Our mission is to transform people’s lives through distance learning, and to give our learners a new and enriching career.
We are committed to working ethically, and this document tries to document our position.
I welcome any comments you might have by clicking here, particularly if we fail to meet any of the standards we set out below.
We believe that our courses provide a social good. They give people the opportunity to gain new work opportunities, and thereby change their life.
But home working and self-employment can, in its worst form, trap an individual in a long-hours, low-income prison where they’re at the mercy of larger businesses. We seek to prevent that by focusing on high value-added careers, and by emphasising the need for effective marketing.
We offer only those courses that we believe offer the student a realistic chance of earning a living. And we won’t sell any courses that are either unethical or unproven.
We aim to continually improve the quality of our course materials. For example, the online edition of each course allows us to add audio or video information, which enriches the student’s learning experience.
Course quality: We aim to make our courses accessible, stimulating and interactive. We aim to stay abreast of changes and developments in the industry for the benefit of our students.
We only use active practitioners as tutors, since their experience gives the learner a much richer experience.
Course texts can look out of date if not regularly updated, and we seek to prevent that happening through constant amendment.
Response times: We aim to despatch courses within two working days, and to reply to enquiries within one working day. We expect our tutors to return assignments within seven working days.
Refunds: Recognizing that our courses don’t meet everyone’s needs, we provide an unconditional 60 day money-back guarantee, which doesn’t start until the student has received their course materials.
For our entrepreneurial courses, we will also refund the fee if, 90 days after completing the course, the student has not earned at least the cost of the course. In such circumstances, we will ask for evidence that the student has done some marketing.
Mentoring: To help our students succeed, we provide a free 90-day mentoring service for our entrepreneurial courses.
Accreditation: Our service as a distance learning provider is accredited by an independent organization, ABC, and we will abide by its decisions.
Assignments: Our assignments generally comprise short essays and case studies. We don’t use assignments that require a one-word answer, since this is pedagogically weak and can lead to marking being done in-house by non-expert administrative staff. We believe that such assignments diminish the educational richness of the course.
We’re a Living Wage employer. We provide fair wages and conditions for all who work for the organization. We also aim to further the development of our people through training.
Contracted work: We aim to have fair dealings with our business partners. We make use of outside contractors to provide us with IT services, design and written material. We use contractors all over the world, including the UK, USA, India, the Philippines and Russia.
Where we source expertise from outside the West, we aim to use independent firms with whom we can work on a regular basis, and where the revenue flows straight to the contractor. We believe that this form of contracting is non-exploitative and provides good revenue to the contractor.
We will describe our courses and the ensuing work opportunities with enthusiasm but not exaggeration.
We seek a relationship with with the local community. This can entail giving work experience to a student, or providing time or money for local charities or community organisations.
We pay all taxes willingly, and do not participate in tax avoidance or evasion. This is despite our accountant (nicknamed ‘Satan’) offering us tax avoidance schemes.
Major impacts: Our main impact is the paper we use, especially our paper-based course materials and the packaging materials used by us and our suppliers. In addition we use energy in our offices and cars, and in the distribution impacts caused by our delivery company.
Raw materials: Our office paper is made from recycled post-consumer waste paper. Our course pages also come from recycled post-consumer waste paper.
Recycling: We aim to recycle as much paper used in the office as possible. We use a fortnightly kerbside recycling service provided by the local council.
Reducing our impacts: For all established courses we have an online editions. These reduce the amount of paper used, and will encourage students to upload their assignments on the internet. The development of email has also given students faster feedback from their tutor, and has the merit of cutting impacts caused by paper production and transportation.
Energy: We’re seeking to buy our energy from a renewable supplier.