CALAT Croydon Adult Learning and Training
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Business, bookkeeping and customer services


These courses can kickstart or improve your career in business support, whether that’s as a secretary, PA, office administrator or bookkeeper.


Our courses are split into 4 areas:

We can help you gain a Entry 3 or Level 1 Ascentis qualification in this field. Our experienced tutors have over 60 years of professional experience, so you’re in safe hands.

We also offer AAT Award in Business Skills Level 1, this is a Level 1 introductory qualification in AAT, you will learn basic accounting techniques and principles, an understanding of the business environment and how to prepare for the world of work.

You will become proficient in communicating with others and learn how to produce business documents, including letters, emails, reports, agendas and minutes. You‘ll also be taught how to carry out practical administrative processes and gain invaluable computer skills using Microsoft Office 10.

If you want to get into the world of finance, run your own business or update your existing skills, then our excellent bookkeeping courses can help you to achieve this.

We offer:

  • AAT Award in Bookkeeping Level 1
  • AAT Award in Business Skills Level 1
  • AAT Certificate in Accounting Level 2
  • Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting

The qualifications will teach you about preparing and recording financial documents, maintaining and processing ledgers and day books and dealing with petty cash transactions. With the computerised elements you will explore and learn how to create/amend account details, enter financial data and print reports.

Customer Service is a skill that continues to be in demand across a range of industries, and the City & Guilds qualification (Level 1) will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to excel in customer service roles and enhance your CV.

Customer Service is also an ideal starting point for those wanting to further advance their careers.

We offer an exciting 10 week course where you will develop an understanding of the importance of interaction, engaging and building a rapport with customers. You will learn how to deliver quality customer service, learn different communication methods, know how to provide good customer service and be able to deal effectively with customer queries, problems and complaints. Then CALAT is where you want to be.

At the end of the course, you will receive the Customer Service Level 1 qualification.

The course will be delivered online via zoom with our experienced and dynamic Customer Service tutor. Students will be offered 1 to 1 support from the tutor throughout the course, and will undertake a final written assessment.

Who is this course for?

Anyone considering starting their own business. Those who wish to learn more about setting up a business and what is involved.

What will I learn on the course?

  • Start-up costs
  • Your USP
  • Researching the market
  • Preparing a business plan
  • Calculating costs and pricing
  • Cashflow
  • Record keeping
  • Promoting your product or service
  • Legal requirements
  • How to structure your business

Progression opportunities:

You’ll be able to put your business plan into action and open your own business!

Course entry requirements:

This is an online course so you will need a computer or laptop with a camera and internet connection. You will need to be able to word process work to submit to the tutor.

There will also be some self-directed homework.


This is a free course.

Dates and locations

There are multiple options for each course area on offer:

  • different venues across the borough, as well as online
  • course duration from 10 to 36 weeks (course dependent)
  • at times to suit you – days and weekends

How to apply

You will need to attend an information / taster session before completing an assessment* to check your current skills.

Please contact for more information.

*Assessment can last for up to 3 hours.

Assessment dates

Business Administration:

  • Tuesday 23rd July 2024

Bookkeeping and Accounting:

  • Wednesday 24th July 2024

Customer Services:

  • Monday 22nd July 2024

Retail Knowledge:

  • To be confirmed

Developing Core Skills:

  • Thursday 18th July 2024

You will contacted with the time and location of the assessment. 

Meet the team

Picture of Judy Lewis - Business programme manager

Judy Lewis - Business programme manager

I am the Business programme manager for CALAT with over 30 years’ experience of teaching and working in Administration and I continue to be involved in supporting a small business. At CALAT we offer high quality, short intensive courses in Business Administration and Customer Service to enable learners to gain the skills needed for today’s employment market and are also proud to be delivering AAT qualifications from Level 1 to Level 3.

It’s great to speak with learners throughout their learning journey and hear about their experience and the positive impact we are having. The Business staff and tutors are all really friendly and we look forward to you joining us here at CALAT!

Picture of Elaine Short - Business programme coordinator

Elaine Short - Business programme coordinator

I am coordinator for the Business Programme and also a tutor on our Business Administration courses Level 1 and 2. I have worked for CALAT since 1995, teaching on a variety of courses including Business Start-up, Employability, Mental Health Awareness, Customer Service and Business Administration.

I came to CALAT from the Young Persons Careers Service as I wanted to work with adults and pass on some of my previous experience in retail, secretarial, care work and running a business. I love seeing our learners gain confidence and achieve their goals.

Picture of Lesley Chance - Business tutor / assessor

Lesley Chance - Business tutor / assessor

I am a part-time tutor/assessor and internal verifier for the CALAT Business Programme. I have been working for CALAT for 34 years since 1987. I have taught both ICT and Business Administration over the years and been involved in Training for Employment provision. For 7 years, I also worked as an ICT tutor for HM Prison service with both male and female inmates. This, as you can imagine, was very challenging in many ways but it was also very rewarding and really showed me how important education is in enhancing opportunity.

One of the best parts of my job is when a learner “gets it” and begins to relax in the learning environment.