Ace Training has become the first New Zealand provider and one of only two in Australasia to offer the Microsoft Official Distance Learning (MODL) programme.
Aimed at IT professionals and developers, the programme combines online and classroom learning with lab-based scenarios, self-directed study and assessments. Ace has two trainers certified to offer MODL.
Ace managing director Tony Skelton says the MODL programme principles can also be used in teaching Ace’s other offerings.
“It offers us the opportunity not only to meet needs in Microsoft Certifications, but we’re also going to be able to apply this to our own programme because of the flexibility of the methodology.”
MODL was announced globally late in 2006 and IT Training Solutions is offering it across the Tasman.
The first course offered by Ace will be Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment. Skelton says this course is in demand among firms who want their IT staff to undergo Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer certification.
Microsoft partner group manager for sales and marketing Nick Fletcher says MODL will expand the learning choices available to partners and customers, especially for those outside Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
“There’s no doubt online training is increasing in popularity around the world, but in this part of the world the uptake hasn’t been as high for whatever reason. We’re keen to see how it goes for Ace in New Zealand and we’ll be helping them to succeed.”
Ace had to complete a rigorous certification programme through Microsoft’s US headquarters to be able to offer MODL, says Fletcher.
The agreement isn’t exclusive and other Microsoft partners may undergo MODL training certification in future, he adds.
Meanwhile, Ace has launched an updated Diploma in Computer Technology and internship programme, which it says will now be open to a wider audience.
It first released the diploma programme late in 2006 in conjunction with Microsoft and its partners, pitching the course at those with a business qualification or experience.
Skelton says it is now open to anyone who wants an IT career and has been updated in accordance with the latest Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator certification requirements.
Firms participating in the internship scheme include Ace itself, as well as Kinetics Group, Maclean Computing, IBM, Datacom and Microsoft.