Our Subject Matter Experts

We know that great learning starts with the experts, and we know great Subject Matter Experts help us to produce great content.

That’s why we work tirelessly to find and retain the best SMEs in their sectors.

We are delighted they work with us and we are proud of the team we have working behind the scenes to help us produce our world-class catalogues of learning you can trust. Straight off the shelf.



Jill Thorburn 

Jill is our subject matter expert across all of our social care content.

With over 25 years’ experience of adults and children’s social work services, Jill has carried out extensive work within social work management including safeguarding adults and management in every area of children’s services. She has a real passion for working to make the best possible services for children needing protection or who are looked after and has always had an interest in how technology can support social work practice.



Dr Avril Chambers

Avril Chambers is our Subject Matter Expert across all of our health and social care content.

She holds a Doctorate in quality in education and learning and held a national role for the Department of Health and Department of Children Schools and Families for over 3 years, setting up and leading a National Support Team. She also conducts research for local authorities, voluntary organizations, higher education, private companies and other organizations.



Nathan Dring

Having worked in L&OD for over a decade, Nathan Dring has experience in sales, service, SME and retail. Whilst at Asda, Nathan set up and led the learning and development function for the global contact centre estate and it was during this time he was very involved in the Top 50. He was also a judge at the European Contact Centre and Customer Service awards, delivered keynote messages at both Top 50 events and the Contact Centre Expo and helped to develop the BSC in Managing the Customer Contact now run at Ulster University.

Nathan was Head of Global Organizational Development at ‘thebigword’, before setting up Nathan Dring and Associates Limited in 2018.



Sue Garlick

Our Food Safety Subject Matter Expert, Sue, is an experienced Technical Manager / Auditor/ Quality Controller with a demonstrated history of working in the food & beverages industry. She is a strong technical professional with Lead Auditor certification and IFST Fellowship and also achieved an MSc in Food Safety Management in 2018. 

Sue is skilled in Food Science, HACCP, Food Safety, Foodservice Distribution, Food Specification Databases, Food Safety Training, and Food Quality. She is also experienced in working with businesses to achieve Salsa and BRC.



Mandy Webster

Mandy Webster is a lawyer with an in-house career spanning 15 years in the corporate world which developed an understanding of how businesses work and many of the key tasks in compliance, marketing, HR, facilities management, tax and finance and administration so clients don’t need to educate or explain these business operations and can rely on a good level of knowledge about routine business activities.

Experience as a compliance officer in financial service gave Mandy an understanding of how to demonstrate compliance for accountability. Mandy’s legal background means that clients can rely on her interpretation and application of data protection law. Mandy is also an author of several law books on data protection. 



Sandra Conway

Sandra began working in HR more than 25 years ago. She worked her way up through the ranks from Personnel Assistant to recently being the Director of her own interim management firm. 

She has been a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) for more than 25 years, as well as being a trained mediator and workshop facilitator for more than five years. Her varied areas of expertise allow her to deal with numerous industries including manufacturing, professional services and distribution. No matter what a business requires regarding HR, Sandra has got the skills in order to deal with any business enquiry and carry out anything from HR and personnel planning to a mediation training workshop.  She is able to objectively access situations quickly to support organizations in developing options and solutions to issues.


Andrew Ashford

Andrew is a former barrister, now MD of Griffin Safety Training, the UK’s leading provider of Corporate Manslaughter training.

He is absolutely passionate about delivering affordable training in a language that all can understand. He’s been around the health and safety world since 1996, delivering training and consultancy services in organizations of all sizes and across all sectors. He works hard to build strong client relationships and deliver relevant training courses that demystify health and safety. 



Mike Keen

Mike Keen brings an extensive global outlook to his current role via a series of end-to-end roles in a variety of industries, including automotive, component distribution, metal packaging, consumer electronics, rubber compounding, aerospace, engineering. 

Having built a successful career in a series of senior roles, Mike moved into the interim/consultant space in 2016. Passionate about people and their learning and development journeys, Mike is a strong supporter and proponent of developing organizational talent, building diverse, progressive international teams and leading transformation & change programs.

Mike has a BA (Hons)  in French & Business Studies and an MBA in General Management – with particular focus on procurement, logistics and operations.


Ian Jerrum

Ian has over 40 years of experience in the financial services industry. He is a Chartered Insurer and Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute as well as being a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Insurers.

Ian has always been passionate about learning and development, helping employers to get the most from their staff. He owned and led Searchlight Solutions, the UK’s leading provider of learning services to the insurance and financial services industry, until selling the company on in 2018.

He now provides consultancy advice to a limited number of financial services companies, specialising in compliance matters and good company practice.


bread& Learning & Development – Jill Nowak & Georgina Howard

Jill and George have 35 years of experience in learning and development. They’ve managed colleague training for some of the biggest retailers and brands in the UK and globally, including Boots the Chemist, Walgreens and No7. 

Their L&D expertise means they’re able to consult on and create engaging and effective learning across most subject areas and sectors, from advising on strategy to designing end-to-end bespoke, blended learning programmes. 

Further specialisms include beauty, customer service, communications and storytelling. And with proven expertise in public relations, copywriting, editing and proofreading for household brands including DFS, Sainsbury’s and Wilko, they know just how to make every learner’s journey compelling, powerful and flawless.