Brian Cairns


I started my working life as an apprentice agricultural engineer in 1977 and following further training obtained HND and a BSc degree in agricultural engineering.  Various lecturing roles followed before moving to Writtle College as a senior lecturer in agricultural engineering culminating with the publication of my book “The Farmers & Groundsman’s Workshop”. Following promotion into management and business development roles and the completing a Diploma in Management Studies in 2000, I gained responsibility for apprenticeship contract management, health and safety inspections, assessing apprentices, internal quality assurance and nominee for college inspections.

With key successes in business development at Writtle College I left to take on the role of director of sustainable built environment at MOVE Lifelong Learning Network (University of Hertfordshire) where I became Regional Director. While at MOVE I was engaged with the following sectors of industry Health and Social Care, Creative and Cultural Industries, Sustainable Built Environment and Land Based Industries, where new curriculum was developed in partnership with industry.

Using my personal experience of working with learning disabilities where I am a Court Appointed Deputy for my older sister, I became a volunteer board member for Advocacy Essex Services Ltd, tendering for and commission funding to provide advocacy support across Essex.

At Colchester Institute as Director of Community Engagement and Marketing my enthusiasm and experience in management and business development led me to be involved in many exiting projects supporting employer’s workforce development activities.  With a wider remit of responsibility for apprenticeships, 14-16 provision, commercial training, basic skills provision marketing and funding development, I honed my operations and personnel management skills.

Before establishing Cairns Consulting, I became Head of Commercial Development at Creative Sport & Leisure Ltd, (owned by Prospects College of Advanced Technology PROCAT) supporting the development and delivery of apprenticeships across the UK, before leading them to becoming an independent training provider as Managing Director.

Having followed an apprenticeship and work-based learning pathway for most of my working career, I am passionate about apprenticeships and the value they can bring to the individual as well as the employer’s business. It is with this passion that I hope to be able to support training providers with a similar ambition to provide high quality training.

Why Choose Cairns Consulting?

Brian’s vast experience gained over 30 years in the world of General Further Education Colleges and Training Providers enables him to quickly get to grips with and understand your specific organisational needs in relation to the specific piece of work you are looking to undertake. Brian approaches each task by gaining a full understanding of what is needed and agreeing a plan with you for as little or as much support as you require.

We Are Experienced!

Cairns Consulting has over 30 years’ experience within Further Education. Whether it is helping your organisation apply to the register of training providers, developing policies, managing quality, or become Ofsted ready, we can work as part of your team to increase support in the areas required.

What makes us stand out?

What makes us different – With experience as a successful Managing Director within the Further Education Sector, Brian at Cairns Consulting is using this knowledge to support employers and training providers to improve the quality of their training offer and meet the requirements of funding compliance and quality audit regimes within the sector. At Cairns Consulting we take the time to sit down and work alongside you and your teams, providing that vital extra support and experience without you having to pay the usual overheads of larger consultancies.

Our Services Include:

Training Provider Report

•  Bid Writing

•  Learning Development Support

•  Bespoke Training

•  Mesma Insight Q and SAR

Who We Work With

Cairns Consulting has provided consultancy, training, support and resources to a range of providers across the country. I work with a whole range of provider types from colleges, private training providers, employer providers, voluntary organisations and local enterprise companies.


Brian has worked with us at Aspire Sports Health and Fitness for the last three years supporting with compliance and bid writing. Brian’s experience, industry knowledge and professionalism have helped Aspire develop as a training provider and we would fully recommend his services.

James Morgan

Learning Development, Manager, Aspire Sports, Health and Fitness

I have a longstanding working relationship with Brian Cairns who has always maintained a thorough understanding of the nature of my business and my needs when tasked with specific capability requirements for my business. Brian Cairns has always been honest, enthusiastic and very professional in the performance of his service. Regular communication has also demonstrated that he is very much aware of the pervading market conditions and has a very good ‘finger on the pulse’ without the need to overstate sentiment in the broader design consultancy business. Above all Brian Cairn’s attention to detail, knowledge and trustworthy service makes him the leading consultant in my area whom I turn to when support and advice is required on any funding dilemmas, curriculum development, Quality Assurance, RoATP or ESFA guidelines.

Maria Charlton

Direction, Automotive Glazing Academy




Chelmsford, Essex


07766 070526