Searching for Courses and Events: Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ 1: How do I use the Quick Search?FAQ 2: How do I use Advanced Search?FAQ 3: What do the regions cover?FAQ 4: What are the different course types?FAQ 5: How do I book a course?FAQ 6: How do I add my courses?FAQ 7: What are the Terms and Conditions for adding courses?AOB
FAQ 1: HOW DO I USE THE QUICK SEARCH?Quick search is a keyword only search. It searches all courses within the next six months containing the exact word or phrase used.
Keyword: using a single wordIf a single keyword is used, the search will find all instances of the word appearing in the course title and short description. If the root of a word is used, all instances of that word and longer words comprising it will be found. So a search on 'taxation' will yield results containing taxation only while a search on 'tax' will find 'tax', 'taxation', 'taxing' and, of course, 'taxi'.
Keyword: using a phraseIf a phrase (i.e. more than one word is used) the search will be on that complete phrase. So, searching on 'appraisal skills', will search on instances of those phrases occurring together in a phrase and not as separate words. If your search using a phrase yielded no results, try using a single keyword to increase the number of hits.
FAQ 2: HOW DO I USE THE ADVANCED SEARCH?Advanced search can be used to provide more focused search results. As well as the keyword search (see FAQ 1) it also enables the user to search by date range, type of course and location. Leaving all the boxes unchecked selects all types or locations. Checking boxes will then search only on those criteria.
Region vs. locationSearching can be by region(s) or location. Leaving all the region boxes unchecked will search on all the regions, otherwise check the boxes to narrow your search.
Location searches will seek an exact match on the location. For example, selecting 'Bristol' as the location will generate matches in Bristol only, whereas 'South West' will yield results from across the region. Entering both a location and a region will give results by the location only if it is within the region specified or, if the location is outside the region, will yield no results.
DatesThe default date range is set to cover the next six months but can be set to cover other periods. It can also be set to list past events, if you want to see what you've missed!
Grey areas on the mapAssigning regions to courses is not an exact science. Providers are encouraged to be as specific as possible but by keeping the number of regions to a dozen or so, there are some grey areas on the map. For example, we classify Oxfordshire and Hampshire as South East while the South West category also covers the West of England more generally i.e. Wilthsire and Gloucestershire. If your region based search is too wide, use the specific location to generate a more exact match.
What about online courses and bespoke courses?Courses can only have one region assigned to them. Online courses will usually be checked as 'global' courses while bespoke will either be checked as the region in which the supplier is located or as 'global'. Note that leaving all the boxes unchecked on the advance search will search all courses and events in the same way as if all the boxes were checked.
FAQ 4: WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT COURSE TYPES?We have divided the courses up into a small number of categories in order to help users refine their searches. These are:
Open course or seminarThis comprises courses, seminars and conferences where there will be one or more speaker addressing an audience. The audience may comprise anything from a small group for a highly specialist event to a large group at an event with a number of speakers. Such events constitute instructor led training will generally be paid for events.
Online courseThese courses and e-learning courses and can be conducted exclusively online. There will be a link to where the training can be obtained if that is hosted within the community.
Exhibition or conferenceThese events will be large open conferences e.g. at Olympia or the NEC. Whilst there may be presentations and speakers there will also be large numbers of exhibitors. Attending the course will generally be free although attending the conference element of the exhibition may involve a fee.
Bespoke trainingThis is training that can be run in-house. The training may be bespoke in-house training or open courses that can be run privately.
FAQ 5: HOW DO I BOOK A COURSE?Our database is designed to publicise courses and events being run by community members, whether individuals or training companies. All transactions are entered into between the user and the course provider. Users can book either by contacting the provider directly or by using the form-to-mail booking form where the provider has made this available.
FAQ 6: HOW DO I ADD MY COURSES?To add an event you must be a registered user and your profile must be set to enable you to add events. Follow the instructions within the 'My Profile' section. Shortly after you have requested a change to your profile to be able to add events you will receive an e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org stating that your profile has been amended to allow you to do this. When you enter the administration area by clicking on 'Add events' there is a separate FAQ sheet explaining how to add and amend events.
FAQ 7: WHAT ARE THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR ADDING COURSES?Any registered user can add courses to the database. Sift Group reserves the right to amend or remove courses which it deems unsuitable for its communities. Further information on Terms and Conditions is inlcuded within the administration area for registered course providers.