Our Training Partners

We work with a group of hand-picked, specialist Training Partners, who are each experts in their fields and in the delivery of business training. Find out more on them below!

Our Training Partners
  • Bryan Leslie

    Bryan Leslie is an accredited coach and trainer, qualified in DISC personality and PIAV personal motivator profiling.

    Bryan started his career in Financial Services in London and Edinburgh, working in Operations Management, Business Consultancy and HR for the Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Life. In 2003 he founded his own training company, Abacus Coaching Ltd, working with organisations to develop the leadership and management skills of their people. He has written three published books: “The Useful Guide to Goal-Setting”, “The Useful Guide to Process Mapping” and “The Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Networkers”, each of which has sold enough copies to ensure he still has to work for a living!

    Bryan’s main areas of expertise are:
    • Growing leadership and management skills
    • Facilitating behavioural change through high impact training
    • Project, programme and change management
    • Developing high performance teams
    • Understanding key financial concepts relevant to your role in the organisation

  • Hilary Phillips

    Hilary Phillips is a business copywriter with a passion for helping others to develop their writing skills. With over 25 years of experience across commercial, public sector and third sector, she approaches every training day with creativity and enthusiasm.

    Hilary runs Cygnus Extra, a communications consultancy based in Edinburgh which provides business copywriting, tone of voice consultancy and web development. Clients include The Royal Yacht Britannia, University of St Andrews, Scottish Enterprise and The Law Society of Scotland.

    Delegates find her training style relaxed, friendly and engaging and enjoy the mix of presentation and practical activities that makes up a typical workshop.

  • Ann Robb

    Founder of Edinburgh’s The Marketing Mentor, strategist and trainer Ann Robb combines up-to-the-minute expertise in digital marketing and social media with an extensive, 20-year background in traditional marketing. Ann uses her expertise to guide corporates and start-ups in how to focus investment in marketing for the maximum possible return.

    Ann is a trainer for the Google Digital Academy facilitating their Brand Solutions Masterclass throughout Europe and trains for the Google Digital Garage; an initiative to increase knowledge of all things digital to SMEs and individuals in the UK.

    Ann is also evangelical about the power of LinkedIn and her own research confirms that people are aware of its potential for business development but that most don’t know how to use it properly. Ann aims to put this right with her LinkedIn training, described as “excellent, providing useful tips and advice gleaned from her real passion for the subject”.

  • Mark Douglas

    Mark Douglas is a business partner in Blue Ptarmigan, who are people focused Performance Specialists. He has extensive experience in the design and delivery of people based ‘performance improvement interventions’ for SME’s, large corporations, third sector and public sector bodies. He has been a retail manager, change management consultant, led various functions including Supply Chain & Operations, HR, Learning & Development and Property Development for a major multinational company, he is also an associate lecturer with Dundee Business School and a business mentor and coach with the Princes Trust.

  • Anne Farr

    Anne delivers tender and proposal training to companies of all sizes and in all sectors. She has an excellent track record of helping companies win business with robust financial margins, by improving the quality of their written submissions. Anne’s courses are fast-paced, interactive and highly productive. She is skilled at working with all experience levels and helping individuals learn within a group situation.

    As a qualified bid professional, with knowledge transfer accreditations, she draws on over 20 years’ experience of biding and tendering. Anne started her career in engineering and retains a pragmatic and efficient style of working which results in easy-to-use tips during her courses.

    She has a notable client list and has worked on numerous successful projects; prestigious ones include the Queensferry Crossing and luxury caravans for the Saudi royal family however she says her most enjoyable work is helping smaller companies become self-sufficient in writing winning bids.

  • Ken Lofthouse

    Prior to moving into Export Training Ken Lofthouse worked for 29 years within the International Division of the Diageo Spirits group undertaking various management roles.

    Upon leaving the group Ken established Scotlands first dedicated export  training centre in partnership with the Fife Council, the local Chamber of Commerce and Scottish Enterprise International.

    Since that time Ken has worked as an independent International Trade Consultant and has develeped and delivered a variety of International Trade  related training courses and simulations within the UK and Eastern Europe and has worked on projects for amongst others British Chambers of Commerce, Scottish Enterprise, the European Union and of course Edinburgh Chambers of Commerce.

  • John Daniels

    John Daniels has spent the last 18 years helping businesses get results from Digital.

    After helping more than 300 businesses accorss 3 continents, he has settled in Edinburgh to focus on helping local organisations maximise results from their digital marketing, covering everything from website design, SEO, PPC, Facebook and LinkedIn. He combines a deep technical understanding of the internet with business acumen and a wicked sense of humour.

  • Colin Gilchrist

    -Digital and social media marketing trainer

    -Specialises in SME Strategy and Campaign delivery for both B2B & B2C

    -Crisis Management in social media Trainer for Enterprise and large SMEs

    Created a world first in social media by developing a social network that alleviated traffic congestion and in 2008 went on to develop Facebook applications for Trip Advisor.  In 2009 he spent time in Las Vegas with Zappos.com, he developed a Twitter tool called Tweetabits: the location based, lead generator for business. Since 2010 Colin has been delivering social media strategy, content planning and advertising as well as providing ‘War Room’ project management for incidents on social media.

  • Brendan Reilly

    Brendan has worked in the creative industry in Scotland for over 25 years; beginning in design for print in Glasgow in the 90’s and working through graphic design, video, motion graphics and covering a broad range of projects from print, advertising, TV and marketing communications.

    Brendan opened the doors at Dangerous Studio in Leith in 2012 and since then he and the team have been working with organisations of all shapes and sizes to help them find their key messages and get them across visually to maximise reach and engagement. Dangerous offers services in video production, graphics, CGI visuals and post production as well as video content training to support businesses to create their own content.

  • Lina Poka

    Lina has built a successful marketing career in Toronto, Canada before moving to Edinburgh and holds a BBA & an MBA from the prestigious Schulich School of Business of York University in Toronto. For the past six years, Lina has operated and managed her own marketing and consulting company.

    Lina’s career has exposed her to a variety of projects and experiences including working with some of the largest companies in the world, managing teams of up to 50 people, building numerous websites and apps with millions of visitors & downloads, working on a project for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, brokering deals with huge American & Canadian retailers, and receiving numerous international marketing awards.

  • Dave Jarrold

    Dave is a coach and trainer specialising in productivity and personal effectiveness.  He combines practical tools and techniques with personal insights.  This provides individuals and organisations with the tools to make (and sustain) lasting change, and the insights to make this truly effective.   Dave has developed signature programmes through Lasting Impact (lasting-impact.com) and also creates bespoke training packages and coaching programmes.

    Dave has a fascinating and diverse background.  His early career was in housing where he worked in a variety of roles, including frontline service delivery, community regeneration, project management and business development.  Moving beyond housing he held senior roles in the youthwork and care sectors, before taking the plunge into self-employment.  His coaching background started in the fitness field before progressing onto personal development.  This has given him a unique approach and perspective.  He has used this approach to have a lasting impact on a wide range of businesses and organisations.


  • MacLennan Norman

    Jo MacLennan

    Jo has over 13 years’ experience of working with multi-disciplinary professionals across the private, public and not-for profit sectors. She is an organisational development specialist, focused on delivering Transformational change. Jo is a passionate trainer who enjoys supporting people to learn new ways of working and helping them enhance their personal techniques. Jo is a qualified professional mediator with a diverse experience of alternative dispute resolution cases including: workplace, charity, property and commercial cases.

    Jayne MacLennan

    Jayne combines her non-executive portfolio with mediation, executive coaching, facilitation and training in conflict avoidance and management. The latter being particularly helpful to organisations who want to undertake transformational change. Her training as a mediator and coach combined with her executive and non-executive experience provides her with the ability to structure training programmes that are very relevant to clients.

  • Mark Mackenzie Smith

    Mark started his career in Air Traffic Control, leaving to establish a personal and business brand development consultancy working with individuals, SME’s and an extensive range of UK Charities. He is an associate of Caledonia PA and owner of Boom, presentations training specialists. He delivers a range of business based workshops linking tried and tested techniques to practical solutions.

    With over 30 years of business behind him, Mark has developed a workshop method that is relaxed and activity focused. His seminars are challenging, pushing you to perform at your very best.

    He is chair of Lothian Young Enterprise and a Young Person’s coach with Edinburgh based charity Bright Light. Mark also sits on the Edinburgh Napier University Business Advisory panel and when he’s not working with clients he’s training his Guide Dog puppy.

  • Matthew Quinn

    After leaving the Army due to injury in the mid nineties, Matthew began his civilian life in the motor trade. Matthew was very aware that the lessons in leadership and confidence that the Armed Forces had given him were a distinct advantage in his civilian life, and it was due mainly to his background and training that he reached his peak in the motor trade as business manager in the flagship Mercedes Benz dealership on London’s Park Lane.

    A few years ago Matthew left his position as head of sales for a major national professional practices firm to set up Future Sales Factory in order to achieve his objective of increasing the standard of sales skills on a national and industry wide basis. In every project, Matthew draws on the lessons learned in all the sales areas in which he has worked, as well as leadership and management lessons learned in the forces.

    ​Matthew’s Keynote presentation centres around the question; “Why do people buy?” After many years of extensive research, Matthew believes he has the answer. His presentation, which is highly interactive and humorous, will show the audience exactly how they can use some simple techniques from proven methods in order to minimise the chance in selling.