January 22, 2017

The world’s largest supplier of free online learning?

Who do you think is the largest supplier of free online learning? MIT? Stanford? Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learn Initiative? iTunesU? The UK’s OpenLearn? The Khan Academy? The University of the People?

Well, what about ALISON? Who, you may ask, is ALISON? ALISON.com is ‘the world’s leading free online learning resource for basic and essential workplace skills. ALISON provides …. interactive multimedia courseware for certification and standards-based learning.

Alison celebates its 5th birthday this week, and claims to have one million registered learners spread across nearly 200 countries worldwide. Although only started in 2007, ALISON graduated over 50,000 people in Certificate and Diploma courses in 2011.

Alison stands for “Advance Learning Interactive Systems Online”. It is based in Ireland and uses mainly a mix of advertising and sponsored programs from partners and publishers to enable students to take the courses free of charge.

I’d be interested in hearing from people with experience of studying with Alison.


  1. James Staples V says:

    WOW WOW WOW !!! So glad I read this. I was psyched when I first found out and read their site. But then the DIP or CERT cost kicked in and I smelled “Feel good diploma mill” all over the place!!!, having been shafted by would be educational ‘suppliers’ before, which essentially ruined my Twin Daughters getting into college or a job, thanks to careful wording and corp. offices in another country but mailing address in the U S. This would-be educator source just flew into the mountain, I could care less who is smiling and feels good. Caviat emptor; YOU DO GET WHAT YOU DO NOT PAY FOR !!!! sucks but true. Thank I found this site- thanks tonnages Tony!!!

    • Bob Draper says:

      Yes! And after reading that and several sites I still don’t have a clue how much their certs cost. They keep that well hidden. The idea must be that you don’t know until you finish. At that point people will pay almost anything after all their hard work. It sounds VERY dodgy to me.

      • sheila Nemali says:

        Hi I just saw someone on facebook paid UK£67 for their human resource diploma certificate

      • April L Jones says:

        You can get pdf forms of your diploma for around 22 each. They have several types, a paper copy for about 30 bucks then the parchment cot I think is $130.

      • @Bob Draper: Just checked. Prices for Diplomas are not hidden. They can be found at this link: https://alison.com/cert/.

        Here they go:
        PDF Certificate: € 21
        Certificate Parchment: € 27
        Framed Certificate Parchment: € 37
        Diploma Parchment: € 96
        Framed Diploma: € 115

        There also are a whole lot of courses with free certifications, which can be found at: https://alison.com/knowledgebase/entry/165/

        All in all I think it looks quite fair. They make no false claims about accreditation, they are a legit EU service provider, they offer the content of the courses for free (so you can study, learn, gain knowledge) and charge a very moderate certification fee. Think what IT courses normally cost – or business training. Or completely fake shit like “Trump University”. Also don’t forget that in much of Europe school and university education is free as well.

  2. I did a google and found out that certs cost between £15 and £50 dependent on how you want the certificate produced.
    Framed and parchment paper etc…

    I am starting one of the diplomas (Project management) and will let you all know.

  3. Interested.. Can i use alison dploma to apply for a bacheror degree in USA??

    • April L Jones says:

      No, it is not an accredited college, therefore,credits cannot be transferred from one college to the other. However, this doesnt mean that the diplomas aren’t recognized in the work field.

  4. Its real its whether or not the employer chooses to recognise the cert or diploma as alison is an online programme but does boost your job capability and proves you have received a diploma in Legal studies but doesn’t mean your the Lawyer lol

  5. hello, i am really excited about ALISON but for someone who wants to get job experience first, i thought i would study french and german in case i found myself in France, Germany or Canada to do a Masters. Do you think it’s wise to study these on this platform? ability to speak a language is not dependent on where you learned but how well you can speak isn’t it?

    • @AdA: The certifications may be legitimate in the sense that there is some real real work involved, but I would question level and depth: the “Advanced Physics” courses for example are comparable to high school level courses here in Germany for people who do NOT have a physics focus. If you want to study German, for example, I suppose you could utilize the Cambridge courses offered via Alison and at some point take the official Goethe Institute exams. With many of the courses I’d see the certification as an extra and it more counts what you learn and whether or not you can utilize it in your life. I am thinking about going through the risk management course, but I, at almost 50, really don’t need yet another Diploma or certification. On the other hand it doesn’t harm if even at my age I’m able to show some continuing education efforts. Normally I do that through accredited Universities, but if there is a legit Alison certification in between it won’t harm.

  6. Thilliar Varnakulasingham says:

    By following many courses, I have gained knowledge, skills and wisdom. It does not matter whether the qualifications are recognised or not. I found the courses very useful.

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