My experience with The Business Development Academy

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by sfcman, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. sfcman

    sfcman New Member

    I have just had the (mis?)fortune being invited in for a chat at "Academies International" aka "The Business Development Academy", and wanted to share my experience with everyone since I've not been able to find any concrete 3rd party information about this company, or anyone who's been through their programs online.

    Brief background on me: I'm a graduate (graduated in 2008) currently working for a small IT firm in London, I've got a bit of experience in all sorts of things but I don't have any certificates to back this experience up (hopefully not for long though). I'm currently looking for a new Job since I have decided to move on from my current position.

    Now for the story:

    I posted my new CV up on, and I made it searchable by recruiters. Around 2-3hours later I get a phone call from a representitive of "Academies International" (the same as "Business Development Academy"). She asked if I'm looking for work or if I'm in full time employment; I told them the latter. She went on to say that they have a "1st/2nd line support" position for me for around £30k, and that they will provide all the training required etc. for certifications. I asked what the company did and I was told with some hesitation that they were recruiters.

    I was on a holiday from work and was looking for a new position anyway, so I thought "what do I have to lose?"

    She sent me an email with all the details, what time, where, how to dress, what to bring with me etc. In the email she sent, there was a url to the company website (, and naturally I wanted to know more about the place which gave me a call. So, after looking through the website, I stumbled upon their "Jobs" section, where they were advertising jobs. This listed some jobs some of which would required little experience and a single certificate for a position which would pay £30k-60k. Now granted I know some companies pay well, but I was a bit suspicious and clicked on the job title to find out more details, this took me to the front page of a website called CW Jobs. I thought that it was strange, and maybe a broken link, so I went back and I clicked on all the other listed jobs, all which went to the same place, the front page of CW Jobs.

    This put much doubt into my mind as to the motives of these people, but I went to the "meeting" anyway, since I wanted to know more and make sure I wasn't making any rushed assumptions.

    I went to see them, and I waited along with around 5-6 other people. We all had to fill out a form. My name was called and I was the first of the group to go in.

    The lady that spoke to me on the phone was the one conducting this "interview", except that it felt more like they were selling things to me. She listed all the certificated I'll be gaining, and talked about the kind of salary I can expect from the job they were guaranteeing, which was all great until I asked who would be paying for the certificates, and how much, she craftily went around the question and continued to tell me all the benefits (free laptop, unlimited practice hours) until I asked her again. She explained that the certificates are paid via a bank loan taken out on my behalf, which I would need to start paying back (funnily she didn't mention what sort of interest rate I'd be paying), and that the pre-VAT price for 6 certificates (A+, N+, MCSA, MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA) would be in the range of £9,000-10,000. The courses would be super quick track and would all be complete within 50 days.

    Now, to begin with I came there under the pretence that I was applying for a paid position with the added benefit of getting some training - obviously I was naive to think that, what they were offering is training with a loan taken out against you, and then "gaurantee" a job, provided you don't somehow void the contract with them - but that was seriously misleading. Secondly, 50 days? seriously? I've got no certificates, but I have some experience - and even with that I would struggle to finish all those in 50 days. For people with no experience applying for these courses, I don't know how they'd do it.

    I continued asking questions (I was the only one asking them, she was just talking at me), mentioned that I could do all those certificates for less but it would take a longer time. She seemed to act surprised. After a bit longer I asked my final question, which was to do with the "Jobs" section on their website. I said to her that I was confused, that either the links were to "old" jobs that are longer listed, or the links were purposefully pointing to the front page. She didn't know what to say, and the "interview" ended there.

    I wasn't being mean at any point, and was very attentive and polite. (At least I thought I was :))

    Either way, this wasn't really for me. I'm sure this kinda thing might fit some peoples career path, but I want(ed) to take a different route.
  2. notbuyingit

    notbuyingit New Member

    I got a call yesterday on my mobile from Maria at Academies International (extention 228) she said there was a 100% guarantee of a job paying £30,000 for 1st or 2nd line support....

    sounds familiar eh? - well anyway I just googled the company, here's the address etc (luckily i had Maria leave a message):

    4 Frederick's Place, Old Jewry,
    Bank, City of London.
    EC2R 8AB

    National Phone: 0870 423 2316
    Local Phone: 0207 397 1210
    National Fax: 08704 23 23 17

    E: [email protected]

    That said, I also gave the lovely Maria a peace of my mind when calling her back, (I get free calls so it didn't cost me anything - although it did cost me money to retrieve the voice mail!) as I didn't think I would just be head hunted out of the blue for such a job. I also thought it was extremely annoying of the woman to give a 100% guarantee for a job I hadn't even been to an interview for. I suspected that this woman was lying under the pretence of getting me to a job interview simply to get me to purchase an expensive amount of training! At least I know I'm not the only one. I had a bit of a go at the woman, I told her that I will be homeless in 3 months time and that i can't afford to go swanning off to bank just so I can sign up to yet another recruitment agency. I told the truth, unlike some companies I could mention.

    I'm thinking of reporting these guys to BBC Watchdog, unfortunately I didn't record the conversation, but I'm sure that one of their people will call someone else soon... they're that kind of people. I literally had chest pains after that phone call, the audacity of the woman! Anyway, good luck on your job hunt my friend.

    I've been out of work since I was made redundant just before Christmas. I almost wish I hadn't signed up to reed aswell, I'm bound to get more unsolicited calls...

    I'm glad you posted this. I hope more people get wise and don't waste their time going to this stupid company.
  3. dayab

    dayab New Member

    I would like to thank both of you guys for the info about this cheeky company as i ,m due to see miss Sofi tomorrow for an interview.I,m a fresh postgradute in Finance with two years banking experience n was hunting for a job n got a call after uploading my CV with reeds.I think one shouldnt play games with needy pple like that.Thanks again for saving my time and energies as i was getting ready for tomorrow interview. Keep smilling n you both dont worry you,ll get very good jobs...Take great care of yourselves n look after those around you.
  4. StudentK

    StudentK New Member

    Hi there,

    I just got a call from them today, after reading your posts (thanks) and some research, i just called them back and said "no thanks".

    Really glad I found this site
  5. IT2009

    IT2009 Byte Poster

    Thank you for sharing this.
    I have experience with Firebrand training. Someone reccommended them to me and I went on their website. In order to see course fees I had to fill in the form which asked for my tel no and name. I ve never done it before but that time I filled the form and even after 2 months they are still phoning me and sending me e-mails.
    Also they charge around £4k-£5k for a week in the camp. I don't know how is it possible to get knowledge an experience in such a short time for some really complex studies.
    Looks like they want to get rid of people in short time and get new ones to get fees from them.
    I am looking for good training place in London but can't find it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2009
    Certifications: MCP, HND Business Information Systems
    WIP: A+
  6. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    Ummm... No offence, but Firebrand Training are absolutely nothing to do with the company quoted in the rest of this thread. I'm not doubting that you had that experience with them (I too had their salespeople call me over and over again in a previous role after training with them once - in the end I told one of them to f*** off, and that seemed to stop them ringing me). However, you really should have put this on a separate thread.
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  7. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    50 days to complete A+, N+, MCSA, MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA


    That is ludicrous :dry
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  8. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    One word. Cheating.
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  9. MegaBrain

    MegaBrain New Member

    Thanks for posting this info. You just saved me a lot of wasted time. I thought something was fishy when the woman on the phone seemed to be using hard sell tactics.
    I got a call about an hour ago from this company and they want to interview me tomorrow in Cardiff.
    I'm now thinking I might go along just to rock the boat.
    I don't really know anything about the certifications they're offering (I created this account just to post this) so has anyone got any hard questions they'd like me to ask? I might try to record it somehow, probably audio only on my phone.
    By the way this thread turned up on the 3rd page when I googled 'The business development academy ltd'.
  10. Dave

    Dave Bit Poster

    I had the same experience with BD Academy in Bank when I went to see them after a phone call out of the blue about some potential job opportunities. I'd had a quick look at their website online so I knew it was going to be training they were sellling but thought I'd pop along out of curiosity.

    When I challenged the advisor stating that I felt it was completely unrealistic sit and pass all the exams required, (9 in total for the course that they were attempting to sell) within the 6 month period to a standard that you could retain the information learned, I got a look of disbelief and the advisor reiterated that the MCSA was 10 days, MCSE 20 Days & CCNA 10 days (for £9k and the promise of a job at the end of the 6 month period).

    I went a bit further when I saw them and asked to see a list of their current vacancies, the advisor produced a list and low & behold, none of them had the magical £27k - £30k salary that was stated - all in fact were below £20k with the advisor simply saying that they didn't currently have any higher paying vacancies on their books at that particular time - make of that what you will.

    I left them feeling annoyed that they sell these hugely expensive courses with ridiculous promises and unrealistic time scales (for anyone learning like myself anyway)
    Certifications: A+, N+, Sec+, MCP, MCDST, MCTA
    WIP: 70-290 & Linux+
  11. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

    Lots of new folks in this thread :scratch, welcome :D
    Certifications: MCDST|FtOCC
    WIP: MCSA(70-270|70-290|70-291)
  12. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Another one for self study vs tp debate, I wonder if Mr Machismo is reading this he usually pops up when people start saying stuff about training provider and then claims that this sort of thing never goes on.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  13. mic233

    mic233 New Member

    I Just got a call from BD Academy about 10 minutes ago. I was quite excited initially then a bit of suspicion crept in so i checked out there website which only heightened my suspicions since it looks like a training company and i was told my cv was "perfect" for this long list of IT jobs (despite having no work experience and only MCDST cert). Anyway im supposed to attend an interview tomorrow to discuss these amazing opportunities but after finding this thread i don't think i will attend and i won't be informing them either! What a let down
    Certifications: MCDST
  14. Jhur02

    Jhur02 New Member

    Hey Guys and Girls

    My name is John and I just wanted to write to clear up some of the negative vibes you have for TBDA.
    I work for Academies International in London. We are a training provider firstly. However, we secondly have recruitment departments within our main umbrella structure of Academies international i.e. TFRA

    So, I just wanted to let you know that we can and do offer the training you have mentioned. This is no scam. We have lots of students and testimonies to prove this. To be fair, the website is funny. We are working on it! We have several business departments including TBDA, TFTA, TFRA etc.

    As for the job side of things, we do 100% guarantees you a job at the end of the training. No joke here lads. Unfortunately, we are in a recession... so for us to not have your ideal job is because there isn’t one out there for us to offer.

    We contact you by finding your CV online, and obviously try to call you if we think you have potential within the required field. I hope this information helps anyone looking for the positive side of things.

    Please come along to the interview and at least decide for yourself as opposed to listening to the bad experiences of people unwilling to learn.

    please feel free to contact me on [email protected]. i will be please to answer any queries or confusion you have about us.

  15. alibranded

    alibranded New Member

    Hi to evryone and thank you all for the feedback, you guys have just saved me a lot of time as i was about to attend an interview for a supposed job offer as well.

    To cut the long story short, my CV was also registered with and this morning a lady from BDAcademy called to offer me a job as an I.T help desk support and/or database administrator. So I got the confirmation email about what time my interview was and where to attend.

    The address was same as above near the Bank station and the dress code was to dress formally in traditional business attire as a number of Employers are at our offices on a daily basis seeking able and professional staff for their organisations. As they advised me to have a look at their website before attending the interview i though i go and check it out.

    Going through the website i wasn't able to find any jobs apart from the courses that they were selling and how quick they would take to complete, 5 to 15 days. soi then though of seeing if anyone else had attended these interviews and thankfully i came across this forum.

    And thanks to all you i will be phoning them tomorrow to cancel my appointment and tell them just exactly how i feel and just why I wont be turning up. Thanks again and good luck to you all in your job hunts.
  16. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

    Thanks for the input, but I think some of your comments are imflammatory.

    Lets see, regading the training you offer, who is this provided by, is it trained instructors who have the certificates themselves, more importantly do these instructors have commercial experience working within IT to a Network Admin/IT Technical manager level (ie they have done more than just memorised some facts).

    How do you deal with people who arent grasping the material in time? Do you resort to practice exams which contain actual exam questions? Do you give them extra time and assistance to grasp the material?

    Is the guarantee of a job in IT, a bonafide guarantee, IE will it be a local job, for the amount of money claimed and at the level promised for an MCSE which should be network administator.
    If a student cannot find a suitable role what is your refund policy?

    My advice to potential students is to ask these questions and more.

    Im not having a go at John, but having worked in IT for 12 years, I have mainly self studied with an occasional weeks training on some of the higher level technologies that self study is impractical to do.

    I would describe myself as self motivated to learn, which helps me progress in IT, this means I can study with cheaper materials, this characteristic I (and others) feel is vital to IT as quick thinking on feet is the difference between a fix or a long standing support call to an external company.

    I am now going to refer to the comment which summed everything up for me.

    I think everyone should be free to make up their minds, however slandering current and former customers doesnt exactly give me confidence.
    One thing I would say is that dealing with PR on web forums, you should engage with people and learn what their complaints are and show how you tried to resolve issues.

    The flip side of that is that maybe these people have no IT ability and are unwilling to learn, in which case why didnt the so called assesment pick up on this?

    As you can probably tell I wouldnt use a company like yours, and the above paragraphs shows why not, and show why the majority of this forum dont as well, and are active in promoting self study, as it is just as much to our benefit, to have certified professionals who are knowledgable, as opposed to certified (possible braindumpers) from a conveyor belt, diminishing the value of our careers.
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  17. danielno8

    danielno8 Gigabyte Poster

    ^kelvicho, this muppet isn't worth a thought out answer like that.

    He should be poked in the eye and sent on his money-grabbing way.
    Certifications: CCENT, CCNA
  18. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    Harsh, but fair.
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  19. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    This is genius. Thanks for this 'John' - your post has done more to put people off your company's Get Rich Quick Scheme than any words of advice/warning people on here might have given. Way to fail on posting your email address (a private one at that - not even your company one) on a public, high-traffic forum too. Expect plenty of comedy mails from various Nigerian princes offering to enter into a 'business transaction' with you soon.
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  20. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    Does you?
    Where's the 'but'?

    Oh, there it is - silly me.

    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD

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