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.). To view examples of our e-learning pages click here.

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 be defined assessment and submission dates (assignments and assessment tasks are 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 allocated to your group (exact details vary depending on the size of a group and the course you choose). To view examples of our e-learning pages click here.

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

Whether you choose a blended learning or fully online pathway you will study as part of a learning group, led by a facilitator, 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.

When and how do I pay for a programme?

For most programmes (non-apprenticeship programmes), payments can be made via BACS transfer or by credit card. We will email you (or your school) an invoice 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 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 if your school is contributing or paying for the programme.

Are there any technical requirements?

The Serco learning centre website (which you will use to access all learning materials) is optimised for use with desktop and laptops. It is expected that these are the primary devices for participants to access learning materials, e-learning activities and to submit assignments. In practice, the site may also be viewable on many tablet browsers and other mobile devices, smartphones, etc., however we are unable to offer any support for access or configuration issues associated with tablets or other mobile devices.

You will need to ensure that your desktop or laptop meets the minimum specifications required to get the best out of the learning centre – please see separate Technical Requirements page for more details.

We recommend that you always back up your work regularly.

What are the terms and conditions of booking?

Please read the separate, specific terms and conditions for each programme you are considering. It is important that you read and understand these before applying or accepting a place on a programme. You can apply for a programme without needing to pay until shortly before a programme starts. Cancellation fees apply if you start a programme and then withdraw.

If I am based overseas can I still enrol onto one of your courses?

Some of our fully online SBM programmes are suitable for participants working abroad, and we do have a number of overseas students studying online with us. Please contact us first to discuss an overseas application further.

Note that most of our programmes are specifically designed for participants in roles within the English education sector. As the English education sector and English (or UK) legislation and education policies are frequently referenced within courses, it is essential that overseas applicants should work in a school or international school that follows a similar system, or is modelled on a similar structure to the English schools system.

Assessment tasks will often require work-based examples and will assume an English (or UK) context, and certain programmes will also expect that you have access to an English support school in order to successfully complete your studies. Overseas participants may sometimes need to be prepared to carry out additional online research for some of their assignments.

Note that a support school is not necessary for the Aspiring SBM Programme.

Programmes that include a face-to-face element are unlikely to be appropriate for overseas students, as locations for the workshops are in England. However, we may offer suitable fully online alternatives. Please also note that payment methods for all programmes will need to be in pounds sterling.

Please contact us to discuss overseas applications further.

Where can I find an application form?

The application process is normally online for all courses. Select the programme you would like to study on the sbmpartnership.org.uk website, then click on the application form icon (symbol) which is usually located at the foot of a programme web page.  You will then be automatically directed to our learning platform website www.leadershiplearningcentre.com to complete the application process. If you have not registered with us before, you will need to complete our simple registration process and create a User Account first (takes just a few minutes). You will then be able to complete and submit the online application form for that programme.

How do I access your support services?

We will answer phone enquiries during normal weekday office hours – call our team on 0121 2815215 (office hours: 8.30am to 5.00pm Mon – Thurs, 8.30am to 4.30pm Fridays. Closed weekends and Bank Holidays). You can also email us via [email protected].

For full contact information see the Contact Us page.  Note: we are closed at weekends, Bank Holidays and over the Christmas/New Year holiday period.

I’ve forgotten my login details – what should I do?

Please call our web 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 stage.

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

One or two of our programmes may include an element of pre-programme work (pre-programme research or a short task) to help you prepare for your studies.  There are no recommended text books, etc., to read before a programme. However, most programmes begin with a short online Induction stage (typically spread over one or two weeks) which introduces you to the online environment and helps to prepare you for the main programme. Click here to view examples of our e-learning areas.

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 you read the individual programme terms and conditions which provide the exact details for that programme. If, having paid for a course, you then need to defer your studies, you can normally rejoin at the same point later on (within 6 or 12 months) – details are included within each programme’s Terms & Conditions, or please speak to one of our support teams.

If you wish to completely withdraw from a course, see the relevant programme Terms & Conditions for details of withdrawal charges.

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

Yes, you will usually receive a certificate from the SBM Partnership, or from an accrediting body (such as the ILM) or university partner, as appropriate to the programme. Details will be provided in your programme documents.

If you have any queries on any of the above FAQs please contact us.