Review: Online CPD options for 2010-11
Nigel Harris presents an overview of what the main online training providers are offering in 2010-11.
Having sat through my fair share of CPD seminars, I resent the hour and a half or more it takes me to get to and from the regional centres where courses are held. To turn up and find that the course doesn't meet your needs only compounds this. Online training means no travelling time or cost, the webinar can be viewed by as many people in the office who want to and are available at the time – and if it turns out to be a lemon, you can just turn it off. Online training offers the flexibility to schedule training in when it suits us, rather than the training providers – to the extent that the courses can, of course, be used at home and at weekends if you're really short of time and are that keen.
The old ICAEW structured versus unstructured CPD rules required webinars to be used in a group with some accompanying discussion to qualify for 'structured' status, otherwise they had to be listed along with technical reading and lesser activities.
The best webinars now use video, and deliver them live. Pre-recorded, audio-only courses are definitely looking dated. Interestingly, although Now Training experimented with MP3 lectures that you could download and play on an iPod or portable media player, this doesn't seem to have caught on, despite being a fairly obvious and very low-cost solution.
Below is a summary of what the main providers are currently offering in online CPD.