In Professional Development’s Advisor Panel Members

In Professional Development’s advisory board provides the company with strategic direction, guides us on quality improvement and advises us on the effectiveness of what we deliver. It consists of experts and leaders from across the world of education and industry, allowing In Professional Development to benefit from a unique blend of exceptional knowledge.

Apply to join the panel

The roles and responsibilities of In Professional Development’s Advisory Board members are:
  • Develop an understanding of the business, market and industry trends
  • Provide “wise counsel” on issues raised by directors
  • Provide unbiased insights and ideas from a third point-of-view
  • Encourage and support the exploration of new business ideas
  • Act as a resource for executives
  • Encourage the development of a governance framework that enable sustainable growth of the company
  • Monitor business performance
  • Impose challenges to directors and management that could improve the business

Dr P Tavenor Dr Pete Tavernor – Chair

Peter is a recently retired college Principal having led The Manchester College, which had a combined budget of over £180 million, through substantial restructuring and a significant capital building programme. Peter was awarded a Doctorate of the University of Salford for his outstanding achievements in public service in 2013.

P R Ashford Professor Ruth Ashford – Chief Academic Advisor

Professor Ashford has more than 25 years’ experience in Higher Education management within post-92 Business Schools in the United Kingdom. She has previously served as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law at Manchester Metropolitan University and Executive Dean of Business and Management at the University of Chester. As the former Chief Examiner of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) she was involved with the International launch of the CIM Student Chapter and CIM Professional syllabus. She served on the Quality Assurance Agency review panel for the UK benchmark standards in Business and Management for both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Key areas of expertise include: strategic development for domestic and international programme growth; Business School restructuring; complexity and change management; curriculum development including apprenticeships and international franchises; leading School quinquennial reviews; professional body accreditation; recruitment/selection and mentoring senior academics; developing and designing school identities including visions, missions and communications strategies.

M E Bowker Elaine Bowker – Principal & Group Chief Executive – (The City of Liverpool College Group)

Elaine Bowker is the Principal & Chief Executive of The City of Liverpool College Group, delivering high quality skills across FE, HE and apprenticeships via the largest further education college in the Liverpool City Region (Ofsted Grade 2 – Good).

She is currently a member of the Tate Liverpool Advisory Council and the Liverpool City Region LEP Advisory Council, as well as a Trustee of the Scottish Power Foundation. She is also a director of the shared services company SharEd, part of The City of Liverpool College Group. Her previous roles include Strategic Director of Transformation at Manchester City Council and Area Director for Greater Merseyside at the Learning and Skills Council.

Before joining the LSC, she worked in a variety of FE colleges, from lecturer to senior post-holder level, giving her a rounded view of skills and skills policy.

D Mcintyre David McIntyre – Industry Advisor – (Partner, Gunnercooke)

David is Partner at Gunnercooke Consulting and an expert in financial strategy and business transformation. He is a senior leader with over 15 years’ experience of improving and growing businesses, gained from a variety of executive and nonexecutive roles. David has acted as a CEO, a CFO, a director of a leading accountancy practice, and a business owner.

A Chartered Accountant by background, David progressed quickly through a variety of senior leadership roles to amass a wealth of business experience and has been a recognised thought leader in areas such as risk management and the commercialisation of intellectual property. He is a strong communicator and is skilled at understanding highly complex operations and businesses quickly and explaining business critical issues and solutions to others.

He has strong influencing and negotiation skills and can drive transformation programmes to success with authority and a clear vision. His broad range of experience covers multiple disciplines including finance, change management, organisational development, HR, IT & technology, project management, audit & assurance, business improvement and corporate venturing.

David has worked with a variety of large and high profile organisations in a range of sectors, including:

  • Education and training
  • Financial services
  • Housing
  • Construction and Property
  • Food and drink
  • Government bodies and regulators
  • Charities
  • Manufacturing and Engineering

David’s Executive Roles have included:

  • Chief Executive at SharEd Limited
  • Deputy Chief Executive at the City of Liverpool College Group
  • Director at PKF (UK) LLP
  • Senior Manager at Grant Thornton LLP
  • Auditor at Tenon PLC

Non-Executive Roles:

  • Director and Company Secretary at Insight Statistics Limited
  • Non-Exec Director at First 4 Skills Limited
  • Trustee and Chair of Audit at St Vincent’s Housing Association

Stephen Healy Stephen Healy – International Advisor – (Managing Director, Nurture HE Group)

Stephen is currently the Managing Director and Founder of the Nurture Higher Education Group. He has over 22 years of Higher Education marketing and development experience spanning the public and private sectors in the UK, China, USA and Thailand.

Between 2007-16, Stephen worked with INTO University Partnerships in a number of leadership positions including Executive Vice President, Global Initiatives and Asia (2014-16) and served on the Board of Directors (2008-14). He led INTO’s strategic initiatives and innovations with existing and new US, UK and Chinese University partners. He was also responsible for strategic and operational oversight of Asia partnerships and Group ventures including the London Academy of Diplomacy and NILE, a leading global provider of professional development courses for English Language teachers, trainers and other education professionals. During his time with INTO Group, he was also Managing Director, China and Asia, based in Hong Kong, and before this Group Director of Strategy, Marketing and Development.

Between 1998 and 2005, Stephen held senior positions in education policy and marketing in the British Council in both China (98-02) and Thailand (02-05). During his period in China, he was posted in Guangzhou managing the national education promotion teams in Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing. In Thailand, Stephen’s responsibilities covered the strategic relationship in education between Britain and Thailand.

Prior to joining INTO, Stephen founded in 2005, activeMINDS Consulting, a Bangkok based International Higher Education strategy and marketing consultancy specialising on international student demand and higher education marketing trends in Asia. Stephen’s career started at the University of London’s External Programme at Wye College. It was also at Wye College where he read for a MSc in Agricultural Economics after studies at the University of Kent, UK, where read for a BA in Development Studies and Economics.

Dr D Perrin Dr. David Perrin – Work Based Learning Advisor – (Director – Centre for Work Related Studies, University of Chester)

David is Head of the Centre for Work Related Studies, at the University of Chester. His background is as an academic and writer on political and economic theory, though over the last decade and more he has developed an interest in academic credit and accreditation of prior learning issues in Higher Education, now running one of Europe’s largest HE accreditation frameworks for adult learners in work.

David studied Politics at the University of Liverpool and was awarded a Ph.D. in political and economic theory in 1995. Since coming to Chester in 2000, he has worked closely with large public sector organisations and has operated as a consultant on behalf of the University advising a range of organisations in the public and private sectors alike.

D Horsefield Simon Horsfield – Industry Advisor – (Partner, Gunnercooke)

Simon is a partner at Gunnercooke Consulting whose expertise covers the full range of both contentious and non-contentious employment law, with a particular focus on TUPE, business change and high-profile litigation. He has extensive experience of advising in relation to board level matters, including board appointments and departures, and on team move issues (both instigating and defending). He also advises businesses and high net worth individuals on immigration matters.

James Silcock – Commercial Director of CoSector – (University of London)

James has more than 30 years of managing and developing companies. He has led these companies through start-up, re-organisation, acquisition, divestment, turnaround and growth.

James has spent the last 20 years in Senior Business Development and Commercial roles spanning Consultancy, Business Process Outsourcing, SAAS, Software Publishing and IT Services Management. His understanding of both Domestic and European markets encompasses Mergers and Acquisitions, Direct Sales, Business Development and Marketing in the Financial Services, Government and Education markets.

At CoSector – University of London, James is responsible for driving the company’s business development and commercial value forwards. Specifically developing and implementing marketing and business development plans that maintain and increase existing business and open up new market opportunities. His key successes in this area have been the development of the company’s business strategy that focuses on the Learner’s Journey and Student experience.

James holds a Business of Science Biotechnology degree and a Master of Science Information Technology degree from De Montfort University Leicester, a Master of Arts Marketing degree from Kingston Business School, as well being a certified Direct Marketer from the Institute of Digital and Direct Marketing and is a Google Certified Digital Marketer.


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