About ICM and our History

Established as a charity for global outreach in 1979, the Institute of Commercial Management (ICM) is the leading professional body for commercial and business development staff. ICM provides a wide range of professional qualifications in business, management and related vocational areas. Our programmes are designed to address and respond to the training needs as well as the personal development of Learners, whether entering or continuing to work within the wide and varied commercial sector. ICM exhibits best practice in responding to the academic and vocational needs of Learners by regular liaison and structured feedback mechanisms, thereby ensuring that we stay in touch with the needs of Centres and Learners. We apply rigour in the award of qualifications, inclusivity in assessment and examinations, accuracy and efficiency in the certification of all our Learners undertaking business, management and related vocational education programmes.

ICMs Vision, Mission and Values

Our Mission
ICMs mission is and has always been simple, to help progress people’s lives through providing affordable, inclusive and high-quality education for those hard to reach learners.

Our Vision
We endeavour to demonstrate the provision of quality education by ensuring that we comply with all legal and regulatory requirements, our vision is twofold:

  • To ensure, with professional advice as appropriate, that ICM complies with all constitutional, legal, regulatory and statutory requirements.
  • To understand and comply with the constitution and rules that govern ICM, and to review the constitution regularly (at least every three years) to ensure it is fit for purpose.

Our Values
ICM value transparency in the way we operate and in our charging structure. We value fairness in how we assess our learners and in how we treat people. We value honesty, accountability and integrity in how our charity is governed.

The ICM Senior Management Team

John Caithness Profile Photo

Mr John Caithness
Chair of Trustees

John is a retired specialist in employment taxes including share incentive schemes, profit extraction, tax efficient remuneration planning, efficient benefits and related tax and national insurance issues. As the Chair of Trustees at ICM since 2018, John together with the Trustee Board and ICM governance team has headed and supported change with the effect of building and maintaining a competent and highly skilled team.
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Photo of Alaa Garad

Dr Alaa Garad
Trustee

Alaa is a Certified EFQM Assessor, licensed IIP Specialist, Chief Examiner and Juror at several national and regional quality excellence awards and has been a Trustee at ICM since October 2018. As an educational practitioner with extensive expertise in Learning, Service Quality and Organisational Development he holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Masters in Quality Management and his PhD in Organisational Learning and Excellence. Successful in designing, developing, and leading postgraduate and undergraduate courses and implementing long-term organisational strategies. Alaa continues to teach, research and practice in the areas of Strategic Quality Management & Business Excellence, Organisational Learning & Performance Improvement, Investors in People and ISO Standards (e.g. 9001:2015 QMS, ISO 14001:2015 EMS, ISO 45000 OHSAS). Alaa has been a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) since 2020.
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Cres George Profile Photo

Mr Crescens George
Trustee

Crescens is a financial services professional with far reaching and extensive knowledge and skills as a specialist in, recruitment, learning and development, organisational development and generalist human resources and has been a Trustee at ICM since October 2020. His knowledge and skills have been attained during a progressive career both in global and regional organisations such as Mphasis - Zurich Financial Services, Ageas UK, Be Wiser Insurance and Wiser Academy. Crescens holds a CIPD Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management (FCIPD), a BA (Hons) Business Management (Specialising in HR & Strategic Management), LEAN & Six Sigma (Green Belt Certified), Continuous Improvement Methodologies, HRMS & LMS Systems including E-learning Designing (SAP & Oracle) and Transactional Analysis (TA101).
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Mr Adair Ford
Chief Executive Officer

Adair is an accomplished Executive with 23 years global Investment Banking experience and 11 years in the Awarding Organisation sector. International negotiations with educational and non-educational sectors over the past 30 years has given Adair a unique insight into educational and business needs worldwide. Having worked in leadership roles at ICM, Adair became the ICM CEO in 2015. As the ICM CEO, Adair has created a highly skilled team committed to providing fit for purpose qualifications whilst supporting the growth and development of teaching institutions as they continue to meet the changing demands of local and global economies. Despite his international commitments, Adair continues to enjoy supporting local community projects in a voluntary capacity, particularly those related to archaeology and the arts.
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Photo of Theresa Barlow

Dr Theresa Barlow
Director of Quality and Organisation Development

Theresa leads quality standards and organisational development at ICM.  Originally working as a Regional Development Consultant across Southeast England she is specialist in all areas of curriculum development. Having worked in the education and STEM sector for over 25 years, mainly in qualification development and as an expert examiner with a broad range of Awarding Organisations, she is an experienced educational practitioner working in the AO sector. Developing qualifications and lecturing in HE and FE on several Level 4 plus and postgraduate courses as well as having worked as a teacher of science in the secondary sector she provides a strategic perspective applying critical analysis to organisational judgements and decision making on all levels of business. With responsibility for Ofqual regulated qualifications and as ICMs Ofqual’s Responsible Officer she works regularly with several international regulators on recognition matters.  Academic qualifications include Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Assessment and Examinations from University of Cambridge, Postgraduate Certificate in Education and PhD from University of Southampton, MSc from University of Edinburgh, BSc (Hons) from University of Nottingham and CIPD Level 7 Certificate in Human Resources.  Theresa remains passionate about STEM, welfare and ethical issues and in particular in the field of anthrozoology where she has most recently published a book in companion animal behaviour.
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Photo of Lizzie Gauntlett

Dr Lizzie Gauntlett
Head of Examining and Awarding

Lizzie is the Head of Examining and Awarding at ICM having been an Examiner, Team Leader and Principal Examiner of a range of international subjects since 2013. As a former psychology teacher she has authored a number of popular AS and A Level Psychology textbooks for the educational market. Lizzie undertook her BA (Hons) in Philosophy at the University of Southampton and PGDip Psychology through the Open University. She completed her PGCE in post-compulsory education at the University of Greenwich before being awarded a PhD in Psychology and Education. Lizzie continues her educational research interests at ICM including social psychology, qualitative research methodologies, and fair access at further and higher education.
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The ICM Team

ICM Team Photo
Jackie Everingham
Examination Officer, an ICM employee since 1991
Adair Ford
Chief Executive Officer, an ICM employee since 2011
Zivile Blynaite
Examination Officer, an ICM employee since 2009
Belinda Abery
Examination Officer, an ICM employee since 1993
Joe Kisiala
Examination Officer, an ICM employee since 2012
Sadie Rhodes
Question Paper Officer, an ICM employee since 2012
Amy Matthews
Product Development Manager, an ICM employee since 2018
Kim Coe
Examination Officer, an ICM employee since 2017
Lisa Van Den Berg
Examination Officer, an ICM employee since 2010
Helen Cracknell
Examination Officer, an ICM employee since 2013
Lizzie Gauntlett
Head of Examining and Awarding, an ICM employee since 2019
Theresa Barlow
Director of Quality and Organisation Development, an ICM employee since 2018

Other valued ICM staff members not seen in the photograph are Andrea Barrett, ICM Examination Officer an ICM employee since 2002, Lynsey Campbell, ICM Examining and Awarding Manager an ICM employee since 2005 and Claire Chester, ICM Chief Examiner since 2021, all of our Business Development and Delivery Coordinators, Qualification Developers and Examiners worldwide!

A Message from the ICM CEO

At ICM, we continually engage with our Learners and Approved Centres. If you are an existing Learner or Approved Centre, we would appreciate you taking a moment to give us your feedback, using the appropriate survey below.

ICM Learner Satisfaction Questionnaire

Estimated completion time is 15-minutes

ICM Centre Satisfaction Survey

Estimated completion time is 15-minutes

ICM Quality Assurance Questionnaire

Estimated completion time is 20-minutes

Thank you. Your feedback is very important to us.