What people say about our training

Having well trained staff who really know their stuff will make any business more successful by improving your customer’s experience when they visit your shop.

Cost-effective and convenient, OATA’s home-study Certificate and Advanced Diploma courses can be done at your staff’s own time and pace. They’re suitable for people who work in the aquatics industry or for the keen hobbyist interested in furthering their own knowledge.

OATA offers two levels of training courses to help people gain specific fish keeping qualifications which are highly respected across the industry. Find out more about the courses here.

And don’t just take our word for it.

Stefano BarbatoStefano Barbato, is an Aquatics Customer Advisor with Dobbies Garden World, Liverpool. He shares his experience of working towards his Advanced Diploma, which he passed with flying colours.

Why did you do the qualification?

I was very keen to do the course because OATA is a highly reputable organisation within the Aquatic industry and I felt their qualifications would enhance both my professional development and career prospects.

How has the Advanced Diploma helped you in your job?

It has definitely made my job a lot easier. It has improved my ability to engage and advise customers about any issues they may have and enhanced my confidence when selling products as I have a greater understanding of how they work. This has led to both better sales, and happier customers.

What do you think your employer gets out of it?

My employer Dobbies offers the course to their employees and pays for us to do the training. In my opinion this is an investment that pays for itself. Aquatics shops are reliant on a good reputation to be successful, these qualifications lead to improved fish care and customer advice, which inevitably leads to a better reputation and more customers.

Would you recommend it?

Yes, it’s definitely helped me in my job and I think it will help me progress in my career. I’d seriously recommend it to anyone wishing to have a good career and reputation within the aquatic industry.

Working towards the Advanced Diploma is done in your own time through home study. How did you find fitting the diploma in around work?

The material can be quite intense at times. But there’s no immediate deadline and you can do things at your own pace. Personally I didn’t struggle finding the time to do it. You just need to commit to it. It’s not hard to find couple of hours in the evening or on a day off to work your way through a few questions at a time. I had been pushing to do it for a while and I was happy enough to put the time in. Its an investment in my own future and a good qualification to have.

Why work in aquatics?

I’ve always loved visiting aquariums and keeping fish as a hobbyist so I’ve wanted this type of career for as long as I can remember! I got my first goldfish when I was four and I just progressed from there really. I moved to Preston when I was 16 to study a two-year National Diploma course in Fish Management, at Myerscough College, coincidentally a portion of the information taught on that course was based on OATA material. After finishing the course I moved back to my home city of Liverpool where I’ve been working with Dobbies, in Speke for nearly two years as an Aquatics Customer Advisor and enjoying the career path I’ve chosen.