OET Premium Preparation Provider
What is an OET Premium Preparation Provider?
Premium Preparation Providers or PPP are institutions that have achieved benchmark quality in OET teaching and course design. To earn this status, the school must complete a training course that involves OET course design and assessment of in-class teaching. There are only a few UK schools to become a Premium Preparation Provider.
LSI/IH Portsmouth becomes an OET Premium Preparation Provider
LSI/IH Portsmouth is delighted to announce that we have become one of only a handful of schools in the UK to achieve Premium Preparation Provider status in the UK. Along with our status as the joint number 1 school in the UK, and our recent acceptance into the worldwide quality English teaching organisation International House, becoming a Premium Provider is yet another indicator of the excellence of the course provision and teaching at LSI/IH Portsmouth.
FAQs with a Director of Studies
DOS Lewis Richards specialises in the course and curriculum design as well as teacher training for exam classes. He is a published author of two books (IELTS Advantage and Build up to IELTS). He has been working at LSI/IH Portsmouth for almost two decades and has led the development of OET courses at LSI/IH Portsmouth. Below he answers some frequently asked questions.
What is OET?
OET stands for the Occupational English Test, and it’s a test designed for medical professionals like nurses and doctors. Medical professionals who are qualified in a particular field of medicine, mainly nursing, and who need to prove that they also have the English language skills to work in English-speaking hospitals, take it.
The test is all medical in content, so for example, the listening test involves answering questions about a consultation between a doctor and a patient, the writing test requires you to write a letter discharging a patient from hospital, and the speaking test involves role-playing typical conversations between a nurse or doctor and a patient.
Does LSI/IH Portsmouth currently run OET courses for nursing?
Yes. We run a full-time, one-week, so twenty-five hours, OET Nursing course. We have one course a month, and we time it so that it happens in the week before an OET test, so if you want to, you can take the course Monday to Friday, and then do the real exam on the Saturday.
As LSI/IH Portsmouth is also an official test centre for OET, you can take your test with us on the Saturday if you want. One benefit of doing that is that you’re already comfortable and familiar with the school, and therefore probably less stressed on exam day.
The course is very intensive, it covers all four skills (reading, listening, writing and speaking), with lots of homework on top of the five hours of lessons per day. We generally find that people need more help with reading and writing, so we tend to spend a bit more of the week on those skills, but each course is different, and we adapt the course to the needs of the students.
How did LSI/IH Portsmouth become a Premium Preparation Provider?
To become a Premium Provider for OET means that you as a school have gone through an extensive training course with OET, where you have to design a course and a curriculum for an OET course to a really high standard and have it approved by OET.
You also have to write lots of individual lesson plans, showing how you would best teach reading skills, for example, in your course, and then you have to have your teachers’ lessons filmed and sent to Australia for approval.
On top of that, there are a whole series of online modules to complete where you have to demonstrate that your course and teaching is of an excellent standard. It’s a really tough process, and not many schools have achieved it, so we are really pleased!
How long did it take LSI/IH Portsmouth to achieve Premium Provider status?
Well, I’m the person who has been in charge of doing this, and it feels like I’ve spent my entire year thinking and learning about how to teach OET! It’s taken 8 to 9 months to be accepted by OET, but the hard work was worth it, and it’s a really good process.
Quite often I would write a lesson plan, and OET would send it back with feedback and ask me to improve it, and that’s really helped to make our course as good as it is. All the feedback has been shared with the OET teaching team, my colleagues Rebecca Blakey and Neil Jenkins, and we’ve all put the ideas from the course into practice in the OET courses.
Why is a Premium Provider important for OET students?
Having Premium Provider status is a guarantee for people who need to study for OET that LSI/IH Portsmouth courses are of a high standard. It shows that we are experienced, that our courses are high quality, and that you can trust that we are one of the best places in the country to prepare for OET.
There are many schools, websites and online courses for OET, and I am sure that some of them are good, but being an OET-endorsed Premium Provider is a guarantee to students that you will get the best possible course.
Did you know?
✅ Our maximum class size of 8 is smaller than the UK Average.
✅ Our courses are more intensive (25 hours per week) than most UK schools.
Lewis’s final thoughts on becoming a Premium Provider
Why do you enjoy teaching OET preparation?
Well, as you say, I’ve taught OET courses all year, and one thing that’s wonderful about it is that you are teaching highly-qualified and motivated professionals, and helping them to achieve their goals. Everyone works together on a course – the teachers and students – with the same aim, which is to enable the students to work in the profession that they are trained for.
In many cases, our students are working in medicine, but in a lower-level job than they deserve, and it’s just fantastic when people pass the OET and can really do the job they are qualified for. I taught one particular Italian student this year, she had been working as a lower-band nurse in the UK for several years, had taken OET several times, and had almost given up being able to work here at the level she was qualified for. When she passed, she sent us an email, and here’s an extract from it to share with you:
I can’t believe I PASSED THE EXAM!!!
I feel so happy!!!! I cannot describe my sensations. It’s probably like being on an amazing beach with clear water, drinking a lovely cocktail on a sunny day and being in peace with the world! I want to thank you with all my heart because without you, I was not able to pass it!
Fausta – Italian OET student
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