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  1. Harry brown

    Harry brown New Member

    Don’t do it!!!!!!!! There constantly changing things, can’t get my portfolio signed off. Is a big bunch of cow pooo
  2. Ric2013

    Ric2013 Plumber Top Contributor!!

    I don't get it. A council-owned college would be under intense pressure NOT to allow students to fail to complete.

    If we have a few people on here in the same, or similar boats, perhaps it would be worth getting Trading Standards on board and all write in at the same time. Or harrass City and Guilds who, after all, accredit the centre. Perhaps even a class action lawsuit?

    If you genuinely don't meet the required standards it is one thing, but if you are just being messed about because the college doesn't know what is going on, then this isn't fair!
  3. Allgoode

    Allgoode GSR

    I fast track trained with them in 2014 in Cardiff.

    Did plumbing C&G 6135 L2 & gas theory there but getting gas portfolio in that area was very patchy due to amount of students getting pushed through.

    In the end i spoke to one of them & suggested a placement anywhere in uk bar up the top of Scotland due to travelling.

    Did the gas in Kent with a plumber who covered everything for the portfolio reqmts. (I lived in Cornwall so fair amount of travelling)

    Did my ACS in the Plumbing academy, now owned by Access no probs.

    I have to say the tutors in either place were great but unfortunately the admin people were very hard work.

    You have to remember that the companies offering this type course are just sausage factories filling your head with all the theory with a small amount of hands on experience to give you baseline knowledge.

    You will not know everything & everyday after that if you are in the trade will be a learning day & you need to remain switched on & open to continued learning as well as working with our fellow tradesmen/builders which are a challenge in itself.

    I would suggest in either case if you are paying for the course or making the deposit payment use a credit card & get everything confirmed in writing first.

    At least as far as i am aware your credit card company are then jointly liable if the course provider does not honour the agreement but check with them first.

    Hope this helps,

  4. warner

    warner New Member

    And I thought it was only me being given the run around from Access. Happy to be involved in trading standards numbers as a disgruntled student with NVQ portfolio unsigned. Their training is good but placements are just a gaping loophole where you create your own portfolio from a bunch of staged pics. I only did the course for the qualification as employers ask for NVQ certs.
  5. David H

    David H New Member

    Sooo many people including me have been scammed by Access Training. They lost their accreditation with City & Guilds because they did not meet the required standards and are now with BPEC, but students are still having problems getting certificates.

    They do not deliver and then refuse refunds. Lots of people I know have lost over £5000 and have nothing to show for it despite passing all the exams and completing the portfolio.

    Anthony Brown, in thier Customer Services Department fobbs people off in illiterate emails, which make no sense and he doesn't understand what he's telling you as he's being directed to say things by 'senior management'.

    If you're one of the people still being fobbed off, report them to BBC Watchdog, Trading Standards, Advertising Standards Agency (still saying they're City & Guilds Approved Centre on the web site - they're not!) and BPEC.

    If you're thinking about taking one of their courses, beware of all sales staff who are charming (slimy) until they get your money and then don't want to know. Yes Chris Edwards, Stuart Robertson, David Pidgen and Darren Scott - that would be you!
  6. Markus Brown

    Markus Brown New Member

    Here is an email sent to a fellow student word for word!

    Dear ******!

    Thank you for your recent inquiries regarding your Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing.

    We have, unfortunately, been in dispute with City & Guilds for the past year and have now reached a final position which I will explain below, together with suggestions as to how we can move forward with what has been a very challenging situation for us all.

    When you enrolled on the course, you were registered with City & Guilds as the awarding body for your certification. You attended a training programme with us, you took the online exams and you provided a portfolio of photographs and write-ups to be used as evidence towards your certification.

    City & Guilds

    In early 2017, City & Guilds started an audit which turned out to be longer than we expected. After many years of good relationships and excellent working standards with City & Guilds, they appointed a new Assessor to work with us. The new IQA had a different interpretation of the City & Guilds assessment criteria. This happened with no notice or consultation at all. This meant that many of the portfolios we had submitted, in order to claim certificates, were deemed - all of a sudden - to not meet the required standard.

    We have disputed this ever since, arguing how unreasonable it was, and this has caused difficulty in our relationship with the awarding body and delay in claiming Learner certificates.

    During this lengthy process, City & Guilds organised a number of External Quality Assessments from a number of their Assessors (EQAs). In all cases different EQAs had different interpretation of the City & Guilds assessment criteria and were providing different guidance to our Internal Quality Team; we were also challenging this additional inconsistency.

    Since the beginning of 2018, this has resulted in very few External Quality visits to our Centres by City & Guilds, causing added delay in the claiming of certificates, and further confusion about the accepted standard of portfolios.

    Throughout this process, we have tried to work with our Learners in order to help them complete their qualifications through City & Guilds by improving their existing folders to the City & Guilds new standards.

    Regrettably, a stalemate was reached in this dispute and on 20th April 2018 we were informed by City & Guilds that they wished to end their relationship with Access Training (Wales) Ltd. We are very disappointed that a better resolution could not be found and are putting in place alternative arrangements for Learners, including yourself.

    The way forward with BPEC

    As you know from our terms and conditions of business, which you accepted when you booked your course, we are able to change awarding bodies where necessary and we’ve now come to the conclusion that it is necessary to do so.

    With immediate effect, we will now be helping our Learners to achieve their qualifications under a different awarding body, BPEC, who provide exactly the same qualifications.

    In fact, we have been working with BPEC for the last 12 months for all our new plumbing enrolments and it is now our intention to also qualify all of our City & Guilds Learners through this awarding body at no extra charge to you.

    BPEC have been in the industry for over 25 years and are regulated by Ofqual. They have become an industry-leading provider of qualifications, assessments and learning materials. Having focused primarily on plumbing qualifications they have become a leading organisation for gas and plumbing in the country and have expanded into other areas.

    BPEC also runs a charity which funds a number of awards for plumbing professionals who make a difference to the lives of people who are less fortunate, both in the UK and abroad.

    You can see more about BPEC at

    Next steps

    We are proposing the following for you to achieve your qualification without further delays.

    Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing with BPEC

    • You will attend a bespoke assessment programme we have created specifically for our former City & Guilds Learners.
    • You will have to attend a week of online exams followed by two weeks of practical assessments.
    • As you have already completed your training before, no further tuition will be required.
    • If you feel you are need extra time in the classroom we will happily organise a week of extra theory training to refresh your knowledge.
    • During the 2 weeks of practical assessments you will be able to complete a new portfolio of evidence.
    • We will be presenting your new folder to BPEC within 4-6 weeks to claim your certificates.

    The further training/assessments will be provided to you free of charge. We also want to thank you for your patience during this challenging time which has been frustrating for all of us.

    Before moving to the next stage, we will need you to confirm that you wish to proceed.

    Please reply to me by email to say you will proceed and I will send you the agreement to sign online.

    Furthermore, subject to your account being up to date with payments, it will be possible for you to have any of the City & Guilds folders we have in our Training Centres back.

    We look forward to your response and to securing your certification as soon as possible.

    Customer Service Team

    Access Training Academies
  7. David H

    David H New Member

    Hi Marcus

    The phrase 'we were informed by City & Guilds that they wished to end their relationship with Access Training (Wales) Ltd.' is an understatement for the fact they have lost their accreditation with them because they did not comply to their standards. This samw letter, which has been received by many, many students is full of sorry-arsed excuses about C & G behaving 'unreasonably' and it not being the fault of Access Training. It was their fault - they were negligent in not adhering to the standards. City and Guilds are a well respected global organisation, who do not withdraw approval and accreditation lightly. BPEC might be fine but employers generally have more respect and recognition for C & G quals.

    Access are using this their terms and conditions as an excuse for not giving students refunds, which they are entitled to. They say there was no time frame for issuing certificates and they have the right to change awarding bodies - but do not admit to negligence.

    My advice to you is to be wary of taking up the new offer of completing the courses with BPEC UNLESS Access can confirm the timeframe within which they can deliver the new certs (they won't be able to). They might well have problems getting work placements or workplace assessors for all the new BPEC students. Also ask if they are prepared to pay for fuel and accommodation (at least one student has been offered this).

    What everyone should do is the following:

    Advise Access they were negligent and you want a refund and ask them for your City and Guilds candidate number.

    Write to City and Guilds on [email protected] and tell them about the hardship this has caused. C & G are aware of the complaints and have said they will help students in this situation.

    Upload your story to BBC Watchdog Watchdog - Send your story to Watchdog - BBC One

    Contact your local CAB and tell them. One student who did this was told Access was bordering on fraud and they would report them to Trading standards.

    Access are currently under a lot of pressure and are fobbing students off and not giving refunds. If your mate wants to try and redo the quals with BPEC, maybe he should and maybe he will get them but I for one have no faith in them.

    Look at the reviews for the plumbing adademy/access training on Facebook, Google reviews, trustpilot and you will see just how bad they are. They should not be allowed to get away with it. They have caused disappointment, stress, financial hardship in so many students' lives. I feel sorry for the ones who are still going to be strung along. Spread the word and stop more misery.

    That's my advice anyway. Good Luck!
  8. David H

    David H New Member

    Just another thing Markus - when your mate speaks to CAB, get them to give him advice about making a CCJ (County Court Judgement) claim if Access still refuse a refund. And, of course, to keep all emails from them including those sent.

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