Case study

Enhancing leadership skills and business impact through collaborative learning

BPEC, an awarding organisation, assessment and certification body specialising in building services and engineering qualifications, sought to empower its leadership team with enhanced skills and perspectives. The organisation's Head of Operations and Development, Matt, recognised the potential benefits of professional development beyond technical expertise and embarked on a journey to further enrich his leadership abilities.

European Social Fund and Department for Work and Pensions logos

Engagement with the University

BPEC's collaboration with the university began when Matt received an email about the Smart and Inclusive Leadership (SAIL) project. Intrigued by the opportunity, he enrolled in the programme, a decision driven by his desire to broaden his leadership horizons beyond technical know-how. After experiencing the initial sessions, Matt identified the value of the program and extended the opportunity to other members of his team. 

“I personally enrolled on the Smart and Inclusive Leadership programme and then after the first couple of sessions, I got other people involved from the business. It's been a really positive experience for the BPEC team.”


A group selfie of the BPEC team

Challenges and objectives

BPEC acknowledged the ever-present financial challenges faced by local businesses. The availability of funded provisions for professional development presented an opportunity to address this challenge while fostering leadership growth. The primary objectives included:

Staff member Matt Skelding

I thoroughly enjoyed the coaching module. Before, I viewed workplace coaching like sports coaching; directing others to achieve goals. This course showed me that while direction aids new managers, it isn't true coaching. A very enlightening couple of days.

Matt Skelding
Head of Operations and Development

Learning and impact

One of the pivotal takeaways for Matt was the coaching unit within the programme. As a former rugby league coach, he recognised the transformative potential of coaching as a leadership approach. This revelation challenged his conventional understanding of coaching, transitioning from directive to collaborative coaching. This newfound perspective not only enriched his management skills but also had a positive impact on his approach to leading the administration team. 

Matt's participation in the programme led to a ripple effect within BPEC. A team member who engaged in the programme started incorporating the coaching techniques learned into his management practices, resulting in improved delegation and team management. The programme's influence extended beyond the individual participants, enhancing the overall leadership approach within the organisation.

Business impact and future plans

The programme's impact on BPEC extended beyond leadership skills. Matt's perspective shift contributed to a more positive outlook on business direction and team management. As BPEC continues to navigate economic challenges, the organisation prioritises maintaining profitability and stability. The company's commitment to supporting staff development through CPD sessions reflects a dedication to employee morale and growth.

Looking ahead, BPEC's strategic focus includes stabilising operations, retaining talent, and exploring opportunities for expansion. The experience with the university's programme has instilled confidence in the positive influence of collaborative learning and professional development, which will likely guide future efforts to foster growth and adaptability within the organisation. The team is now also looking to join the Reskill and Recover programme. 

About the SAIL programme

Find out more about how the SAIL programme impacted participants and how they experienced great success due to the practical skills they were taught.

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