Putting the learner at the heart of innovative vocational provision

Managing Director - Carolyn Lewis


Managing Director of Vocational Innovation Ltd, Carolyn Lewis, has over 25 years experience in the FE and Skills and learning and development sectors. Carolyn started her career with nine years as an IT Systems Co-ordinator for a pharmaceutical company where she brought the first PCs into the company. When she was invited to deliver an evening class at her local college she realised that adult education and training was where she wanted to pursue a new career.

Having obtained her Further Adult Adult Education Teaching certificate (7407) and her assessor qualifications Carolyn taught for eight years on a range of adult and community and mainstream college courses. During her time at Dunstable and Newbury College, Carolyn favoured delivering vocational courses where she could pass on her commercial knowledge and experience. It seemed a natural step to move into work based learning where over a number of years Carolyn gained her internal and external verifier qualifications and managed apprenticeship provision, as well as Skills for Life and Key Skills programmes. It was during this time that Carolyn developed a real passion for developing innovative approaches to training and assessment.

In addition to managing funded provision Carolyn also worked as an external verifier for City and Guilds. In this role she worked with a wide range of training organisations at a time when e-portfolios and learning technologies were gaining recognition.

In 2007 Carolyn combined her passion for innovative provision with her knowledge and experience of work based learning and joined JISC, and was responsible for the development and implementation of the strategy to role out the newly funded support for the work based learning sector in England and Wales. The aim of the strategy was to affect Work Based Learning provider change and development to enable them to meet their business objectives through the implementation of innovative practices. Two years on when the strategy was successfully implemented Carolyn moved on to be the Project Director of the London Assessor Project. In this role she had overall responsibility for the successful development and implementation of the £2 million LSC funded London Assessor Project. The London Assessor Project aimed to identify, recruit and qualify 1,000 new Assessors and Verifiers into London’s workforce by March 2010. Also, to build a sustainable structure to support the development of London’s key vocational programmes.

In 2010 Carolyn founded Vocational Innovation Ltd where she supports training providers in their use of learning technologies. In her consultancy role she has worked for the Learning and Skills Improvement Service, the Association of Employment and Training Providers and JISC, among others. In 2013 she founded the online business the Elearning Marketplace, an open marketplace for the buying and selling of anything digital for learning. The Elearning Marketplace has attracted a lot of visitors, with over 120 sellers registered on the site selling around 600 products, which are being purchased by a wide range of businesses and individuals.

With her commercial experience and knowledge of funded provision, as well as her knowledge and skills in the area of learning technologies, Carolyn brings a breadth of advice and guidance to providers that can really make a difference.


  • Planning and Implementing a blended model of apprenticeship provision
  • Evidencing the planning of blended delivery
  • Plan and develop a managed virtual learning environment to meet Foundation Learning, Study Programme and Apprenticeship provision requirements
  • Strategy and procedures for blended model quality assurance
  • Learning and development plans to up-skill staff in the use of learning technologies
  • Staff training to develop the knowledge and skills to deliver and support blended models of provision
  • Workshops/webinars have included:

o Effective use of a virtual learning environment
o Effective delivery of blended models of provision
o Digital marketing in the FE and Skills sector
o Digital employability skills
o Innovative programmes of learning for Functional Skills
o Planning a blended model of provision
o Using free and inexpensive tools for learner engagement
o Using free and inexpensive tools for employer engagement


  • Association of Employment and Learning Providers
  • London Work Based Learning Alliance
  • Association of Learning Providers Hampshire and Isle of Wight
  • Thames Valley Regional Network
  • East Midlands Further Education Council
  • JISC Regional Support Centre South East
  • JISC Regional Support Centre West Midlands
  • JISC Regional Centre East Midlands
  • JISC Regional Support Centre Eastern


  • Safeguarding e-learning development (development of resources for apprentices in the work place)
  • Functional Skills e-learning development contextualised to Health and Social Care and Business Admin
  • Cutting carbon in work based learning provision using inexpensive e-tools
  • Author of the Introduction to Virtual Learning Environments in Work Based Learning for the JISC Regional Support Centre South East
  • Co-author of the JISC Regional Support Centre, UK Impact Report
  • Research into online communities for the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS)
  • LSIS Skills and Employer Responsive consultancy
  • Author of the e-SLC staff development programme
  • Project Manager for the e-PPD JISC funded project
  • JISC RSC South East consultant and mentor to WBL advisors
  • Up-Skilling Teachers within the Life Long Learning Sector in Technology Enhanced Learning (JISC FE & Skills Development project)

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