I found having the flexibility to complete the course at my own pace a definite benefit as it allowed me to take a measured approach and prioritise the six units I felt would be the hardest first, before moving on to those more within my comfort zone the following year. That was my chosen route, but obviously everyone has the freedom to decide what suits them best.
Looking back, the last three months of the programme building up to viva were particularly tough. You need to start your viva application form as early as possible because it takes a serious amount of time. The good thing is that this preparation does force you to sit down and learn everything thoroughly, so when you come out the other side (having passed your viva), you do feel ready to take on the responsibilities of the role.
It’s also really important to have good sponsors who understand your strengths and weaknesses, ideally someone who sees you doing the job on a daily basis. I was lucky enough to have two brilliant and supportive sponsors. In fact, I still work with one of them and am in regular contact with the other.
My advice to anyone considering signing up for the RSSL QP training programme? Prepare to be challenged, start working on your VIVA form early on and build a network of contacts. It’s a tough learning experience, but extremely rewarding.