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26 Nov 2022
Educational charity NCFE acquires Active IQ from Ascend Learning
By Liz Terry
Educational charity NCFE acquires Active IQ from Ascend Learning
Jenny Patrickson is CEO of Active IQ
Photo: Active IQ
Active IQ has been acquired by educational charity NCFE from its parent company, US-based Ascend Learning.

The move follows Ascend's decision to close down its other UK-based brand, Premier Global NASM – a move that was announced in June this year and takes effect at the year-end.

The NCFE deal marks the final withdrawal of Ascend from the UK market.

Active IQ, the awarding body and apprenticeship end-point assessment organisation, focuses on qualifications and career pathways in the physical activity and wellness sector.

MD, Jenny Patrickson, said: “As we approach our 20th year of operation next year, this acquisition presents significant opportunities for us to continue to grow and reach our mission of changing lives through education and positively influencing the wellbeing of individuals and society.

“There are many synergies between Active IQ and NCFE in our core purpose, vision and values," said Patrickson. "I'm confident joining the NCFE group will enable Active IQ to build on everything the company has achieved since it was established.

“Active IQ will continue to operate independently, with our customers at the heart of everything we do and I’m very much looking forward to this next phase of our journey alongside our new colleagues at NCFE,” she said

David Gallagher, CEO of NCFE said the priority is to secure the future of the Active IQ brand and grow the influence of the organisation.

“We chose to make this acquisition because both organisations are aligned in vision and purpose," he said. "Active IQ – like NCFE – prides itself on exceptional customer service and high-quality, transformational learning experiences that lead to real career outcomes.

“NCFE was born in 1848 from the belief that no learner should be left behind. We’ve reimagined our organisation many times over our 170+ years, remaining true to this core purpose of promoting and advancing learning.

“As we embark on this next phase of our evolution with the inclusion of Active IQ, we'll continue to be centred on making a difference for those who matter most – our beneficiaries. Through our combined portfolio, I believe we can better serve a broader range of learners and fulfill current and future skills needs," said Gallagher.

NCFE is an educational charity in the vocational and technical learning space. With roots in the north of England (the organisation's full name is Northern Council for Further Education) it's recognised by the UK's Department for Education and regulated by Ofqual.

The charity offers more than 1,000 qualifications in a number of specialist sectors, including travel and tourism, active leadership, gym instructing, coaching sport and sport and exercise science.

See the full list hereon Qualhub.


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