are just listening and many students find this does not suit their learning style, thus benefits from the course are limited and the chances of failure are much higher – we use a wide range of teaching techniques including case studies, business games, active discussions, scenario working, group work etc to ensure students are stimulated and proactive in their learning.
  • Students who miss classes may be expected to catch up themselves – increasing the workload of the student and increasing the chance of failure – we offer the flexibility to attend other locations as well as support from tutors both in and out of class.
  • Students may be charged for revision sessions – we provide them for free and students can attend as many revision sessions, at other locations, as they like. There is also full support from tutors and the Principal at all times but especially during revision periods when response times are reduced to a few hours to ensure students can gain swift answers to queries.

“I can’t attend at weekends because of family commitments – can I still study?”

Students have wide ranging demands on their time. For some, weekends are impossible – for others, taking too much time away from the office is not an option. We recognise this and have created a range of study options. Throughout the North of England there are weekend and weekday options to cater for all requirements. Students can also mix and match locations creating a tailor made package to suit the individual.

“What is the difference between having Centre of Excellence tutors and being a Centre of Excellence?”

The Centre of Excellence award is given by CIPS only to those centres where provision exceeds the rigorous minimum standards that CIPS sets and where examination results exceed the national average. It requires dedicated and highly trained staff as well as investment by the centre in the current and future provision of quality training. We have held the Centre of Excellence award (or its equivalent) for over 15 years and are pleased to have retained it again this year.

Centre of Excellence tutors have simply worked previously at a centre that held the Centre of Excellence award. This does not indicate anything about the quality of the establishment they currently work at or about that centre’s exam results, quality of staff or investment levels.

“Not wanting to sound pessimistic, what happens if I fail an exam?”

We have an exceptionally high pass rate, with an average of over 90%. However, this does still mean that some students fail. This can be very demoralising and it is critical that support is provided. Some centres will abandon students at this time, saying they will have to wait until the unit is run again at same time next year and pay for the unit again. We believe that you have paid once and it is our responsibility to be there for you until you have passed all of the units.

Straight after the results are released we will contact any student who has failed and look at the options available. If we are running the relevant unit at any of the locations students can attend the classes straight away, free of charge. If that unit is not currently running and the student would like to resit anyway, we will offer distance work to assist revision – again free. Alternatively the student can carry on their studies and pick up the unit at a later date.

“We have a number of people in our company we would like to be trained but we can’t let them be out of the office at once – what options are there?”

Depending on the client, we can offer a number of solutions to this. Students can study at any location and different locations have different study dates. So a programme can be developed to schedule the same training on different days.

Alternatively, we offer in house training that is as flexible as the company requires. Dates, times, subjects etc are all matched to the client’s needs. In this way we can fit around quiet periods, projects, holidays and any other factors. We can also arrange in house options at weekends to reduce the impact on office hours.

“I haven’t studied in years and I am nervous of being in a room full of students”

The students who study MCIPS come from a very wide background in terms of experience, academic achievement and roles. That is one of the major benefits of class based study as the discussions bring out divergent views and examples. We recognise that some students may not have done recent study. However, all students have to learn how to structure answers in line with CIPS examinations, so we provide everyone with materials and practical activities to ensure they are comfortable with the exam format and requirements.

We also provide revision assistance and there is full access to both tutors and the Principal throughout your studies by phone/email and face to face meetings outside study time if required. Every student can get as much support as they would like and all of our tutors pride themselves on providing a complete service to all of their students – not just 8 hours work on a Monday!

Our groups are small (with a usual maximum of 10 students) as we feel that students learn best in an open, participative environment. No-one feels happy shouting questions to the front of a lecture hall but, within a small group, students are much more confident and discussions are the norm. The groups become very supportive and many students make great friendships during their studies.

Should you wish to meet us prior to commencing your studies, just contact us and we can arrange a convenient meeting.

CIPS and Short Courses Enrolment

e-mail info@dmjonesassociates.co.uk 01200 429048 or 07737 136056