The Blog

Bright Direction Training hosted a visit from the SIA

From l-r Aiden Murphy, Steve McCormick, Executive Director Operations and Standards, SIA, Mark Burtonwood, Deputy Director, SIA and Jamie MacGregor.

At the end of July, Bright Direct Training hosted a visit from the Executive Director and Deputy Director of the Security Industry Authority (SIA). We had a very productive meeting and we were very privileged to have some of their time.

The SIA is in place to deliver regulation to the private security industry, its primary aims are to ensure public safety and that security staff have the correct skills and training to perform effectively and meet their full potential.

The SIA recognise that training companies play a key role in the protection of the public with private security. Continuous professional development is critical in the SIA’s view and that is where Bright Direction Training come in. We are recognised by the SIA and feature heavily in their plans for the future.

“Bright Direction Training is testament to your clear, obvious and passionate principles of putting the individual you are looking to support at the centre of everything you do”

 Mark Burtonwood – Deputy Director SIA.

Later this year, the SIA are hosting a series of events across the UK for SIA approved contractors to attend. Bright Direction Training have been invited to speak at these events to the members of around 200 companies. In addition, we have been asked to provide input to the SIA executive as they feel, as do we, that the people attending the courses are the priority and it is with this focus that together we will improve the SIA licence courses.

Working closely with the SIA, Bright Direction Training will improve the quality of the courses for all attendees, increasing the future employment chances of participants.

The course that Bright Direction Training offers is delivered by approved and accredited trainers only. Delivered over 3 weeks, this course provides learners with everything that they require to apply for the SIA licence.

If you are interested in knowing more about our SIA Door Supervision course or checking your eligibility to enrol to our course, get in touch with us today. Give us a call on 01204 859 859, email us at or fill out our contact form here.

Why Is Leadership Development Important?

If you’re wondering why leadership development is important to businesses, then you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we explore everything from its definition, the importance of it and how it could help your business.

Why is leadership important?

Before delving into why leadership development is important to businesses, it’s good to identify what leadership management is. A leader focuses on creating value, which they do so by influencing, motivating and empowering others to contribute to the business success. This is compared to managers who control and direct teams in line with values or principles that have been established.

Leadership can result in a number of benefits – for both individuals and the business as a whole. Team members have a point of contact for guidance on how to perform in their roles, and this boosts morale in the process. It can also solve and prevent problems that would otherwise negatively impact productivity.

Good leadership nurtures a creative atmosphere that stimulates innovation. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to promote your business values.

Why leadership development is important

These benefits lead onto why leadership development is important to businesses. Such training can make the transition process much easier for those evolving from team members to leaders themselves. And for those already leaders, they can polish their skillset.

Businesses also tend to find improved employee engagement. Better leaders are created, who can effectively head up a team and boost productivity. It produces fantastic role models for future leaders too. On top of this, it promotes the improvement of leadership skills and ensures that there won’t be any gaps.

You’ll be able to pinpoint potential leaders, and there will be a positive impact on company culture as well.

Types of leadership

Before implementing leadership development, you’ll want to ensure that you pick a programme that has a suitable style as there are numerous types of leadership.

One that doesn’t allow for much creativity is the autocratic approach. Used in the military and sometimes production workplaces, its aggressive nature doesn’t work in most businesses. On the other side of the coin is Laissez-Faire, which is significantly more relaxed. Whilst providing complete freedom for innovation, it falls short in structure. It is more effective for motivation-based roles, such as sales.

Commonplace in larger businesses is transformative leadership. It centres around inspiring leaders with a big vision. There’s transactional leadership, which is outcome-focused. It revolves around rewards for great performance, but penalises poor work, with the leader using verified processes to ensure consistent results.

Effective leadership skills

It’s not just leadership style you’ll have to consider; specific skills are required too. A good leader is great at delegating. Trying to do it all isn’t beneficial for the business. Instead, assess the capabilities of each team member so you can assign tasks accordingly.

Another key leadership skill is communication – this shouldn’t just relate to in-person, but across all forms. It’s important to perform active listening, be clear when conversing, and have two-way communication that allows team members to openly discuss issues.

A major part of communication is also the feedback skill. This is a balancing act – micromanaging can be incredibly detrimental, but your team members will thrive when given pointers to boost their performance. The feedback should be constructive, clear, as well as empathetic.

Motivation leadership skills

Communication and feedback skills can also be helpful in another important area of leadership: motivation. From deadlines and tasks to general wellbeing and the workplace environment, it can be a challenge to maintain a high level of motivation. However, there are dedicated strategies.

For example, always ensure that employees know what the end goals are. There will be no uncertainty, and by understanding the objectives for their work, they will be more likely to strive to meet them. Looking for the positives in every situation can also motivate employees, boosting productivity in the process. Praising team members is important too. It shows them the correct actions and encourages them to continue their good work.

Whilst knowing the basic effective leadership skills and why leadership development is important to businesses is incredibly valuable, you might not feel confident being a leader. It’s a great idea to undertake a Leadership and Management apprenticeship, which not only teaches you the specific abilities, but takes a practical approach as well.

Here at Bright Direction Training, we offer these apprenticeship qualifications, and they are aligned with ILM qualifications. Modules include fundamental leadership skills like communication, along with other essential ones such as problem-solving.

To discover more about what our qualifications will bring you, or for further information about why leadership development is important to businesses, get in touch with our friendly team today. Call us on 01204 859 859, email us at, or fill out our contact form here.

Bright Direction Training… ‘The story so far….

Here at Bright Direction Training, we’ve just celebrated our 8th Birthday. Yet it seems like only yesterday that founder and MD Jamie MacGregor, disillusioned with his job at an SME training centre, finally quit to follow his dream of setting up a National Training provider specialising in Leadership and Management Development. So what better time to look back and see how far we’ve come?

Starting out.

Bright Direction opened for business on 22nd December 2010 in the basement of Platinum Hair Studios, Bolton.

Here, Jamie and long-time friend, colleague and mentor Mick Chew started the long slog of reaching out to develop a network.

A call to Aiden Murphy, a management trainer at Wigan and Leigh College, soon saw Jamie working as a consultant at the college delivering Team Leader NVQ’s on a national project – Bright Direction Training’s first proper customer. (Remember Aiden’s name, though. He features again in a few years’ time.)

Another small contract in the Welfare to work sector allowed Jamie and Mick to establish a foothold in the local area. And from there, guided by the company values of helping others to develop and grow with integrity and a passion for learning, the business went from strength to strength.

Adding to the team

During one employment course, a student called Christina Turner impressed Jamie and Mick so much that she finished not just with a professional qualification, but with a job offer to become Bright Direction Training’s Admin Assistant as well.

With three people to accommodate, the company moved from its Salon basement to the Bolton Council Workshop offices on Newport Street, complete with spacious classrooms and teaching facilities.

The focus was now fully on welfare to work and facilitation of the Government’s Adult Education Budget, with Jamie, Mick and Christina all putting together different routeways to help people back into work.

Innovative training sessions, qualifications and our unique organisational values all helped ensure continued growth and, in 2014, Kim Fletcher joined the team to take on additional Admin and Due Diligence responsibilities.

A qualified teaching assistant before she was made redundant, Kim brought her passion for teaching and learning with to her to Bright Direction, where she was able to enjoy the flexibility of managing the new role around the demands of her family life.

bright direction training bolton

We’re going to need a bigger office… again

Another move in 2014 saw 19, St Andrews Court, Bolton become the new home of Bright Direction Training. The new office was spacious and well-appointed with its own fully equipped classroom. It soon started to feel like home as Jamie, Mick, Christina and Kim quickly settled in.

Jamie had never lost his vision of delivering management development courses and management apprenticeships. He had never lost contact with Aiden either and, after a couple of phone calls later in 2014, a series of clandestine meetings and numerous cups of Starbucks Coffee, Aiden quit his job and became a shareholder and Director at Bright Direction Training.

With the values and vision for lifelong learning that Jamie and Aiden shared, it wasn’t long before Bright Direction became an ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) approved Centre and began to deliver a suite of management courses as well as the existing Welfare to Work programmes, which continued to grow.

In 2016, the office at Andrew’s Court was extended to take over the second floor, providing space for two more classrooms and a fully furnished IT suite.

In the same year, Mick took up the mantle of Head of Quality and began to raise the bar in the quality of delivery and assessment.

With the advent of the Apprenticeship Levy and new apprenticeship standards came more opportunities for growth. Turnover was doubling year by year and the company successfully applied for inclusion in the Register of Training Organisations and Registration of Apprenticeship Training providers.

The end of an era.

Mick retired at the end of 2018 but leaves behind a quality system that’s second to none and a legacy that will always remain at Bright Direction Training. We continually strive to live up to that legacy, developing and improving so we can be the best at what we do. Our recent Ofsted monitoring visit serves to validate that claim and drives us to be even better.

An increase in workload has also meant two additional support staff, Gemma Coward and Becca Crompton, have joined the Bright Direction family.

The office team are supported by a fantastic cohort of consultant teachers, each a specialist in their own field. All have relevant teaching and assessing qualifications but more importantly, all share the values that the company was founded upon

In 2018 Bright Direction Training started to extend its reach across the North West and beyond delivering courses in Leigh, Wigan, Blackpool, Huddersfield, Bradford, Lancaster, Preston, Manchester, Rugby and Worksop.

So if you ask Jamie or Aiden as we enter 2019 ‘where is the end point?’ the answer will be exactly the same: ‘There is no end point … anything is possible.’

team bright direction training


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