There are many good computer training centres but generally these are only open to the long term unemployed, so if you've got a job and even though it's not IT related then there's very little chance you can enrol on one of the training courses at these training centres.
In comparison to the normal training places which offer training, the training centres for the unemployed are usually state run or run by charities. They provide long term training, typically six months in length and provide the trainee with a load of practical skills ideally suited to 'how things are done in real IT jobs'.
This type of training makes those who complete the training very suited for work placements at many organisations, who have agreed with these training centres to take a set amount of trainees who've successfully completed the training.
The privately run training organisations, who are only interested in profit, only provide short courses or distance learning courses, where the training is completed by the student away from the training organisations training centres.
The quality of the person graduating from these training schemes means those who've tended to do the state run schemes involving many practical elements, is far more employable than those who have merely done a course, that's mostly constituted theory supplemented by a few exams.
Prometric are leaders in providing testing facilities for the major exam vendors such as Microsoft. Prometric manage the whole test process from exam candidate registration, keeping track of exams taken, passes/fails and liaising with exam vendors to issue certificates to those who have successfully passed exams.
These test centres provide the computer facilities and testing software for students to take exams, which are graded automatically upon completion of the tests.
Some training organisations have also ventured into becoming test centres, as it can be a lucrative money spinner. Allowing on these training companies to make money of the training but the exams too, even better are those students who fail, as repeated exam taking makes even more money.
Again many training companies are professional enough to run a training and exam taking service, which plays by the rules but other training companies may decide to play by their own rules.
It takes a very limited amount of exam passes amongst a few individuals to qualify as a test centre for the major certification vendors.
With these limited exam passes by employees of the test centre not necessarily being in those areas deemed challenging by the training public. I was quite shocked at how easy it was to become a training centre offering exams, with a handful of exam passes in easy to do subjects.
Whilst this may have become more stringent over time and certification vendors making the criteria more stricter, the damage I feel has been done. As many organisations have already gained access to the lucrative testing market during the early days when stringent checks just didn't really exist. These training organisations retain their testing status as part of the legacy agreements with the certification vendors.