Mark Novels

Mark has a wealth of experience in the education and skills policy environment, both in the UK and overseas, and has held senior roles at QCA, NCVQ and City and Guilds. He has worked closely with government, awarding organisations, funding agencies, sector bodies and other key stakeholders in the design and delivery of high profile programmes and initiatives in a diverse range of areas including VQ policy, standards, qualifications reform, framework development and the eligibility of 14-19 qualifications for public funding. He has extensive knowledge and practical experience of developing qualifications (including QCF), developing Apprenticeship frameworks, designing and managing assessment and quality assurance mechanisms, and developing policies and procedures to comply with regulatory criteria and conditions.

Leigh Sims
Leigh is a freelance programme and project management professional with over 15 years national and international experience. A proven track record in a diverse range of public and commercial environments is testament to her versatile approach. On behalf of clients Leigh has defined and established Project Management Office function. She has successfully implemented best practice processes based on MSP and PRinCE2 methodologies to facilitate the smooth management of programmes and projects (circa £18m). Leigh has applied the principles of LEAN Six Sigma process improvement to design and embed effective management systems resulting in improve service standards and reduced cost. Her interpersonal skills are developed within a service environment. Leigh’s observational and analytical insight enables her to quickly build relationships and develop trust. Leigh uses strategic planning and strong communication skills to ensure client projects are delivered on time and within budget.

Karen Brown
Karen has been a freelance consultant since 2006 and has a strong track record of achievement in the education and public sector. Excelling at relationship management and committed to delivering results through collaboration she has worked closely with: Regulatory Bodies; Sector Skills Councils; Employers; Professional Bodies, Awarding Organisations and Central Government.

Trevor Rowe
An outcome focussed, politically astute, MBA qualified manager with expertise in public affairs, policy development, stakeholder management, strategy and project management. Trevor demonstrates very strong analytical, strategic thinking and creativity skills and these attributes are complemented by first class written and oral communication skills and extensive experience in the use of PRINCE2 and MS Project.

Rob Gray
Prior to starting his own consultancy business, Rob held a senior management position at the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), with responsibility for the development of all IMI Awards regulated qualifications, as well as non-regulated provision. This involved close working with the regulators for each nation of the UK (Ofqual, SQA and Qualifications Wales), as well as various UK government departments including the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department for Education (DfE). Rob helped establish IMI Awards as the dominant awarding organisation for the retail motor industry, with an outstanding reputation for customer service.

Rob therefore has a good understanding of the requirements to ensure compliance, whilst also developing skills solutions that meet the needs of customers and end users. Since starting his own business Rob has worked with Centre for Vocational Education and Research (a department within the London School of Economics -LSE), including representing LSE at various Institute for Apprenticeships (IFA) stakeholder meetings during its inception.

He has also worked with Ofqual (as an expert advisor on new Engineering GCSE’s), Alpha Plus on behalf of the Federation of Awarding Bodies, and various Awarding Organisations. Throughout, he has been closely involved with various Apprenticeship Standards groups, and more recently have been working with many large Independent Training Providers (each with vehicle manufacturer contracts), in preparation for new Apprenticeship Standards delivery.