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Professional Training in the UK - FAQs for International Visitors

How to take a course in the UK

Business or pleasure? Why not both! Traveling to the UK for professional training gives you the best of both worlds; it gives you insight into the most popular training options, internationally-recognised qualifications and courses, and provides you with practical know-how applicable across countries and cultures. Knowledge knows no borders: a training journey to the UK can be an enriching life experience that helps you and your business develop at the same rapid pace of today's business world.

Below you can find an FAQ guide to professional training in the UK, including the most commonly discussed topics among professionals who travel to the UK for scheduled courses or choose UK-based training providers for in-house training abroad.

You can also read more about distance learning solutions that can be delivered worldwide and find out more details about enroling on an executive education programme.

Why get trained in the UK?

The United Kingdom is renowned for the quality of its education system, which has constantly been at the forefront of teaching innovation. Professional development opportunties in the UK have diversified significantly over the past years, supported by government initiatives and increased consideration for employers' needs.

Corporate spending on professional training has also increased, as an upskilled workforce and a general demand for more qualified professionals is becoming increasingly visible across sectors, the UK, and the globe.

Continuous professional development initiatives, professional qualification credit frameworks, and numerous campaigns for learning in the workplace have been adopted by an increasing number of individiuals and organisations.

Take a course in the UK and explore the multitudes of training options. A variety of course types, levels of study, qualifications and the benefits of learning with the UK's leading providers all await you! Take the pulse of the training market and get in touch with the course organisers directly on the course pages that interest you.

What professional training options are available for international visitors?

You can browse through a wide range of courses delivered by the UK providers, group them by training area and delivery method.

Providers from around around the United Kingdom can run their courses at public venues, travel to your offices abroad, or deliver a distance learning solution for you and your staff. Choose your training mode and explore the most frequently asked questions related to training in the UK.

Open Courses in the UK

Open / Scheduled courses throughout the UK

How early should I plan my training in the UK?

Scheduled courses in the UK are run throughout the year. Training providers typically release their course calendars at the beginning of the year or early Autumn. Get familiar with the training options and start planning your professional training trip to the UK. Using the filters on findcourses, you can filter your course search results by start date. It's recommended that you plan to attend an open course at least one month in advance. You can take advantage of early bird discounts, or count on last minute deals as long as you stay updated with the lastest course offerings.

Are there any visa requirements when travelling to the UK for training?

Adult professionals who are not residents of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland must travel to the United Kingdom for a short course of 6 months or less (or 11 months for English language training) on a visa. The UK government outlines all the requirements for applying for a short-term visa, and processing usually takes as little as three weeks.  

How does the training provider support my visa application?

Training organisers from around the UK should issue an acceptance or registration letter to delegates from abroad, as proof that they are registered for a bona fide short-term course (defined as running for 6 months or less). You should include your letter with your online application for a short-term study visa. The letter will show the UK government that you're really travelling to study in the UK for a designated period of time. 

Can the training provider make the accommodation arrangements for me?

When looking for a course, check the accomodation information on the course page, and whether the course costs include room and board for your stay in the UK. Many training providers are able to make arrangements for your accommodations if you contact them in advance.

Alternatively, they can provide you with a list of accommodations close to the training centre. It's important to remember that unless otherwise stated, you will make your travel and accommodation arrangements yourself. Furthermore, proof of your intended accommodation may be required for your visa application, so be sure to explore your options well in advance.

Am I required to pay VAT when booking my course in the UK?

Course participants are required to pay the full price of the programme they plan to attend, including the value-added tax which is 20% in the UK. If you're a corporate training buyer, you're responsible for paying the 'VAT reverse charge'.

How is my training in the UK acknowledged?

The course providers issue certificates of attendance, diplomas or specific qualification credits upon completion of the training programmes. Many training programmes are registered trademarks, cover standardised syllabi and, thus, result in internationally-recognised qualifications or accreditations. In the UK, Ofqual is the regulating body of qualifications, examinations and assessments in England, and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland. Ofqual provides the accreditation for national providers and assists in providing qualifications and accreditations to national and international residents.

Search and compare open and scheduled courses in the UK!

Open/Scheduled Courses

In-House Training in the UK from Abroad

In house / In-company training

How can I bring a trainer in from the UK to run a course for my company abroad?

The process is simple. You browse through the list of courses that interest you, select the titles that could be suitable for your staff and request quotes from the respective providers using our Information Request system. To receive a more specific quote, mention the size of the group that you need trained, the approximate course duration you're expecting and any special requirements or additional topics that you need the course to cover.

You will be contacted by the provider with a training proposal that you can then review and negotiate. You can discuss the syllabus with the course instructor and decide the most suitable level and training approach for your staff. When you've both reached an agreement, you can start make all the necessary arrangements for in house training. Set a date and prepare your team for the course.

Are the course costs adjusted to my country of residence?

Depending on the country, the cost may be quoted in your local currency. When booking your training with an UK provider you can discuss your requirements and negotiate a quote for your team. In terms of payment, the training provider will make you aware of any special B2B VAT requirements that may apply.

Can a course be held in the local language?

Unless stated otherwise, the courses are delivered in English and proof of English proficiency may be required prior to course enrolment. If a part of your staff who are intending to take the course are not fluent in English, you can make arrangements with a local translator, upon agreement with the course provider.

Many of the in house training providers listed on Findcourses.co.uk operate within an international network. Their international trainers can deliver the course in your local language at your company headquarters outside the UK.

Search and compare in-house training from UK training providers!

In-House Courses

Distance Learning Options in the UK from Abroad

Distance Learning Options

Are my distance learning qualifications achieved through UK providers recognised abroad?

On course-specific pages, you can find information about the accrediting bodies of the provider and the qualifications issued upon course completion. Many UK-based training providers operate according to the Ofqual framework. Your credits are transferable between providers and you can use them to gain higher award levels, certificates or diplomas. All courses that you attend online or through distance learning result in a certificate of attendance provided by the course organiser.

Am I eligible for funding for distance learning qualifications by UK providers?

A series of distance learning and work-based courses are available for funding through the UK government. First, you have to ask the training provider if they receive government grants to fund their course participants. Typically, it is only courses approved by Ofqual that can be funded by the government. Grants and student loans for work-based programmes are limited to adult professionals, 18 or older, who have lived in the UK for the past three years who can demonstrate their eligibility and specific need for training.

Can I pay for my distance learning studies in installments?

Many of distance learning providers design flexible payment plans, offering either monthly or quarterly installments. They can also offer discounts for upfront payments, so that you can save on your total, overall costs for pursuing training in the UK.

Search and compare distance courses from UK training providers!

Distance courses

Executive Education Courses from Abroad

Executive Education

What type of executive education programmes can I attend in the UK?

Findcourses.co.uk lists degree programmes at post-graduate level, suitable for working professionals and recent graduates who wish to improve their career prospects. You can choose from Master's degrees and executive education programmes: MBA's, executive MBA's, MSc's and MA studies.

The programmes delivered on-campus in the UK follow a typical university admission process. If you plan to enrol on a degree programme in the UK, check the application deadlines and make arrangements for a longer stay in the UK.

I'm a working professional, can I study through distance learning at a university based in the UK?

The study pace and mode varies by degree-level and the university that you choose. Choose your training area and filter by study mode, to see which universities can deliver the course as part-time study or online-only programmes.

What arrangements should I make for my stay in the UK for executive studies?

If you enrol in an on-campus degree programme, your university will assist you with the residential arrangements. If you plan to study in the UK for longer than 6 months, and are not a resident of the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you are required to apply for the Tier 4 study visa.

Would you like to take the first step? Get matched with training providers in the UK who will get in touch with more information about their opportunities for training in the UK.

Search and compare executive education courses in the UK!

Executive education courses


About the Author

Abby works as the Communications Team Lead for findcourses.co.uk with a mission of connecting learning leaders with the data and information they need to provide the best training possible for their people.

Originally from Indianapolis in the U.S., Abby studied her bachelor’s at Hanover College in Business and Literature and has worked for findcourses since 2015. She is passionate about corporate learning and works internally to help organise Learning at Work Week within findcourses.co.uk's company of 165 team members, and provide and source external training in content creation as an in-house expert.

Abby is also the creator and editor of the UK L&D Report which interviews and surveys L&D leaders from top UK companies to help uncover data-driven best practice and easy-to-implement advice.

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Last updated: 10 Dec 2019

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