James Smith Senior Digital Content Developer

James joined ELS Content Development Team in 2021, after gaining extensive learning experience digital learning for both public and private organisations.

As an instructional designer, James has worked alongside industry experts to design and create a wide range of competency-based training courses using adaptive technologies, which reduced training times by providing the learner with a personalised syllabus on just what they needed to know.

As a consultant, James worked closely with business stakeholders to design online and blended learning. Providing technical facilitation for virtual classrooms and workshops and the creation and guidance on creating of learning assets and course design.

Taff George Head of Projects and COTS Delivery

Taff is an approved trainer for APMG Project Planning & Control, PRINCE2®, APM PFQ & PMQ, Lean Six Sigma and Lean IT. He is also a City & Guilds A1 assessor, V1 internal verifier who holds City & Guilds level 4 certificate in education and training and is a qualified Change Manager, Risk Manager and Facilitation Manager.

Taff is an Ex-British Army senior instructor and assessor and since joining ELS in 2010, He has been involved in the design, delivery and assessment of numerous courses across a range of levels. He is also an experienced project manager and has worked on numerous learning & development projects and contracts during his time with ELS, where he has been responsible for the planning, scheduling, control and performance monitoring of the projects. Taff is also one of the lead trainers for Commercial Management training courses delivered by ELS.

Cath Convery Director

Cath is a highly effective training and development adviser who champions innovation and customer needs in providing services across the full range of media. Having worked in training and education for the last 30 years she is an experienced consultant, researcher and frequently sets her skills at design and delivery of training. With a deep background in education technology, Cath is very familiar with training support requirements as well as training delivery. Frequently used as “customer friend” and stakeholder manager, requirements manager or facilitator throughout both the public and private sector. She is experienced in change and project management with a proven record of accomplishment delivering complex, high impact projects in the UK and abroad.

Trish Hedges Office Manager

Trish has been with ELS since 2012, and wears many hats overseeing all the administrative functions in the office. She directly handles all financial matters such as client billing, accounts payable, payroll/HR and banking. Trish also assists with sales, IT Issues, purchasing, contract negotiation and is the main link with the examination institutes.

Gemma McIntosh Business Development Manager

Gemma is the business development manager who looks after all aspects of the accredited courses as well as sales.

Catt Pullen Human Resources Administrator

Catt joined the team in 2019 and is an enthusiastic team player with a varied background in admin, payroll and human resources. Currently working towards her CIPD level 5, Catt is driven and dedicated to developing the HR function at ELS.

Becki Mainwaring Bid Support Officer

Becki has been with ELS since mid-2016 and is PRINCE2® & Lean Six Sigma Orange Belt qualified as part of her continued professional development within ELS. Additionally this year she has attended courses to support Bid Management (Shipley Training) and her role in maintaining ISO accreditation (9001 & 14001). With a wealth of experience in customer service, allied to her motivated and conscientious approach, she successfully undertakes whatever comes her way to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

As Project Support Officer Becki provides vital assistance to project managers which involves the logging, managing and analysing of information on the progress of projects, using Excel and other bespoke databases. She provides a full overview of how projects are allocated to resources in order to also collate information regarding staff utilisation to ensure ELS get the most out of our scheduling.

As Bid Support Officer, Becki provides full support for any proposals that are written, as well as seeking out potential opportunities for ELS and tracking these as needed. This includes strict schedule management and communication with all stakeholders (internal and external).

Sonia Da Silva Digital Content Developer

Sonia is the Graphics and Modelling Developer at Explosive Learning Solutions. As a graduated designer with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Design and Audio-visual, Sonia has employed her skills as a graphic design artist and eLearning course developer in support of a number of key training and education projects including the Network Rail commercial eLearning contract. Her skills also include 3D and 2D modelling and animation using applications such as 3Ds Max, Blender and various Adobe Creative Cloud applications to deliver engaging and immersive learning effects. A strong advocate of key communication methods through learning, Sonia has been supporting face to face, eLearning and virtual training courses since joining ELS.

Lauren Birtwistle Project Support Assistant

Lauren Birtwistle is one of the Project Support Assistants at ELS. She has experience providing support to NHS England and other companies within the pharmaceutical industry. Lauren is also PRINCE2® qualified at foundation level. As a Project Support Assistant Lauren provides dedicated, professional and client focussed project and administration support to the Project Managers and Trainers at ELS

Jim Garvey Security Controller and Resource Manager

Jim is the ELS security controller and resource manager. His role is to coordinate the associate consultants and ensure that we always have the right people available for the projects and training that we deliver.

Because some of the more discreet projects we are assigned, ELS are to ensure that the required security processes and confidentiality, integrity and availability of official and personal information is secured. Jim is also responsible for ensuring that our ELS industry security controls are implemented and followed by all staff.

Jim’s previous career experience includes 23 years in the British Army (culminating as a Warrant Officer Class II), and 14 years’ commercial experience in a technical services consultancy prior to joining ELS.

Sharon Macey Resource and Security Administrator

Sharon provides administration support for the security functions of ELS.

Jane Cilia Bid Writer

Jane Cilia is our bid writer. Prior to joining ELS in October 2018 Jane worked for two local authorities in workforce development roles and Oxford Brookes University where she was head of CPD for the Health & Social Care Faculty. Jane’s job as the ELS bid writer is to make sure we find the right opportunities and respond to them within the specified time limits. This usually involves bringing together a bid team to write a persuasive pitch to the buyers or commissioners. Jane sits on the ELS environmental group which works to reduce our carbon footprint and minimise our use of plastics.

Out of work Jane likes wild swimming, camping and walking.

Izzy Bell HR and Resource Coordinator

I am an HR Officer who recently joined the ELS Family, brought in to manage the HR function for the business through developing and implementing all HR related initiatives.

I come from a global, corporate engineering/ manufacturing environment with a strong background in in-house recruitment, employee engagement and benefits, wellbeing and promotion of culture and change. I also have some finance knowledge and experience from my previous roles.

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in English Studies, Teachers’ Training Diploma and CIPD Level 5 Diploma in Human Resources Management (2016).

I am a people person who always looks at bright side of things. Positive, bubbly and friendly personality makes me a likeable and easy going colleague to be around. I am a good organizer and coordinator of social activities in my community as well as workplace, bringing people together.

Brad Lawrence Senior Learning and Development Consultant

Brad is a highly experienced consultant specialising in the fields of security and threat analysis (current and emerging) where he combines his detailed approach to research and analysis to provide organisations in both the public and private sector with solutions relating to their needs.

Brad joined ELS after a full and successful career in the British Army. He now works in both specialist weapons, ordnance, munitions and explosives (WOME) training in the police and aerospace & defence sectors and is ELS’ lead trainer for the management of risk, and more recently limitation of contract liability.

Brad’s role in ELS includes consultancy, support to research projects, training needs analysis and the design and delivery of training. His current projects have him in direct support to international, police and MOD WOME and specialist training, including the introduction of the MOD’s new explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

Hasan Bahar EPA Co-ordinator and Business Development Consultant

Hasan joined the End-Point Assessment (EPA) Team at ELS in October 2021 as an End Point Assessment (EPA) Co-ordinator and Business Development Consultant.

Hasan’s role includes providing administrative support to the Head of EPA and the EPA team, liaising with employers, training providers and apprentices to schedule assessments, data analysis and research and business development activities.

Hasan is working towards a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Business Administration, developing a range of knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) that will not only enhance and build on existing experience but will also provide Hasan with new areas of knowledge and skills.

Nicole Symes Frazer Head of Major Programmes

Nicole commenced her career as an Officer in the British Army and has since gone on to work in both public, private and third sector organisations.

A conscientious and adaptable professional with management experience within military logistics and food retail, Nicole followed her talent for developing others and moved into learning and development. She has worked across public, private and third sector organisations. In the two years prior to joining ELS, Nicole worked extensively with young adults, developing their leadership and effective communication skills.

At ELS she leads across all aspects of people and organisational learning and development and has wide-ranging experience from bid development (developing and costing technical offers), through to developing and delivering innovative and successful product suites to achieve value and impact.

She is an engaging and motivational manager and trainer who is passionate about inspiring teams and individuals to reach their full potential and is a firm advocate of strong client relationship management.

Nicole is a member of the Change Management Institute and is an APMG Change Management Practitioner, a DSDM Agile Practitioner, PRINCE2® Practitioner and holds APMG Facilitation at Foundation level.

Rachel Peters Project Support Assistant

Rachel Peters is one of the project support assistants at ELS. Since graduating in Tourism Management in 2005, Rachel has gained over 15 years office experience working in a variety of sales and operational roles within the Travel Industry. Rachel provides dedicated, professional and client focussed project and administration support both to ELS and our clients.

Rob Allen Senior Learning and Development Consultant

Rob completed 24 years in the Royal Engineers, finishing as a Warrant Officer qualified in training needs analysis, instructional design and training audits. Rob has conducted TNA in projects ranging from surveillance systems for intelligence operators, electronic counter-measures for UK Special Forces, explosive hazard awareness for UK troops, pre-deployment security training for foreign military and police in the Middle East and East Africa. He recently conducted a ground-breaking redesign of combat engineer training for the British Army using a blend of student-led learning on tablet PCs, immersive scenario-based practical tasks plus VR and AR in and out of the classroom. Rob has designed the training material and delivered training for UK military remote control vehicle operators and explosive safety training for foreign government agencies. Rob is an experienced multi-media and blended learning content designer and recently completed a CIPD level 5 diploma in learning & development management.

Nick Woodland Learning and Development Consultant

Nick is an experienced leadership and management mentor working with apprentices in the public and private sector. He is a qualified information management consultant and trainer. With extensive DSAT knowledge of course design, he was the ELS lead for design and development of an online information management tool for QinetiQ. Nick is the lead ELS commercial trainer for pre procurement and contract management. Nick has a broad range of work experience gained from 24 years in the Military as a qualified instructor.

Nick is a keen cyclist who also coaches at the local rugby and football clubs.

Niamh Woodrow Security Administrator

Richard Sanders Learning and Development Consultant

Richard completed a full career in the British Army where he specialised first in Human Resources and then in Logistics Management, being educated to Master level in both fields, as well as Chartered CILT and CIPD certification. He is an experienced trainer who has designed and delivered team and individual training for logistics and contract managers in the British Army and Civil Service.

After switching career streams from HRM to logistics, starting with 6 years in supply chain and inventory management support to equipment engineering, Richard went on to apply his knowledge and experience to the design and delivery of military and contracted logistics support to joint and multinational forces. Utilising his experience and studies as a military adviser to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Richard led in the introduction and training of logistics staffs in modelling and decision making tools in operational level Joint logistics planning, ranging from individual training to international logistics team training courses with UK and allied forces.

Richard is qualified as PRINCE 2 and APM practitioner and since leaving the Army has successfully managed logistics and supply chain contracts in both the public and private sectors. Richard’s specialities in ELS include Supply Chain Management, Contract Management and Procurement.

Caz Walton Senior Accreditation Consultant

Caz is a driven and positive people manager with more than 20 years of experience in the education management, training, learning & development and apprenticeship sector. She has over 20 years of experience working with, assessing and quality assuring against, National Occupational Standards (NOS) and Government programmes.

Caz also has 10 years of experience training, mentoring and assessing trainer assessors and internal verifiers, and working for an awarding organisation, designing training and qualifications.

Caz is a specialist in the management of government funded, commercially funded training & education programmes and professional development programmes, with a real passion for helping, developing and building capabilities within people, teams and organisations.

Caz is a qualified APMG Prince 2 project manager, APMG facilitator, trainer assessor, quality assurer, teacher (Cert.Ed Level 5) and functional skills trainer.

Caz is currently supporting a national education initiative in the UAE, leading her teams of qualification developers in the UK and in the UAE.

Michael BriggsProject Management Trainer

Mick is a passionate trainer and coach. He served 22 years in the Royal Air Force in the Aircraft engineering environment, where he became a lead instructor and manager at the Defence school of Aeronautical engineering. Being awarded a personal commendation from the Commander in chief Strike command in 2006 for his work on Lean implementation and training.  

He has successfully managed many projects including; change management training transformation, deployed operations logistics, commercial logistic change and quality management implementation. Within the Military and in the commercial sector.

He has developed his expertise in training delivery, gaining training in: facilitation skills, human performance, evidence based training, DSAT 1st party auditor, safeguarding, and coaching. 

He is an approved trainer for:

  • PRINCE2®
  • APMG APM PFQ,
  • APMG APM PMQ,
  • Process Planning and Control™ (PPC)
  • Management of Risk (M_O_R®)

He is qualified in:

  • Agile PM®
  • Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM I)

He has a Certificate in Education from Wolverhampton University and has an ILM Level 5 in Leadership and Management.

Grace Dawson End Point Assessment Co-ordinator

Grace joined the ELS End-Point Assessment Team as ELS’s first apprentice in March 2021 and is working towards a Level 3 apprenticeship in Business Administration.

As an End-Point Assessment Coordinator Grace is responsible for providing administrative support to the Head of EPA and the EPA team, engaging with employers, training providers and apprentices. Grace is developing the key skills, knowledge and behaviours within her apprenticeship training, whilst gaining a wealth of knowledge and skills working for ELS.

Tasks include research activities, maintaining data bases, scheduling appointments and meetings, handling enquiries and providing excellent customer service to internal and external customers.

Grace has a positive and eager-to-learn attitude towards all tasks thrown her way and stays focused and dedicated when completing all objectives. She has made a great start here at ELS; engaging with other team members, learning about the company and working hard towards her apprenticeship.

Tom Dormer-Woolley Content Developer

An ex Authorised Firearms Officer with the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, Tom jumped into the world of learning & development four years ago and has since gained a TAP diploma focusing on learning needs analysis, creating visual impact, consultancy skills and design & evaluation. Tom has spent the majority of his time focusing on eLearning and has a passion for gamification and immersive scenario based learning. His role as our content creator will see him bring our online learning to the forefront of the business, using his expertise in Adobe Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects and Captivate.

Tanya Panesar Project Support Assistant

Tanya Panesar is the Project Support Assistant at ELS. She has over 8 years of experience working as IT support specialist for various companies including financial, think tanks and pharmaceuticals. She holds two master degrees and is Prince2 Practitioner, Agile PM Foundation and Change Management certified. Tanya provides dedicated, professional and client focused support to the Business Development Manager, Project Managers and Trainers at ELS.

Jim Convery Director

Jim is the Managing Director of ELS. With a passion to resolve problems and drive the company to identify and produce Learning and Development products in line with the firm’s focus on the provision of excellence in the training solutions environment. Jim established ELS in 2005. He has worked extensively in Homeland Security, Logistics and Specialist Aerospace and Defence Projects in UK and overseas. His understanding of the need for a robust approach and rigorous process across the learning and development space provides our clients with bespoke tailored training solutions that create impactful business results. Jim enjoys travel and the new experiences presented when working in new surroundings.

My prime motivation in running ELS for the past 14 years has been to ensure we deliver a genuine difference to our client’s business.