Introducing Alison



Alison was born and raised in Northumberland, growing up on a dairy farm. After studying for her English degree in Newcastle upon Tyne, she took a postgraduate course to qualify as a Careers Adviser, with practical placements in Sunderland and Edinburgh.

She began specialising in careers information work in schools, in work with young people with ‘special needs’ as well as with ‘more able’ students in Northumberland.

On moving to North Yorkshire in the 1980s, Alison was involved in pioneering work to establish the county’s first  specialist careers support service for adults – which included ground-breaking collaboration between the Careers Service and North Yorkshire’s Library & Information Service. She also worked closely with the Jobcentre network, the (then) Training & Enterprise Council (TEC) and the Learning & Skills Council (LSC) as well as with European-funded projects.

For a period Alison was also directly based at the North Yorkshire TEC where she was heavily involved in the development of its strategies for work with adults. As North Yorkshire’s Careers Service became a private company in the early 1990s, and grew to become known as the Guidance Enterprises Group, Alison specialised in career management and outplacement services for adults, before leaving the Guidance Enterprises Group in 2005.

She first gained a national perspective in the guidance field for adults through time working with the National Educational Guidance Initiative and the Further Education Unit. In addition to her professional Diploma in Career Guidance, Alison has gained further qualifications in counselling, in further and adult education teaching, ICT, Key Skills and in assessing and verifying NVQs (both internally and externally).

Alison continued to work (but in a reduced capacity)  as a registered practitioner for the matrix Quality Standard for Information, Advice & Guidance (IAG) for learning and work, having been involved with the Standard from its introduction – indeed, also with its predecessor. Due to MS she had to retire from onsite work in April 2017.

She successfully advised and assessed organisations across the public, private and voluntary & community sectors against the matrix Standard. This involved working with large and small businesses, charitable and TUC-linked organisations as well as with Prisons, Local Authority services, Further Education Colleges and Higher Education institutions.

Alison was one of the matrix practitioners selected to trial the 2011 revision of the content to the Standard, leading to it being launched as the required quality standard for the National Careers Service from 2012/3.

In the late 1990s/early 2000s, Alison also gained substantial experience of working as an Associate Inspector with the former Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI). Her main expertise was within work-based learning – with some joint OFSTED inspection experience in FE. Through experience with the ALI, her commercial career management contracts and national Quality Standards work, Alison has worked throughout the UK, as well as in parts of Ireland, Oman, Egypt, Greece and Cyprus.

Alison’s main focus in the period up to April 2017 was with a range of contracts in the northern parts of England – both through her matrix advisory and assessment work, as well as directly with further clients and customers through Boundary Partnership. Alison also enjoyed business links with a national Career Management & Outplacement company. She has been an experienced outplacement career counsellor and a member of the Career Development Institute.

From April 2017, Alison has ceased onsite work, solely supporting Boundary Partnership now in administration.

Please see the page “More About Us” for more information about the personal interests and community involvement of Alison and Paul.