The Knowledge Academy

Here is the kind of predatory vendor who screws the IT training market. Unfortunately the course publishers still do business with them.

Knowledge Academy advertise courses all over New Zealand every few months on all sorts of subjects. For example, they claim to be scheduling DOI's DevOps Test Engineering courses in Christchurch every month. I'd be surprised if they could fill a course there once a year.

But they have no presence or capability in this country that I know of.

Their NZ "office" is actually a large hotel,

or a lawyer.


So the 0800 number undoubtedly redirects overseas.

What exactly is their game?

Here is their game:

    The Knowledge Academy quizzed over whether its classroom courses really exist

    ...A number of their courses appear to be running in the same city, at the same location on the same day.
    York is one of them, with five different courses listed for the same venue, each month for the rest of the year.
    Which is a worry, because the venue appears to be a hotel with a single training room.
    So either they'll be five different courses being taught simultaneously in the same room, or four of them will be cancelled or changed from face-to-face tuition to online training.
    ...The Knowledge Academy can, at its discretion, “change prices at any time”, “cancel or reschedule any course” and swap their courses for a “Virtual Training” alternative.
    If you don’t accept this swap, the clause stating that all courses are “non-cancellable and non-refundable” still applies.
    The company also makes sure to cover itself by stating that it will not reimburse customers for out of pocket expenses if the venue is changed.

[Update: note that Knowledge Academy changed their policy since the quoted article and courses are now refundable]

and here:

    The Knowledge Academy has been advertising a four-day course called Management of Value, that costs from £999.
    The ones that were due to take place in Birmingham and Edinburgh were listed as having just two places left.
    Only three places were said to be remaining in Manchester, four in London and five in Bristol.
    The impression was that if you wanted a slot, you would have to hurry before they all went.
    But when I rang the venues where the courses were meant to take place, none of them knew anything about them.
    They never went ahead, despite being advertised as almost sold out.

They offer training in every city, accept registrations, then cancel saying there isn't the numbers. But fees are not refundable, so they channel customer to their online training. Bottom feeders stealing (my) clients who wanted classroom training.

Here is some more insight:

    ...Email from a new person 3 days before the course is supposed to start saying the course has been cancelled and told I could go to Geneva, next available in Lausanne or online course, no refund


    Said company contacted me a few weeks ago. They were looking for a trainer for one of their courses, and offered 300euros a day (31 an hour) if I agreed to run the course. The notice period was 5 days (i.e. they wanted me to run the course the week after). No payments for meals and transport.
    So my gut feel is that they organize courses, then try to find trainers for the dates on a freelance basis. Potentially not knowing the Swiss market, they think it's easy to find a trainer for 300euro a day on a freelance basis...


    I just had a contact from this company ...asking if I was interested in delivering a negotiaton training for them in Basel in 3 weeks time. I asked for more info and was emailed by someone else ...who offered me 350CHF for a 9 hour day..... I replied that thank you but no thank you, they are not Swiss rates and that isn't a freelance salary I'd work for...


    Avoid this company at all costs.
    They cancelled a course of mine a week in advance then miraculously it was reactivated a few days before the scheduled start date. Eventually, within hours of starting, the participants walked out because the trainer had less knowledge of the subject matter than the students.
    Looking back I think they only found a trainer willing to host the course at the very last minute. This ‘trainer’ had never seen the slides before and was hugely unprepared - so much so we were guiding the trainer.
    It was really like an episode of The Office, and with hindsight quite funny. But never again will I deal with this company...

It's a shame that Axelos and the DevOps Institute [and many others] consider them a reputable training partner. It reflects badly on them and makes them no friends amongst their supposed partners.

From Axelos' website:

    The Knowledge Academy specializes in high quality, accredited training and are the largest global provider of AXELOS examinations. Our commitment to high quality learning can be evidenced by our exceptional pass rates with more delegates passing their PRINCE2® examinations with The Knowledge Academy when compared to any other training provider.

This must be true because it is on the Axelos website. Right, Axelos?

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