Crucial credential check!
Before you sign up for a home-study course, take the time to verify the credentials and the accreditation or affiliation of the institute or study centre. There are some unscrupulous course providers out there, looking for ways to make a fast buck out of new recruits. Here’s a checklist:
1. Is the course and course material approved by a relevant governing body?
2. Do the fees include course material and exam charges? Check that there are no hidden extras.
3. Is the affiliation to a university or other educational body current?
4. Is there continuous support throughout the duration of study?
5. Can you talk to previous students?
For other useful checks you can run before you decide on a course, go to the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council (ODL QC) which is an independent body set up to maintain standards in open and distance learning.