ICS Learn (International Correspondence Schools)

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ICS Learn
Industry Education
Founded USA 1890
Headquarters Glasgow, Scotland
Products Online Learning Courses
Slogan Learning at Your Fingertips
Website ICS Learn (United Kingdom)

ICS Learn, also known as ICS and International Correspondence Schools Ltd, is a UK leading provider of online learning courses. Previously a provider of distance learning only, the company is now focused on providing its students with an encompassing blended learning study approach.

ICS Learn have offered a variety of flexible accredited learning courses over the years which enable students to attain professional and vocational qualifications. These courses cover/covered a wide range of subjects such as Human Resources, Learning & Development, Accountancy & Bookkeeping, Business Management, Engineering, Childcare, GCSEs/IGCSEs, A Levels and Events & Hospitality.


ICS Learn have worked with a number of professional awarding bodies over the many years it has operated to provide internationally recognised and respected qualifications to all its students.


ICS Learn for many years have offered a wide range of GCSEs, IGCSEs, A-levels, professional and vocational courses.

Teaching methods[edit]

In the past the majority of courses were supplied via paper-based study materials. The materials consisted of several units and modules that students complete as they progress through their course.

Today ICS Learn courses are offered fully online to provide a fast and effective way for students to access study materials, activities and assessments. All relevant study resources and additional learning materials are hosted on the Online Student Community which is a virtual learning environment. The student community enables all ICS Learn students to engage and interact with their tutors and and fellow students giving them the opportunity discuss their experience, the course content, assignments and exams.

Tutors and mentors[edit]

ICS Learn students are assigned dedicated tutors who provide them with academic support and guidance from enrolment right through to completion of their course. Tutors answer any queries students may have regarding the course content itself as well as assessments. Throughout their studies students complete test papers and mock exams which tutors mark constructively. These effective revision aids help both the student and tutor to assess and determine the student's progress and identify areas of improvement.

Students who are enrolled on one of the CIPD or AAT courses receive additional support from a team of mentors who monitor their study progress and assume all administrative tasks for them so that students can fully focus on their studies.


Further information: Distance education

ICS Learn was originally founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania by journalist and editor of the Mining Herald*, Thomas J. Foster. Alarmed "by the frequent mine accidents causing serious injury or death to his neighbours," (Kennan,1940) Foster played an instrumental part in setting up statutes to safeguard the welfare of miners. The new requirement for miners to be certified led to a new Question and Answer column in the Mining Herald, which educated his readers on the certification test they had to pass in order to qualify as mining workers. Due to popular demand Foster eventually opened an education institute offering one course: Mine Safety Engineering. By 1901 International Correspondence School was incorporated in the US.

  • This publication was also named "The Colliery Engineer" and "Colliery Engineer and Metal Miner"

By 1992 ICS Learn had enrolled more than 9 million students on its programmes and courses.

The US branch of ICS Learn has since been renamed to Penn Foster Career School. The British branch of the company operates under its original name in the UK and has their headquarters in Glasgow.

External links[edit]