learndirect and Microsoft have announced a new strategic alliance aimed at improving the computer skills of people across the UK.

The first stage in this strategic alliance has been to develop the definitive online pathway for the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification, which enables people to build their knowledge up to advanced level across five areas – Word, Access, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

Greg Pearson, from Microsoft Learning, said: “MOS is the only performance-based certification which validates the skills needed to get the most out of Microsoft Office. The flexible approach of learndirect by providing self-directed online training will open-up access to the MOS certification, helping learners across the UK to stand out in today’s competitive job market.”

Suzana Lopes, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at learndirect, added: “This new strategic alliance with Microsoft offers another excellent route for learndirect to help improve and certify people’s IT skills. These new MOS training packages provide people with everything they need to succeed.”

Each package combines Microsoft’s official elearning courses and online study guides with practice tests and the exam voucher itself. This work forms the first element of a larger alliance between the two organisations. They are now working together to provide similar online pathways through levels up to Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) qualifications.

Added Suzana: “We believe this is the first time a provider has been able to offer a wholly online collection of the key components of MOS: courseware, support material, practice tests and the cost of the exam. This makes it easy for people to come to us and get everything they need in one place. Now we are looking forward to working with Microsoft on other projects in the future.”