Business and IT training courses from QA

Introducing the QA Leadership Team

QA is led by a highly talented and experienced management team who have shaped us into the UK’s leading business and IT training provider.

William Macpherson

William Macpherson


William has been leading education and business services groups for over 20 years. He has been the CEO of QA since 2008. He led the development of QA from a value of £25m in 2008 to £700m in 2017 (when a majority stake was acquired by CVC, the leading private equity group). QA now employs over 2,000 staff including more than 700 education professionals. Prior to this, he served as the CEO of Kaplan Professional, Inc. from 2006-2008. He led the management buyout of The Financial Training Company (which became FTC Kaplan) from Wolters Kluwer in 2001 and sold the business to Kaplan in 2003 doubling the value of the business in two years. Between 2004-2008, he led Kaplan’s businesses outside the US, which included operations in six countries. Prior to Kaplan he worked at Bain & Company management consultants and at a corporate finance boutique. William holds an MA in Law from Cambridge University and an MBA from INSEAD.
Nathan Runnicles

Nathan Runnicles


Nathan joined QA from Tes Global where he was CFO, responsible for group finance, legal and corporate development. Before that, he was CFO at Research Now Group Inc., and EMEA Finance Director for WPP Group plc, following the acquisition of Cordiant Communications Group plc, where he led the corporate finance and investor relations from 2001 – 2003. A chartered accountant, Nathan qualified with PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1998. Nathan studied at University of Bristol, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Accounting.
Lisa Harrington

Lisa Harrington

Managing Director – QA Learning

Lisa joined QA from BT where she was Chief Customer Officer for the whole of BT Group from 2015 to 2017. Prior to this she held a number of other senior leadership roles within BT including CIO and Managing Director of Service Operations at BT Retail and then BT Wholesale Division, Managing Director of Transformation and Customer and Operations Director at BT Consumer. Before joining BT, Lisa was at Accenture for ten years. In addition to her role at QA, Lisa is also Independent Non-Executive Director at Southern Water (2015-Present) and was Non-Executive Director at the West London Mental Health NHS Trust from 2009 to 2010. Lisa studied at University College Dublin. She graduated with an undergraduate degree in Politics, German Language and Literature in 1994 and a postgraduate degree in Business Studies in 1996.

Ben Pike

Managing Director – QA Apprenticeships

Ben has 15 years’ experience in senior leadership roles within the learning industry and now directs the QA Apprenticeships division, providing IT Apprenticeships for young people. He joined QA as Managing Director of managed learning services following the merger of the QA with Xpertise in 2008. From 2002 to 2008, Ben was Operations Director and Learning Services Director at Xpertise, during which time he was instrumental in building Xpertise into a leading learning business. Prior to this, Ben was Operations Director of a £43m training business.
Stuart Martin

Stuart Martin

Managing Director – QA Consulting

Stuart has been with QA since 2000, having previously worked in the training and online education space for IBM and then Ten-TV. Stuart joined QA in the role of Account Manager and went on to become Sales Director of the Learning division in 2005 – where he led the sales organisation through the successful mergers with Interquad, Xpertise and Remarc. Stuart has been at the helm of the Learning division for the last 10 years, responsible for the strategy and development of the sales, marketing and delivery functions to enhance relationships with customers and partners. 2018 saw Stuart step across to lead QA Consulting, focusing on enablement programmes that help customers become self-sufficient in the development and support of their technologies.

Julie Noone

Managing Director – QA Higher Education

Julie joined QA in 2014, bringing more than 20 years’ experience in Professional and Higher Education to the company. Julie originally qualified as a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor before moving to BPP Professional Education where she lectured in tax and law. She then moved to Hong Kong as Managing Director of Kaplan (Asia Pacific), responsible for the delivery of professional education across the Asia Pacific region. Julie then returned to London with Kaplan where she held the post of Chief Operating Officer for Kaplan UK.
Karen Orr

Karen Orr

Director of People & Engagement

Karen joined QA as Director of People and Engagement in 2016, bringing almost 20 years’ experience leading HR teams across a range of retail, services and technology organisations. She holds an MSc in Management Development and Organisational Change from Bristol University and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Karen is responsible for HR strategy and operations across the group and serves as a member of the executive committee. She leads all employee engagement and development activities in addition to compensation, benefits and HR technology for the group.
Bill Walker

Bill Walker


Bill has 25 years' experience in the IT industry, having started his career in software development and consulting with Deloitte. He manages the company's relationships with its major vendors and partners, including Microsoft, Oracle, VMware, Amazon, Red Hat and Citrix. He sits on advisory boards for many of them and has served three years on Microsoft's advisory council in Seattle. He is responsible for leading innovation to ensure that QA is at the forefront of technology that helps customers get the most from their investment in training. Bill was a director of Xpertise where he was responsible for growing the business in the technical, project management, service management and soft skills areas. He has a degree in Computer Science, is a chartered engineer and a BCS Certified IT Professional.

Mike Brown

IT Director

Mike has been with QA since 2008 as IT Director, following the merger with Xpertise. He is responsible for building and directing the company’s technology strategy, including the provision of technology to support all forms of learning plus leading teams in application development, IT infrastructure and platform provision. Mike has been involved in the IT training industry for over 15 years during which time he has worked in a number of operational and IT roles.

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