English businessman and investor Richard Branson once declared: “The best businesses are born out of frustration”
Whether you’re creating an airline or Awarding Organisation – the principles remain the same. If you have experience within an industry, have witnessed the frustration first-hand and most importantly have the desire and will to create something better, then the end result for the consumer is always going to be positive.
Because Training Qualifications UK has been created and maintained by staff with extensive experience within private training companies, schools, FE Colleges and educational regulatory bodies, we understand the needs of centres, learners and employers in vocational education. It is for this reason that the core values of TQUK are focused upon providing the highest levels of customer service, expert knowledge and quality assurance.
A lot has happened in the three years since TQUKs Ofqual status was confirmed in September 2013 and we certainly won’t be resting on our laurels any time soon.
Once our Ofqual status was approved, it opened new doors and allowed TQUK to offer accredited qualifications in various sectors including First Aid, Health and Social Care, Hospitality and Catering and Education and Training to training providers, schools and colleges throughout the UK.
Based in Manchester, TQUK is an award winning company which is now the fastest growing Awarding Organisation across the UK, not bad eh?
Offering world class customer service and support to training centres who wish to become TQUK approved centres, we have an experienced, knowledgable and friendly team who are pleased to offer guidance to training providers on how they can complete the simple centre approval process and become a recognised TQUK centre.
The first qualifications that the company was approved to deliver included Level 2 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work (QCF), TQUK Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work (QCF), TQUK Level 2 Award in Paediatric Emergency First Aid (QCF) and the TQUK Level 2 Award in Paediatric First Aid (QCF). Following this, in October 2013 the first regulated qualification to come out of TQUK was the Level 3 Award in Education and Training (QCF).
Shortly after being approved by Ofqual, TQUK gained approval from the Welsh Government to supply regulated qualifications in Wales. This allowed us to offer the advantage of our online management suite to prospective centres, giving them the ability to manage learners, the qualifications on offer, download course materials and purchase qualification licences.
The appointment of Richard Dorrance to the TQUK Board was also a milestone event for the company, Richard brought in a wealth of knowledge from the awarding organisation sector and his skills and experience of running an awarding organisation proved invaluable as TQUK moved forward. As we continued to develop our suite of qualifications and provide world-class customer service to our approved centres, Richard’s input and knowledge helped forge the company we are today.
At the time of his appointment, TQUK Managing Director, Andrew Walker commented “We are delighted to have a Chair of the Board of Richard’s calibre. He will assist TQUK in establishing entry into new qualification sectors and become one of the leading awarding organisations in the UK.”
2014 proved to be a great year for the company, spearheaded by the approval of South Cheshire College in January, our first ever further education college. This proceeded to open the proverbial floodgates for TQUK as we hit our milestone 100th centre approval in August.
In December, the company developed and finalised its 100th regulated qualification – completing a centenary double for the year and signalling quite a substantial Christmas Party, as we just about remember it…
The company’s successful growth paved the way for a change in offices; moving a few doors down, TQUK established itself in bigger surroundings allowing for an increase in staff to help with the ever growing list of approved centres. To date the company has over 200 Approved Centres on the books delivering over 300 qualifications – you could say we’ve grown a little!
In 2015, TQUK was nominated for two awards at the annual Salford Business Awards (‘Rising Star’ and ‘Online Business’) and came away with the Runners Up prize in the Rising Star category. The award is intended to recognise the up and coming businesses in the local Salford area and entrants for this award must have been trading for less than three years, showing a passion for the business, a sound plan and strong forecast for growth.
Managing Director Andrew Walker said of receiving the Runner-Up prize:
“I am extremely proud of all of the team at TQUK for this achievement. It is the result of hard work as well as a focus on great customer service and innovation within our industry. We are constantly evolving and have made great strides in the last 12 months, so this is a wonderful way to inform others of how rapidly we are advancing. Congratulations to all of the other winners and runners-up and we hope to be back next year.”
Following on from the success at the Salford Business Awards, TQUK announced the approval of their first ever American client in the form of International TEFL Academy based in Chicago, IL. Founded on the premise that language education offers English speakers from all backgrounds the opportunity to experience other cultures, International TEFL Academy combines expertise and commitment to excellence to provide fantastic training and personal guidance to students.
The Academy now offers the TQUK Level 5 Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (QCF) to its learners with the plan to qualify 2,500 students within the first 12 months.
The company was also delighted to announce that they are now the 23rd biggest awarding organisation across the UK according to the latest statistics from Ofqual. Taking into account the amount of certificates that are printed between January to March 2015, the results highlighted the significant growth that TQUK undertook within the previous six months, moving from 31st to 23rd place.
In 2016, we successfully launched our brand new centre management suite, code name: Verve. The new management suite software simplifies everything, including both internal and external processes to improve the service that our training centres provide to learners. From claiming certificates to registering learners. There are multiple sections to the software which will be launched in due course, but for the most part the software is complete and any new centres joining TQUK moving forward would be instantly eligable to use the new software.
Earlier in the year, we were once again nominated for a Salford Business Award. The ‘Best Employer’ award recognises organisations which ensure that their employees are at the heart of their success with judges considering varying factors including the recruitment and progression of staff, internal training and development programme and employee engagement and support. Disappointingly, TQUK came away empty handed – but that feeling was to be short lived.
In September we were proud to announce that the company had been nominated for not one, but two accolades at the FAB Awards 2016 (Federation of Awarding Bodies).
Following on from the success of the inaugural FAB Awards in 2015, with our very own Managing Director Andrew Walker being nominated for ‘Individual Contribution of the Year’ award, this year’s awards night promised to be even better with TQUK looking for a trophy.
Our Business Support Team of Kelly and Andy R were nominated in the ‘Team Contribution of the Year’ category for their hard work in ensuring the cogs keep turning behind the scenes at the TQUK office whilst our Quality Manager Paul Morrison was nominated for ‘‘Individual Contribution of the Year’ for his graft in the Quality department.
And up against some stiff competition with a pool of talented people in the category, Paul managed to pick up the top prize highlighting a fantastic achievement for both Paul personally and the Quality team in general. Champagne Moment! We celebrated in true Champions League style!
And to put a cherry on the year, we cracked the Ofqual top 20 Awarding Organisation list for the first time, placed 18th for certificate printing numbers according the latest figures from Ofqual.
In January 2017, TQUK confirmed they would be expanding the business to Asia for the first time in an exciting new venture. TQUK-HK are charged with extending our current world-class customer service and streamlined version of our qualifications to countries including Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and China.
The attractiveness of obtaining UK qualifications abroad has never been greater and TQUK-HK is now responsible for overseeing our business development and opportunity in eastern Asia. TQUK-HK will be delivering a range of streamlined TQUK qualifications and endorsed courses from various industry sectors to businesses, colleges and universities.
TQUK Managing Director Andrew Walker said: “We are incredibly excited about this opportunity to expand the business and the time is now.’
‘We couldn’t have picked a better country to expand to, their historical links to Britain, it’s an incredibly strong and dynamic trading region and Hong Kong’s primary business language is English which makes things much easier on our end!’
‘This development indicates just how seriously other countries take our educational system and the value of having a UK presented qualification and certificate in a subject, we have every faith this will be a huge success.”
In early August 2017, TQUK also made the big decision to move office. We left behind our roots in Cadishead and settled into our new digs in Dunham House in Sale. In our new location, we’re stacked with the latest IT, more office space and excellent new equipment that will allow us to build on the amazing growth we’ve experienced over the last few years.
The rest is being written as we speak…