Campbell's College News Archive: A trip down memory lane.

July 2015 Artwork
Regular students will be aware that we change our cover designs and the iTunes U designs every six months. This artwork is produced by Alex Campbell - look out for the new design for based on photos of gorillas I took at Port Lympne animal park this May. The beautiful original signed pen and ink drawing of the Falcon now hangs in pride of place in my hall. Alex's distinctive style is making waves within the art world so if you would like to own an original artwork, have a look at his website pr contact us.

Alex Campbell's website

March 2015: THE ICSA ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2015 - report by Mark Cardale

This conference was held in March this year, and was almost entirely given over to presentations on aspects of corporate governance, indicating the importance which ICSA now gives to this subject. There were also one or two presentations given by examiners in their own CSQS subjects, including one by Brian Coyle (the corporate governance examiner and author of the syllabus text book) which was attended by Mark Cardale.
The presentation was consistent with what you will learn about the exam from the Campbell’s course materials and Brian Coyle’s previously published comments on past exam questions. Brian Coyle emphasised:

1. The importance of knowing the course subject matter in some detail. This would include a “thorough” knowledge of the UK Corporate Governance Code, but you wouldn’t need to know the Principle and Provision numbers for the exam (although we think knowledge of at least the letters for the different section headings is a useful way into the Code).

2. The importance of writing accurate and relevant answers in the exam. There is no point, for example, if the question is about the remuneration committee, in writing in this exam about the principles of board committees generally– unless you show precisely how this relates to the particulars of the question. “Unsupported” general statements – generalisations without facts or explanation in support – will also annoy the examiner.

Brian Coyle also referred to some of the topics on which he has often set questions in the past and/or is likely to (again) now. He particularly mentioned:
(i) audit and the audit committee
(ii) risk management
(iii) the board of directors
(iv) shareholders and stakeholders – rather a large topic! But Brian Coyle did express particular interest in reporting and the Strategic Report.
Reported for Campbell's College by Mark Cardale
June 2014: Strategy in Practice
Thank you to all students who submitted feedback about our courses. We are delighted that our distance learning courses with audio lectures are receiving so many positive comments.
The success of Counterculture Partnership, Tom Wilcox's company which offers services to the voluntary and charity sector, has meant him having to rationalise his other commitments. So sadly we have to say goodbye and Alan will be taking back the subject he taught for many years before handing the reigns over to Tom. We wish him every success in the future.

May 2014
As summer finally arrives, it is good to see how hard most of our students are working. The message seems to have finally got through - you need to work to do well in ICSA CSQS exams! This flurry of activity does however mean that tutors now have so much marking that it may take a couple of days longer than ususal to return your assignments.
Our London revision courses have been well attended - thank you for all the positive comments received! We wish all students the best of luck in the exams.
This term closes on Friday 30th May and tutors will then take a break from marking and concentrate on upgrading courses. This is also the period when we take our holidays - so the phone may not be manned all day long, but emails will be answered as usual.
We suggest students also take a break from studies and do something different for a few weeks. In these demanding times it is very hard to maintain a work-life balance, but for the sake of your health it is important to try.
So how do we at Campbell's College maintain that important work-life balance? As well as family activities, we all have a number of passions:
Cat Survival Trust Alan loves model making - mainly historic ships, Alex has his art and music and Jane has Egyptology and photography. Here is one of her recent favourite photos take at The Cat Survival Trust in Hertfordshire. This charity houses a number of endangered wild cats and is concerned with habitat protection in the wild. A charity we would like to promote and also become more involved with when time permits!
We would love to hear from students with any interesting passions!
April 2013
First of all, congratulations to F Maccoll for winning the ICSA Livery Co. prize for best paper in Financial Decision Making in the November 2012 exams. Flowers and chocolates from us are on their way!

Alan's recent trip to Mauritius was a great success so thank you to Kathy, Steve and Rajeshwar for organising everything so well. To our surprise, Alan's 'World Developments in Corporate Governance' lecture ended up being attended by over 120 people - the entire Financial Services Commission! We would like to wish all the CSP and Corporate Governance revision students the best of luck in the exams next month.
Tall Banker - Luxembourg Back in the UK, Alan spend a few days catching up on marking before flying out to Luxembourg for a very enjoyable 2 day Corporate Governance revision course organised by ILA who have big plans for ICSA expansion. Many thanks to Veronique for organising this course at the Chambre de Commerce.
London revision numbers are healthy - it is encouraging to know that so many students come to us through word of mouth recommendations!

January 2013

Now that all courses for the June 2013 examinations are ready to start, I thought I would write a bit about what else has been going on at Campbell's College.
Alan is off to Luxembourg today to deliver a two day Corporate Governance course to ICSA CSQS students in association with The Institut Luxembougeois des Administrateurs (ILA). There will be another two day course in February for Financial Decision Making.
Alex, our Printroom Manager and resident artist has been in Zambia working on a new and exciting art project - more details to follow. He is also planning to open a gallery in London in which he will exhibit both originals and prints of his wonderful and distinctive wildlife pictures. I will let you know when the launch takes place! The gallery will be a joint venture with his wife, the very talented photographer Karyn. Good luck to you both.
I was lucky enough to visit the beautiful BVI just before Christmas and as Campbell's have a number of students in Road Town, Tortola, it was particularly interesting to see this finance centre!

April 2012: Free ebook
Successful ex-student Will Stringer has written to tell me about a book he has written which may be of interest to our students:
'Strategies to Fight Exam Stress & Achieve Success'
The book is based on his experiences of taking academic and professional exams and is available as a free ebook download from

January 2012: Free Course for new syllabus COFA Investment

We have rewritten our courses to match the changes and these will be ready to go after the February 2012 examinations. AND We are offering FREE TRAINING for the JULY 2012 COFA INVESTMENT exam
How will it work?
a.12 free online lectures by Alan Campbell. These are by invitation and can be accessed in real time or your own time.
b. We will email a full set of course notes – free.
c. We will email a full set of test questions free and we will email the answers for you to self-mark.

What will the cost be?
a. With us – no payment, just register so we can email your notes and invite you to the lectures. With registration we have some idea of numbers and where you are so we can adjust the lectures to suit you.
b. With ICSA – you will have to enrol for the July 2012 exam and buy their textbook.

Why are we doing this?
a. Firstly – because we can: this course will be subsidised by other courses.
b. Secondly – because of a promise Alan made some time ago. The Investments course has had the worst textbook and worst pass rate of all the COFA subjects. One year, no one passed from Belize to Gibraltar to Mauritius with the sole exception of a mysterious lady in Guernsey!! Students have tried again and again and failed. There are many COFA students who have passed three subjects and given up on the Investments. We have told you to wait until ICSA changed the book. And you have waited and waited and waited. Now the waiting is over and we have not forgotten. There is a new book, a new syllabus and a new year ahead – time for one more go!!!
c. Thirdly – this is also a business experiment. We are making the course open to anyone – not just those who failed before. If you are interested in a qualification recognised internationally, here is your chance to try without a huge financial commitment, especially those of you having to pay in foreign exchange. You can walk away or perhaps continue with other subjects, hopefully using us or your local provider.

Please pass the word around especially to those who nearly made it – your time has come.

March 2011 Online lectures & an unexpected consequence: family re-united!

Thank you to all Corporate Law and Corporate Governance students who participated in our first online virtual classroom lectures. They were a great success and we will incorporate more such sessions into our training courses. If you missed attending 'live' on the day, you can watch the recording by logging into WizIQ. It was great to have such an international class - including students from Dubai, Jamaica, Luxembourg, USA, Isle of Man, London, Scotland and Croydon!
One very exciting and unexpected consequence is that we have reunited a family -
One of our UK students has been reunited with the family of her Great Uncle in Jamaica.

December 2010: Snow

Today the Kent office is snowed in. We can't get out to post anything and the postman cannot get down the road to deliver, so if you have sent us anything or are waiting for something from us please be patient.
I do hope all our students are coping with the adverse weather conditions - if you want to share photos of the snow where you are, send me a low resolution picture and I will add it to the site.
Here's one to start things off - The River Stort in Hertfordshire. Not a lot of snow here yet! Maybe our students overseas could send in some lovely tropical scenes to cheer us up!

2009: For Accounting Fundamentals we have been experimenting with a new online classroom which enables us to deliver live or recorded sessions to our students overseas. Thank you to our pioneer students in Belize and Bermuda who have been participating in this new venture. We hope to make these sessions available for other subjects in the near future.

2008: We Move to 15Hatfields for London Revision: We are pleased to announce that our London revision classes are moving to a new venue on the South Bank. Access is really easy from Waterloo station and from the underground and bus network. Details are on the revision page along with dates. The venue, 15Hatfields has been designed to full environmental specifications and is the most sustainable venue in London! We are sure you will love it.

2007: Jersey: Alan will be giving a seminar at the Jersey Branch Council - 15th May 2007 commencing at 5.15pm. The venue is St Paul's Centre which is in the centre of St Helier. Topic - study and revision technique. Our own revision class for Corporate Secretaryship is at the Charrieres hotel on 16/17 May.

2006: News from Gibraltar. 23/01/06 Today was the Gibraltar certificate presentation and prize giving ceremony. Here is Vivien's message to me about the occasion:

Dear Jane,
I have just come back from a highly successful presentation and student get together. The Minister presented the certificates and the world prize (to Adrian Olivero). Covered by GBC TV and the Chronicle newspaper, they gave it wide coverage. The biggest surprise was that the Minister actually spent his main time thanking Campbell's College for being the organisation that had been involved. and mentioned our high standards!!!!
It was quite thrilling! and filmed throughout by the TV station.

This week sees members of the Campbell's team travelling overseas. Alan is teaching DOFA Management revision to our study group in Belize City. Many of this group have been with us for all eight Certificate and Diploma courses, taken over the last four years. We look forward to seeing them and our other Belize graduates at a special graduation ceremony we will hold later in the year. Vivien is teaching in COFA and DOFA revision in Gibraltar and our print manager, Alex, is flying off to Munich with his band next week for a couple of gigs! We wish him good luck!

From September 2005 ICSA is establishing global quality standards for ICSA tuition.
All institutions from established universities to new start-ups will be required to apply for Registered Tuition Provider status if they wish to offer ICSA training.
All existing ICSA approval schemes e.g. accredited centre status for the COFA & DOFA, will end and be replaced by the new vetting process.
ICSA will now check on the suitability of training materials, lecturers, training programmes, complaints procedures and the financial viability of the training provider.
Registered Tuition Provider status has to be renewed annually.
The sanction to enable ICSA to enforce the quality standard will be the withdrawal of all publicity to the institution i.e. from September 2005 the only educational providers appearing on the ICSA website, in the magazine and using ICSA mailing lists, will be those who have applied and been approved by ICSA under the Registered Tuition Providers Scheme.
We wish ICSA well in its attempts to improve quality and
we will be one of the first to apply for Registered Tuition Provider status.

2005: Alan's news

Congratulations to the four ICSA prize winners in the June 2004 examinations – the latest to be announced by ICSA. We have received your replies confirming your delight with your achievements.
Jane has published our pass rates for both June 2004 and November 2004. The Registered Tuition Provider Guidelines prohibit comparative advertising but as, to our knowledge we are the only college to publish pass rates both good and sometimes bad, we use the ICSA overall pass rate as the comparator and this is not prohibited. We are above the overall pass rates for June and are still waiting for ICSA to publish pass rates for November.
Meanwhile congratulations to students and lecturers on a superb performance in November 2004. The top three pass rates were amazing: 96% for Corporate Administration and 84% for both Corporate Governance and Corporate Financial Management.
Corporate Administration: For those of you taking Corporate Administration this time, take a good look at the suggested answers on the ICSA site for November 2004. For those of you who think ICSA have published the June 2005 exam by mistake and are keeping quiet, look again. It is a pilot paper drawn up by the new examiner. There will be no suggested answers for November 2004.
Corporate Governance: We had to smile on reading question 2 in the November 2004 examination. We liked the phrase "the board adopts good governance where reasonable for the size of the company". So size does matter after all ! The question described a gold mining company with headquarters in the UK, operations in Africa and Russia, listed on AIM and moving to a full listing in three’s time. The board was worried about the business risks it faced and you had to provide a report on "the way forward". In the model answer we see clearly the approach the examiners wanted. There was no reference to gold, Africa, Russia or mining. In fact the only references to the details in the question were the company name at the top of the report and legal counsel helping with "exploration licences". As the company secretary you were there to provide a standard report on how risk was identified, classified and evaluated followed by the Combined Code and Turnbull provisions.
As the examiners stated:
"To pass, the answer needed to address the process required and not come up with a creative list of possible risks."
To improve on a pass the examiners wrote "Good answers addressed the process and, in many cases, also gave examples of specific risks faced by the company quoted in the question".

Results are not yet published but there is no doubt you did not like the DOFA investments paper. Let us wait until results are published. You will be surprised how often when you think you have done badly, you pass ( not always though… if you don/t write anything you should not be surprised if you fail).
In Belize the second COFA cohort will be studying with Jim for their last subject- Introduction to Accounting and the first DOFA group will be taking Financial Reporting. Good luck and I know Jim is looking forward to flying out to see you all and Belize again.
Welcome to our students in the Channel Islands who are coming on board as an alternative to evening classes. It was so nice to run a revision course for you all in Jersey especially as the plane took Jen to Guernsey but you still managed to complete the programme!
Welcome again to our students from St Kitts. You are rising up the offshore financial league!!
Turning to the Mediterranean, Cyprus and Gibraltar continue to excel at everything you do. Gibraltar is leading the way again: the government is committed to seeing everyone in the offshore centre qualified, the employers are benefiting from the advantages of having COFA/DOFA graduates and the sector itself is expanding. Congratulations to Vivien and her team on the rock!!

And finally, Congratulations to Jane whose interest in Egyptology has lead to studies at the University of London and who can now decipher elementary hieroglyphics. (Actually I think that comes about through years of practice in deciphering your handwriting on the application forms).
Congratulations to Alex whose band has had its first gig in London’s Soho- the second follows at the end of this month.  The choice of the name "Stalker" is after the Russian film by Tarkovsky about a man who leads people safely through strange prohibited zones until they reach the room which will grant them one wish.
Congratulations to Vivien who has successfully launched an in-house lecture series in Gibraltar. The first students have qualified and their certificates have been prepared.
Congratulations to all of you who have married, given birth, become fathers, been promoted, finally qualified and generally achieved when you thought it was beyond you. You tell one of us and then we pass it on. It makes this little business a wonderful little business (or should I use the management jargon "We are an information rich SME!!")
Campbell's College is your ICSA Registered Tuition Partner with over 25 years experience.
Campbell's College Ltd: Address: 47 Rollo Road, Swanley, Kent. BR8 7RD. Tel: +44 (0)1322 665589.  Registered in England & Wales No.2892911