The Springboard+ upskilling initiative in higher education offers free courses at certificate, degree, and masters level leading to qualifications in areas where there are employment opportunities in the economy. Springboard+ is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund.
Professional Accountancy Training (PAT) and ACCA have collaborated to deliver the Diploma in Accounting and Business at level 6 equivalent of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) as part of the Springboard+ programme.
The ACCA Diploma in Accounting and Business was delivered in two modes of learning namely:
PAT is a gold standard approved learning partner of the ACCA with accredited recognition. ACCA Gold status is only awarded to those institutions able to meet a highly challenging set of performance standards and is a formal recognition of PAT’s expertise to develop and deliver this programme.
Vladimir and I are together since our college years in Moldova, I was studying Real Estate Management and Valuation, and he was doing Land surveying. After we both graduated, the future was not really looking up for us in Moldova.
We have moved to Ireland in 2012, and like most immigrants, we both landed whatever jobs we could so we could settle in. We got married in 2013 and then came back with the purpose to build up our life in Ireland.
It was quite a challenging time, but we slowly settled in. Vlad was working as an ARTIC driver and I eventually landed a job in customer services, as it was my initial work background.
As time passed, I noticed I was stuck in a loop of only being able to land customer services jobs, I have eventually worked for PayPal, then eBay, but I was not very happy in my job.
That is when I started looking into re-skilling and decided to give accounting a try. I have joined ATI in 2015 and passed first-year exams while continuing to work full-time in customer services. Then we had our first son in 2016. I have completed ATI in 2017 and started looking for an accounts job and work experience. It was tough to get the foot in the door, but I remained determined. I had managed to convince one of my previous employers to let me come and help in accounts for free, so I could build up some experience. In the meantime, our second son was on the way. He was born in 2018 and in that year, I finally found a part-time job in practice, that was willing to give me a chance.
Fast forward, with two kids and a mortgage later, Vlad left his job in 2018 and decided to pursue ACCA, as he was quite intrigued by what I was doing and decided it will be a good fit for a re-skill for him also.
After he had completed his foundation level exams, he discovered the Springboard offering for the next 3 applied skills exams with PAT. We decided to check my exemptions and see if we can go ahead together at the same pace. Long story short, we are now on the second set of applied skills ACCA exams with PAT. This offering on springboard was a lifesaver, as doing exams on our own would have been a lot more daunting, and paying for the exams full price with a tuition provider, would have been way too expensive.
The PAT springboard offering was what enabled us to keep going with the exams at the same time, at the same pace. All the tutors at PAT are fantastic, and we could not have asked for better guidance with our exams. Their wit, dedication, and wealth of knowledge have made a very difficult task for us quite attainable. We have not failed a single exam since the start, and a good part of the reason why is the approach PAT has towards these exams. The admin team is also always there, to an extent you feel they do not take breaks and are always there to help.
When it comes to the two of us studying together, well, it is both easier and harder at the same time.
Our children are now 5 and 3 years old, and with both of us studying, we must basically take turns with child-related tasks and be very diligent with our time. But the good part is that when one has a question, the other one is there to listen and discuss it, we know what the other is going through, and we are there to keep each other’s morals up when it gets tough.
Now we are both working in the industry, and we get to see the application part of the exams we are doing, and it is more stimulating this way as well.
Why have we decided to go for accounting? I was more attracted to the idea of being in the centre of the business and seeing how everything comes together and makes the business tick. It is also a very secure industry to be in, with good career growth prospects. I have not had a single day where I dreaded going to work since I started full-time in accounting, and I believe this is the best indicator I made the right choice.
Vladimir is more attracted by financial services and financial management, but similarly, he wanted to have growth opportunities and a secure career future.
We hope to continue with PAT up to the full qualification, as everyone in PAT has proven time and again that they stand by what they say and are the best partner you could ask for in the ACCA journey.