Free Online Business & Finance Courses

What do you do with your free time between contracts? At Comparison Contractor, we think downtime between contracts is the perfect opportunity to invest in your professional development. We all know that employers value staff who keep their skills and knowledge current. In today’s competitive workplace, Ir35 contracting usually means that your CV is up against a large volume of competing applicants. Stand out from the crowd with fresh training at the top of your CV. 

Professional Associations

Training doesn’t have to be expensive. If you are a member of a professional association or union, be sure to sign up to their newsletter for details of training seminars, podcasts and networking events. 

Free Open University Courses

Don’t miss the free training courses on offer from the Open University. From management skills to technology and book-keeping courses, there’s something for everyone. Choose from 1,000 free online courses across 8 different subject areas. All courses are available to start straight away.

Below are just a few of the free courses that we think are ideal for contractors.

Introduction to Bookkeeping and Accounting

Learn about the essential numerical skills required for accounting and bookkeeping. This free course, Introduction to bookkeeping and accounting, explains the fundamental rules of double-entry bookkeeping and how they are used to produce the balance sheet and the profit and loss account.

Level 1: Introductory, 8 hours study

https://www.open.edu/openlearn/money-business/introduction-bookkeeping-and-accounting/content-section-0?active-tab=description-tab

MSE’s Academy of Money

The Open University joined forces with MoneySavingExpert (MSE) to produce this course to give you the skills and knowledge to master your finances. The course was written by The OU, with MSE providing support and guidance. Packed with videos, audios, quizzes and activities, the course covers all the key aspects of personal finance in six sessions of study that each take around two hours to complete.

Level 1: Introductory, 12 hours study

https://www.open.edu/openlearn/money-business/mses-academy-money/content-section-overview?active-tab=description-tab

Managing and Managing People

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand what is meant by management and managerial effectiveness
  • identify the roles which are fulfilled while working as a manager
  • identify managerial activities that contribute to managerial effectiveness
  • identify a cause of stress in managerial life from a range covering mismatches between capabilities and role, player-manager tension and everyday stressors
  • understand time pressures and the need for time management.

Level 3: Advanced, 8 hours study

https://www.open.edu/openlearn/money-business/leadership-management/managing-and-managing-people/content-section-0?active-tab=description-tab

Understanding Operations Management

Operations management is one of the central functions of all organisations. This free course will provide you with a basic framework for understanding this function, whether producing goods or services or in the private, public or voluntary sectors.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • define ‘operations’ and ‘operations management’
  • identify the roles and responsibilities of operations managers in different organisational contexts
  • apply the ‘transformation model’ to identify the inputs, transformation processes and outputs of an organisation
  • identify operational and administrative processes
  • describe the boundaries of an operations system, and recognise its interfaces with other functional areas within the organisation and with its external environment.

Level 3: Advanced, 4 hours study

https://www.open.edu/openlearn/money-business/leadership-management/understanding-operations-management/content-section-0?active-tab=description-tab

Strategic View Performance

Strategic management and planning are no longer the preserve of senior executives. This free course looks at three different approaches to strategy before analysing the direction that strategic management may take now that it has become an accumulation of small tactical decisions rather than a top-down process.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • explain the difference between a ‘markets approach’ and a ‘resource-based approach’ to strategy, and how they complement each other
  • explain what is meant by ‘the value chain’, and how it applies to an organisation
  • explain what is meant by ‘emergent strategy’ and why intended and actual strategy may differ
  • contribute more effectively to developing and implementing strategy in the organisation.

Level 3: Advanced, 4 hours study

https://www.open.edu/openlearn/money-management/management/human-resources/strategic-view-performance/content-section-0?active-tab=description-tab

Integrated Safety, Health and Environmental Management: An Introduction

Risk management involves many stakeholders and integrated management systems help to ensure that safety, quality, environmental and business risks are all managed correctly. The course also looks at emergency preparedness, that is, the management of emergencies and disasters.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • define risk in the most appropriate way, and appreciate the need to prioritise risks
  • appreciate the costs of illness associated with workplace activities
  • describe in outline the development of models used to explain the cause of incidents and to promote prevention
  • recognise the multiple causes contributing to many incidents, and be able to represent them diagrammatically
  • illustrate the components of an integrated management system.

Level 3: Advanced, 15 hours study

https://www.open.edu/openlearn/science-maths-technology/computing-and-ict/systems-computer/integrated-safety-health-and-environmental-management-introduction/content-section-0?active-tab=description-tab

Now that you’ve enrolled in an ideal short course, why not continue your search for the right contractor umbrella company to meet your needs? Head over to our take home pay calculator as a first step in your journey.