Our Board of Directors
Mr Mark Bedlow
Chief Delivery Officer and Responsible Officer - OCR
Mark has responsibility for the delivery of all assessments, ensuring the maintenance of standards and quality, combined with effective and efficient operational delivery. In addition, Mark ensures OCR’s risks are managed and that the organisation is compliant with regulations.
Mark joined OCR in March 2013 in the newly-created post of Risk and Compliance Director.
Following his training as a chartered accountant, Mark worked for PwC for 19 years in a range of roles. In 1998, Mark moved to the Cambridge practice from London and led the audits of a wide range of organisations in and around Cambridge before taking on responsibility for PwC’s Risk Assurance business across East Anglia with wider responsibilities for people and finance across the SE region.
In 2005, Mark led the PwC team that assisted Imperial College, London, to float its technology spin-out business, Imperial Innovations, on the London Stock Exchange, as well as a local Cambridge technology company.
Through extensive work with the travel industry, Mark has worked with the industry’s regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, to develop guidelines on regulatory reporting by accountants.
Over the last three years, Mark has also worked with Cambridge University Press, the Cambridge Assessment Group in general, as well as the University itself on various aspects of IT risk.
Dr Janet Brown
Chief Executive - Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)
Mr Patrick Craven
Director of Policy and Quality - City & Guilds
Patrick has over 25 years experience in the field of educational technology. From the design of educational resources with the Microelectronics Support Unit, National Council for Educational Technology and BECTa to running of post-sales technology support departments for KRCS (Apple Computer reseller), his career has always addressed the fusion of education and new technologies.
For the last 15 years this work has focussed on the specific field of learning and assessment technology research and development for the RSA Examinations Board, OCR Examinations, Cambridge Assessment Group and now he leads on Product Research and Design for City & Guilds. This role considers the growing impact of Policy and new technologies on the learning and assessment industry. It also identifies initiatives to enable City & Guilds to develop and extend the range and quality of learning and assessment products and services they offer.
Throughout this period he has remained committed to the notion of ‘fit for purpose’ assessment based on evidence-based research. Patrick currently sits on the Board of the e-Assessment Association and the UK eAssessment Advisory Group and is a member of the planning committee for the Computer-Assisted Assessment Conference and European ATP Conference.
Skills: E-Learning, Educational Technology, Instructional Design.
Ms Margaret Farragher
Director of Education - Northern Ireland Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessments (CCEA).
Mr Gareth Pierce
Chief Executive - WJEC
Gareth joined WJEC in 2004, having previously worked there as a Research Officer in the early 1980s.
In the early stages of his career, Gareth worked as a statistician in the housing and health sectors, and as head of mathematics in a comprehensive school. He was subsequently a senior lecturer at the University of Glamorgan Business School, a head of education policy for the Welsh Local Government Association, and a senior manager at Trinity College, Carmarthen.
Gareth represented the JCQ awarding bodies on the HE Partnership for Admissions and has been a member of several Welsh Government stakeholder groups. He was until recently an Associate Lecturer in Statistics with the Open University and is a member of the Audit Committee of Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol. Gareth also played for Welsh Universities during his rugby career.
Mr Derek Richardson
Vice President and Senior Responsible Officer - Pearson UK
Derek was appointed Vice President and Senior Responsible Officer of Pearson UK in September 2017.
He is accountable for the successful delivery of qualifications both in the UK and internationally. He is Pearson's designated Responsible Officer to Ofqual, CCEA, Qualification Wales and SQA in relation to compliance with our conditions of recognition as an awarding organisation.
Derek has degrees from Teesside and Sussex Universities and his background over the last 18 years has been in educational assessment.
He started work in Edexcel’s A level English team as the curriculum 2000 reforms were being introduced and also holds a post as school governor.
He has held various posts within Pearson, most recently as Director for Qualification Development, Assessment & Awarding across GCSEs, A Levels, BTEC, Apprenticeships and International qualifications.
Professor Toby Salt
Chief Executive - AQA
Toby joined AQA in July 2017. He was previously Chief Executive of Ormiston Academies Trust, which sponsors 32 academies across England, with responsibility for 25,000 students and 3,500 staff. Prior to that, Toby was Deputy Chief Executive at the National College for School Leadership, an executive agency providing leadership development and policy advice for schools and ministers.
Toby has worked in a variety of education leadership roles, including as Executive Head of a federation of three schools, and has led schools to achieve ‘outstanding’ gradings under Ofsted. In 2000, he was appointed by the Prime Minister as Director of the Department for Education’s Innovation Unit to lead innovation in school practices and structures.
He has also held a number of voluntary and non-executive director roles including appointment to the Cabinet Office Innovators’ Council and as a board member of UCAS. He is a visiting professor of education leadership at the University of Wolverhampton; a member of All Souls Group, Oxford; and a member of the Windsor Leadership Trust Chief Executives’ working group.
Mr Michael Turner
Director General - Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ)
Michael provides leadership, direction and represents JCQ and its members interests to a wide range of stakeholders including government officials, parliamentarians, the regulators, education institutions, the media and the general public. Previously, Michael was Head of Media and Public Affairs at The Schools, Students and Teachers Network (SSAT).
Managing Director, NCFE
Esme has been Managing Director at NCFE since January 2016. This is following three years as Principal and Chief Executive of Loughborough College, during which she led on the formation and implementation of a £30m modernisation and strategic development plan which led to significant growth and success for the College.
Prior to this, Esme was Group Director of NCG, and her 35-year career has also included a management buyout of Paperchase and senior roles at high profile companies such as Timberland, Laura Ashley and Polo Ralph Lauren’s Parisian office.
As Managing Director, Esme manages day-to-day operations in awarding, working closely with NCFE’s Chief Executive David Grailey.