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Debbie Gardiner MBE
TESS Group Governance Board
Debbie is incredibly proud and humbled to have been included on Her Majesty the Queen’s 2018 New Year Honours list; recognised with an MBE for Services to Apprenticeships and Charity. Additionally, she won the East of England IoD Non-Executive Director (NED) of the Year Award 2018 for her work on the AELP Board.
Debbie started her career in T&D at Sainsbury’s in 1990, moving to Qube Learning in 2000 where she held several operational/quality management roles. Debbie was appointed Managing Director in 2006, promoted to CEO in 2010 where she led the company through significant growth and change, retaining an Ofsted GOOD grade 2, Matrix and achieving consistently very high FE Choices employer and learner satisfaction levels. In 2017 she became Executive Chair, before leaving in June 2018 to launch DSG L&M Consultancy Services. Through DSG Debbie continues to provide a range of leadership, governance, oversight, management, and consultancy services, focussing on Apprenticeships and FE/Skills. Debbie has a genuine passion for people development and seeing people reach their full potential.
Debbie is a NED for four Independent Training Providers (ITP), holding the Chairperson position with two of them and has been on the board of AELP since 2013 where she sits on three board groups; Finance, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion and Quality & Ofsted, as well as representing AELP as a UCAS Council member. Additionally, Debbie is a Governance Advisor for three ITPs and one End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO), including holding the Chair role for an Advisory Board. Debbie sets high standards and prides herself on being an independent critical business friend.
In her spare time Debbie has the role of Cancer Research UK Campaigns Ambassador for South West Bedfordshire and is a Governor for the Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (Central Bedfordshire), including membership of the Patient Experience Council and Membership & Communication Committee. She also values spending time with her family, friends and the latest addition to her family, puppy Bella.