From education to employment

British Learning Association Appoints Five New Quality Forum Members

The British Learning Association (BLA) has recently appointed five new members to its Quality Forum.

The forum is an independent body which strives to offer up to date and relevant solutions to learning practices, through effective implementation of its Quality Mark scheme. The BLA is a registered charity and this status allows the association to remain impartial and offer honest, independent findings on the research it conducts. The new additions to the group are from a variety of business and educational backgrounds and bring with them a wealth of experience and fresh ideas.

The New Members

The new members of the forum are: Mike Crabbe, Head of Training Operations for Aviation Training International Ltd; Mike Ditchburn, Managing Director for Bourne Training; Jeanne Goulding, Company Secretary for ASET; David Marsh, Head of Learning and Development (UK) for Barnardos; and Dawn Ritchie, Marketing Manager for MyKnowledgeMap/Retail Academy.

Lance Spraggons, Chair of the Quality Forum stated: “Whilst it is sad to see Alistair Morrison and Richard McGreevy leave after making a significant contribution to the Quality Mark, I am pleased that we have not only been able to replace them but we have appointed a further three members.”


The BLA is a centre for expertise and gains knowledge of effective learning approaches by examining trends and the experiences of its members. One area of work of the BLA is to respond to changes within the learning sector in the most productive way. A major element of this was the introduction of the Quality Mark in November 2005 and the reassurance it delivers to learners and customers alike.

Through ongoing research and review of learning processes the Quality Forum attempts to offer guidance on improvements and solutions to issues within education and training. The huge response to the advertisement for additional forum members allowed a diverse group of experts to be selected. There is representation of key figures within a wide range of education and employment sectors. The broad range of expertise at hand should allow the Quality Forum to move forward and improve guidance frameworks.

The Quality Mark attempts to align both customer and organisational demands in the advice it offers. There is a strong focus on quality and recognising achievement through prestigious awards. Other important features of the Quality Mark include understanding contemporary issues on learning within employment and the importance of development.

The Quality Mark has been successfully achieved by a number of organisations across the learning sectors. This includes Further and Higher Education institutions and many other learning services and support networks. Feedback given from experts allows processes to be improved. The installation of successful learning practices and a commitment to lifelong learning has brought excellent results.

Mark Feakes

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