Serco Education


See below for some of our most Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need any online learning (e-learning) experience before I start a programme?

Previous experience of online learning (or e-learning) is not necessary. You will find it helpful to be familiar with everyday activities such as online searches, emailing and using common desktop office applications such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, etc.  If you are familiar with social networking sites, then that may also be  an advantage for some programme activities (discussion groups, blogs, etc.).  Specific assistance will usually be provided for more specialist e-learning activities, such as WebExes (web conferencing or ‘webinars’).

What is the difference between blended learning and fully online programmes?

All of our programmes and courses involve online learning which means that you have some flexibility over your learning/study patterns, although there will usually be defined assessment and submission dates (assignments and assessment tasks are often submitted electronically). There may also be other scheduled activities for your learning group too (such as online WebEx meetings). 

Our online programmes will normally involve online interaction with others in your learning group, usually through discussion areas which you can participate in, and you will also receive online support and guidance from one or more facilitators or tutors allocated to your group (exact details vary depending on the size of a group and the course you choose).

In addition, we also deliver certain programmes in a blended learning format, using a combination of online study (as above) plus attendance at a number of face-to-face workshop sessions held at regional centres (we operate these across England). 

Whether you choose a blended learning or fully online pathway you will normally study as part of a learning group (or tutor group) so that although you will be studying at home (or at work) you will also be progressing with a group of fellow colleagues and can interact with them as much, or as little, as you want.

How do I access your support services?

We can answer phone enquiries during normal weekday office hours - call our team on 0121 2815215. You can also email us via We will respond as soon as possible to emails (weekdays). Note: we are closed at weekends, Bank Holidays and over some of the Christmas holiday period. See also the Contact Us panel at foot of this page.

Is there any pre-reading or pre-programme work involved?

Some of our programmes will include an element of pre-programme work (pre-programme reading or a short task) to help you prepare for the course and get the most out of it. The pre-programme work, if applicable, is not too demanding and will help prepare and enable you to progress smoothly through each element of the programme itself. However, most programmes include a short online Induction stage (typically spread over one or two weeks) which introduces you to the online environment and will prepare you for the main course content which follows. 

What are the terms and conditions of booking?

Please read the separate, specific Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) for each programme or apprenticeship you are considering joining; they include important information such as deferral and withdrawal charges, eligibility, course regulations, confidentiality and data security, etc. The T&Cs documents are usually available as a download or printable document on the relevant programme page. It is important that you read and understand these before applying or accepting a place on a programme or apprenticeship.

I've forgotten my login details - what should I do?

For many of our programmes you will access materials for e-learning via our Learning Centre web platform When you apply for a course online you will need to first create a user account - please keep your account details safe as you will need them to access your learning materials.

If you forget or lose your login credentials, please call our support team on 0121 2815215 (office hours) and we will be pleased to re-set your password or advise you of your user name. Alternatively, you can request a password re-set via email at the login screen on the Learning Centre website. For any enquiries on this please email: 

When and how do I pay for a programme?

Payments can be made via BACS transfer, by credit card or by cheque. You do not need to pay at the time you apply for a programme. We will send you an invoice (normally via email) for the total amount shortly before a course starts. Please pay within 14 days of receiving your invoice. Once you have received an invoice from us, you can also pay your course fees by credit/debit card (payment details are on the invoice). All programmes will require your accounts payable (or equivalent finance officer/payments) contact details as part of the application process.

Certain school business manager programmes qualify for financial assistance, such as Enhanced Learning Credits for former MOD employees; strict eligibility conditions apply for these so please refer to the relevant programme pages for further information (or contact us on 

Apprenticeships are funded by the employer through the apprenticeship levy.  Smaller employers who do not pay the levy are required to pay 5% of the cost of the apprenticeship with the remainder being paid from Government controlled levy funds.

Contact us for more details or refer to the specific programme pages.

What happens if I have to withdraw from a programme once it has started?

The specific withdrawal and cancellation policy details vary between programmes so please ensure that you read the individual programme Terms and Conditions which provide the exact details for that programme, and that you are clear about when/if you may become liable for cancellation fees, etc. If, having paid for a course, you then need to defer your studies, you can normally rejoin at the same point later on (within 12 months), without any penalty charges - details are included within each programme's Terms & Conditions, or speak to one of our support teams. See Contact Us panel at foot of this page.

Do I receive a certificate at the end of my course/apprenticeship?

Yes, you will receive a certificate at the end of your course/apprenticeship.  The certificate will come from Serco, the SBM Partnership, or from an accrediting body (such as the ILM, UKTC, C&G, IEP or CMI) or university partner, as appropriate to the programme.  Apprentices will also receive an apprenticeship certificate from the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education.

Did you know?

We have been delivering the school business management qualifications nationally since they began in 2003.