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Christina Turner completes level 3 team leader/supervisor apprenticeship with a Distinction Grade

On the 25th of September 2018 Christina Turner commenced an Apprenticeship Programme with Bright Direction Training… but this is only the beginning of the story.

Christina started work with Bright Direction Training in May 2012. Previous to this Christina had been attending one of our training courses when Managing Director Jamie MacGregor spotted what he knew was a talent with potential benefits for the business.

“It was obvious that Chrissy had bags of potential. I believe all our learners are better than they know, but on the day we needed some extra office support… Christina was in the right place at the right time. Luckily for us, when we offered her a job she accepted.

I always say that my best business decision is every time we employ a new member of staff; but Chrissy was the first. I am absolutely thrilled that she has not only completed this apprenticeship but excelled throughout and gained a distinction. It is testament to the value of an Apprenticeship and the quality it can add to a business. I am certain this isn’t the end of Christina’s learning journey.”
Christina was immediately offered a job and began work as an administrator. Bright Direction Training very quickly began to grow as a business, more courses, more learners, more programmes and more staff.
Christina also began to grow alongside the business. She took on more responsibility and very soon began to influence the way the business was run. It looks like Jamie had made a good call and his investment in offering Christina a job was already paying dividends.

With the increase in business came a new job title for Christina as she became our new Project Co-Ordinator. Christina’s role began to change as she took on more Leadership responsibilities. Further increases in staff saw Christina then become the Operations Manager. Now with an additional five members of staff and around 20 freelance tutors to manage her leadership skills were being put to the test. Recognising that Christina was making the important transition from ‘worker’ to Leader/Manager the decision was made to enrol her onto the Level 3 Team Leader/Supervisor apprenticeship programme. At Bright Direction we practice what we preach and see Management development as fundamental in supporting not only our staff but also the business.

The 15-month long apprenticeship programme saw Christina develop even further both as a manager and a leader. Curriculum lead Aiden Murphy says;

“Christina gave 100% to every element of the programme as well as demonstrating excellent knowledge and skills, she was able to showcase exceptional behaviours as she progressed. Her own personal development has been first class”

Christina completed the ILM Level 3 Diploma for Managers and went to independent End Point assessment in order to complete the apprenticeship programme. The result will come as no surprise. Christina achieved an overall grade of ‘Distinction’
At Bright Direction Training we can already see the new benefits and contributions Christina brings to the business. We fully commit to the development of all our staff…. Well done Christina!!! You continue to do us proud.

Morson International Graduate from Bright Direction Training

Morson International graduate from Bright Direction Training

We’re giving a big well done to the team at Morson International, after the successful completion of their level 3 team leader/Supervisor apprenticeship standard, including ILM level 3 diploma for managers, delivered by Bright Direction Training.


After extensive hard work from all involved, the team, which includes Michael Ingham, Jack Richardson, Alex Parmley, Shannon Demiryaban, Claire Willis and Jayne Lee each received their certificates from Ged Mason, OBE.

Helping them to further their careers, the course is sure to have put them on the path to becoming the leaders of tomorrow in the world of Morson International.

Level 3 management apprenticeship standards for team leader/supervisors

Created to help develop those who want to become successful leaders within their place of work, the qualification is ideal for those in first-line management or a supervisory role.

Featuring a combination of knowledge and competency-based work, the course helps each person to enhance the skills they already have while working to become a great leader by achieving desired goals.

The course teaches those taking part how to support, manage and develop team members, manage projects, plan and monitor workloads and resources, deliver operational plans, resolve problems and build strong, long-lasting relationships, both within and outside their place of work.

Morson International and Bright Direction Training

Morson International is an industry-leading recruitment agency helping individuals find work across the globe.

Running since 1969, the company knows what it takes to ensure the business stays at the forefront of what they do. And, one of the ways they do this is to invest in their employees to ensure they can continue to better themselves, and in turn, the work they do for their clients.

Working alongside Bright Direction Training, Morson International have capitalised on our courses to help individuals within their business push themselves harder and harder, helping to better everyone involved in the long run.

If you’d like to find out more about our ILM level 3 leadership courses, why don’t you get in touch today? Call 01204 859859 or email, Or click here to visit our contact page, and find out how we can help you.


Coaching and Mentoring in the Workplace

Mentoring or coaching? Why are they important? Which will be the most beneficial to your business? What techniques are commonly used?

In this blog, we answer these questions and explore coaching and mentoring specifically in the workplace.

The meaning of mentoring and coaching

Before you determine which one is best for your business, it’s important that you understand the meaning of both. Coaching is used to describe the process of delivering training or development to a person to help them reach their goals. The aim of the task is for an individual to discover their motivators and what hinders them from achieving their targets, such as attitudes and preconceptions.

Mentoring is slightly different. Those providing it are perceived as more of a ‘role model’. They offer guidance, along with knowledge and expertise, to help the mentee succeed in their aims.

Whilst they sound very similar, they’re not the same. A mentor takes an ‘advisory’ position, whereas a coach is one of helping and encouraging. Mentors offer specific advice and opinions, whereas coaches help an individual to come up with a solution.

The importance of coaching in the workplace

Both coaching and mentoring are important in the workplace. Coaching can be particularly beneficial for developing employees. For example, you may have hired someone with a suitable educational background, but they lack real-life experience. Or, it may be that they have worked within a few companies, but none quite like yours. Coaching will help them fit in and succeed.

On top of this, coaching can also reduce staff turnover and the likelihood of negative employee morale. Workplace coaching also helps managers to identify high potential employees and can help a company to achieve its organisational goals.

For the employee, they can develop skills in leadership and self-management. It’s likely to give them a confidence boost and make them more resilient and empathetic as well as self-aware.

The importance of mentoring employees

Workplace mentoring can be beneficial because it can also prevent problems from occurring. Not only can it improve the quality of work and increase productivity, but it has also been proven to boost retention and create a positive work environment. Mentored employees will also possess a stronger skill set and are typically able to bring more creativity to the table.

Employees will also feel more effectively prepared for tasks in the future. It could be particularly helpful to those team members who are quieter or new to the workplace environment. It will help them to feel supported and ensure they’re not isolated. And with the right mentoring, it will improve their confidence too.

Like coaching, with mentoring, staff are more likely to be loyal because they will feel more valued. In fact, you might find it easier to attract new talent to your company. Mentoring may be the benefit that draws them in.

Mentoring versus coaching

Mentoring and coaching both have their benefits and importance in business, but which is better? Ultimately it will depend on the needs of your enterprise.

The relationship between a mentor and mentee is long-term, whereas with a coach it’s usually a set, short period of time. Coaching is generally quite structured and will have specifically arranged meetings – mentoring takes place whenever it’s necessary.

Typically, coaching is set in the present with a focus to achieve immediate goals that are often related to personal development. It’s much more task-oriented and performance-driven. Mentoring works towards the future.

Mentoring and coaching techniques

Typically, mentoring and coaching techniques are very different. A common mentoring method is using force field analysis – this is where arguments for and against action are considered, and a proposal decided on after. Career scenarios are also used to plan various paths alongside realistic timescales. Also used in the ILM course is the “Clutterbucks Model” which encourages the mentored employee to become self-reliant and to take ownership of their personal and professional development.

With coaching, one method is to establish SMART goals. This ensures team members have clear targets and are accountable for them. Another technique commonly used is constructive feedback and progress evaluation. The focus is also put on effort, rather than ability, and celebrating any achievements made – no matter their size. Additionally, techniques such as the GROW and OSCAR models are used to develop plans, goals and problem-solving skills.

Occasionally, mentoring and coaching use similar methods. For example, they both use active listening, ask open questions and promote effective communication. However, you might not have the necessary capabilities to provide mentoring or coaching. This is why it’s a great idea to undertake a Leadership and Management apprenticeship.

At Bright Direction Training, we do much more than teaching the essential abilities. There’s an element of practical coaching too. Plus, we align these leadership coaching and mentoring apprenticeships with ILM qualifications.

To find out more about what our qualifications entail, get in touch with our friendly team today. Call us on 01204 859 859, email us at, or fill out our contact form here.

The Difference Between Transactional And Transformational Leadership

Two of the most popular types of leadership are transactional and transformational. But if you don’t know what the real difference is, don’t worry, you’re not the only one.

We’ve previously answered ‘why is leadership important?’ And now, in this blog, we delve into not only the difference between and importance of both of these leadership styles, but the benefits, drawbacks, and key competencies that underline them.

Transactional leadership 

Transactional leadership describes a style where leaders promote compliance using a system of rewards and punishments. This transactional relationship is the more traditional form and typically follows existing processes and policies. Transactional leaders measure their team’s performance closely, monitoring daily progress.

In this type of leadership, goals are also used for individuals – rather than collective aims. It’s very much a case of extrinsic motivation. Issues tend to only arise if practices aren’t complied to, and with such explicit guidance, this is rarely the case.

The transactional perspective takes the stance that any problems are reacted to – rather than the leader being proactive. Constructive feedback is important in this type of leadership.

Transformational leadership

 Transformational leadership, on the other hand, is much more proactive. Transformational leaders motivate, inspire and encourage staff to innovate. New ideas are expected, and with these the business will transform for the better – hence the term ‘transformational leadership’.

The leader’s vision and values are followed by employees, but not because of a reward. Instead, they are motivated because the transformational leader inspired them. It’s a case of ‘lead by example’.

 Whilst the transformational theory of leadership looks to appeal to the entire group’s interests, there is still an individual focus. Their strengths and weaknesses are assessed, and the approach looks to enhance these capabilities, plus hear their views.

Transformational and transactional leadership characteristics

As there is such distinction between the two types of leadership, the behaviours they exhibit are different too.

Transformational leaders are typically seen as a mentor, attending to their team’s needs and being empathetic. Often, they will create an interpersonal relationship with each one. With inspiration playing such a huge part in transformational leadership, leaders encourage staff to leave any comfort zones. The influential leader will be a driver of change, delivering their vision via effective communication. It needs to be clear, meaningful, powerful and engaging. Motivation leadership skills are also essential.

Transactional leadership competencies include being pragmatic. They are also results-focused, so they can reward performance when necessary. Their way of working with employees is quite directive – they will make decisions and provide the instructions for work. They are more like a ‘manager’ whereas transformational leadership aligns more closely to leadership in management.

Transactional leadership vs transformational leadership

 Now you know the difference between the two and the variation in their characteristics, you might wonder, which is better? Both have their benefits and drawbacks.

The strengths of transformational leadership include the promotion of positive feelings, which in turn increases motivation, engagement, and ultimately, productivity. This style of leadership also takes a long-term view – working to keep employees invested in the business not just for rewards, but to achieve organisational success.

A disadvantage of this style is that because it has a lack of structure, it also lacks the necessary detail. On top of this, its dependency on passion may mean that visions don’t actually align to reality or logic.

Transactional leadership is beneficial because it promises recognition and reward, thereby providing employees with the necessary motivation. And, as it has clear structure, goals are clearer and easier to achieve.

However, this rigidity might prove ineffective for some employees. Not only does it restrict creativity, but it can result in employee dissatisfaction, due to the dictation of policies.

Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and which is most effective depends on the type of business. Transactional leadership has proven to work well in sports teams, whereas transformational has seen success in innovative start-ups. However, they don’t have to be disparate. There is ‘blended leadership’, where a leader uses a mixture of each style to suit the business’ needs.

Effective leadership skills with Bright Direction Training

You might not know the type of leader you want to be or have the necessary skills. Thankfully, there’s the option to do a Leadership and Management apprenticeship. You’ll learn the essential competencies like communication and problem-solving, plus benefit from practical experience too. At Bright Direction Training, we offer such apprenticeships – and they’re aligned to ILM qualifications.

To find out more about how our qualifications will benefit you, get in touch with our friendly team today. We can also tell you more about why leadership development is important. Call us on 01204 859 859, email us at, or fill out our contact form here.

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 Direction 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.

This organisation 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.

They recognise that training companies play a key role in the protection of the public with private security. Continuous professional development is critical in their view and that is where Bright Direction Training comes 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 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 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 her to Bright Direction, where she was able to enjoy the flexibility of managing the new role around the demands of her family life.

Jamie and Christine viewing a computer in the Bright Direction Offices

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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