10 Years of St Andrews Management Centre

10 Years of St Andrews Management Centre

This year, St Andrews Management Centre reached an important milestone: 10 years. Our birthday landed in July but on the day, we were all so busy that it passed us by a little. Despite the lack of on-the-day celebrations, reaching such a marker has given us a bit of a pause and caused us, this St Andrews Day, to reflect on St Andrews Management Centre’s journey so far. This is our story.

It is strange to look back now and think that STAMC started out in 2013 with Rick and Jeff working out of a small one-roomed office in Kirkcaldy’s John Smith Business Park, of which the defining feature was one very red wall. They may have only had a small office, but they had big plans; within the year, the expanding team warranted a move into a bigger office. Still only one room but they had more desk space, a make-shift coffee station, and the walls were a less aggressive blue. Kate and Karen joined the business. We achieved our ILM and SQA accreditations. In December 2014 we had our first annual full team meeting. Things were starting to get busy, and we were on our way…

In 2015 the business really started to grow. Rick and Jeff were delivering workshops on behalf of Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce and becoming very familiar with the early morning East Coast trainline. On the 19th March 2015 we invited friends and supporters of the company to join us at the St Andrews Links Trust where we officially launched St Andrews Management Centre. That evening the team attended Fife Chamber of Commerce’s Fife Business Awards where we were finalists in the Most Enterprising Start Up category. We didn’t win but to get so far demonstrated how much we had already achieved in such a short period of time.

2015 was also the year that we moved out of Kirkcaldy and into the Westport Business Centre in Cupar. 2016 and 2017 passed in a flurry of activity. In 2016 we launched our training room space and began delivering SQA Professional Development Awards on Workplace Assessment. Jeff seemed to spend these two years here, there, and everywhere round the world. 2017 was the year that he missed the annual team meeting and Christmas meal but made it home in time for Christmas (just!)

2018 was a busy year for St Andrews Management Centre. In January we journeyed through the snow down to Harrogate where we had a stand at BIGGA’s British Turf Management Exhibition, showcasing our suite of programmes aimed at the golf & greenkeeping industry. In March, at the BIGGA Spring Conference, Rick chaired a discussion with David Gray, Colin Powrie and Sandy Smith from Ladybank Golf Club on the importance of the Team Dynamic in club management. Late that afternoon Rick and Kate drove home just as the Beast from the East started to hit Scotland.

2018 was the year that we started to work collaboratively with the Club Managers Association Europe (CMAE) on their Management Development programme. Successful tenders brought new customers and projects. We were successful in our bid to develop and deliver Difficult Conversations workshops to Fife Council. This has proven to be one of our most popular workshops. Another successful tender saw us delivering programmes on behalf of Edinburgh College and working with Edinburgh Trams, WithYou, Cyrenians, and Network Rail. We were finalists in the 2018 Fife Business Awards for Customer Service Excellence.

2019 saw our International Trade consultancy services getting increasingly busy as Brexit loomed on the horizon. Businesses, many for the first time, began to consider their international trade procedures. We were successful in our tender to deliver ILM Level 3&4 Certificate qualifications to managers from Fife Council. Our team continued to grow; in the Spring, we welcomed Rab Lindsay as an Associate Director following his retirement from a long career at Fife Council. In December, Kirstie joined the team as our Commercial Executive as Kate headed out the door onto Maternity Leave.

2020 dawned with big changes afoot for St Andrews Management Centre; after nearly five years at the Westport Business Centre, we were on the move again. We would be moving into the town centre, to larger premises at 14 St Catherine St. March saw us with our office packed into boxes ready for the flit. We had the keys in our and were ready to go. Then lockdown happened and threw a completely unforeseen spanner in the works. We did what every business in the country had to do: we adapted.

With most of the team on furlough and in-person teaching a no-go, Rick and Jeff quickly worked to develop our online training presence. It wasn’t long before all STAMC activity that had previously been delivered in-person had moved online. We had a full cohort of ILM Level 3 Certificate that was delivered entirely online with every single candidate successfully passing and gaining their qualification. Jeff continued to deliver training internationally from the comfort of his home office.

When restrictions eased, the team all pitched-in to get the new premises set up, lifting flooring, wielding paint brushes and moving furniture.

2021 saw team members coming back into the office to work and finally settling in properly at 14 St Catherine Street. We launched TradeNet, our International Trade support service, inspired by the increasing demands for our consultancy services post-Brexit.

Finally, in August, after 18 months, we recommenced in-person teaching.

2022 felt like a year of getting back to normality after the pandemic. The restrictions of lockdown forced us as a business to get creative or go under. What began as necessity has transformed how we now operate with online training making up a significant proportion of our delivery and allowing clients greater flexibility.

So, after all this, this decade of St Andrews Management Centre, and ten years of graft, what have we built?

We have built a team that has expanded from just Rick and Jeff in a small red office to now include Karen, Kate, Rab, Joe and Tom.

We have delivered training the length and breadth of the U.K. and in 37 other countries across the globe. As of next week that figure will rise to 38.

A group of people stand in front of a white background featuring a globe and the words "Inspiring People At Work". The people are all holding certificates and smiling at the camera.

We have welcomed thousands of learners into our training rooms, both in-person and virtually. They have hailed from a wide array of industries including Local Authority, Sport & Leisure, Golf & Greenkeeping, Oil & Gas, Transport, Third Sector, NHS, Care Sector, Manufacturing, Hair & Beauty, and the Emergency Services.

On our ILM programme alone, 145 candidates have successfully achieved a qualification. With our current ILM cohort midway through their qualification, and new cohorts starting in January and February, we anticipate that number continuing to increase.

Our International Trade support service, TradeNet, is going from strength to strength, delivering real value to our customers, saving them both time and money; in 2023 alone, this service has saved clients £1,000,000.

Ten years in, what’s next for St Andrews Management Centre? We may be a long way from that first small, red-walled office, but the fundamentals remain the same: to deliver quality learning solutions that give learners the clarity, competence and confidence they need to succeed. Our motto is “Inspiring People at Work”. We’re on our feet, inspired and ready to go, are you?