Gateway Qualifications today announces the impending retirement of its CEO, Carol Snape, starting a new chapter for the awarding organisation (AO) that has seen substantial growth under her leadership.

Carol will be stepping down later this year, and this has triggered the start of a thorough search for her successor.

Carol joined the former OCN Eastern Region (now Gateway Qualifications) in 2006 as Director of Business Development and took on the CEO role in 2009.

She has been the driving force in transforming Gateway Qualifications from its regional beginnings into a national and influential, independent AO, recognised across the country.

Under Carol’s leadership, Gateway Qualifications has grown from 77 active Centres in 2013, to an impressive 459 in 2023, with registrations skyrocketing to 93,000 in that year.

The search for a new CEO has begun, with the organisation’s focus being on a seamless transition to ensure continuity and stability for Gateway Qualifications’ customers and Centres.

Carol said:

“Leading Gateway Qualifications has been one of the great privileges of my life. We have touched so many lives and created so many opportunities for thousands and thousands of learners. To me, it’s been a job that really matters.

“This is the 10th year of Gateway Qualifications and it’s a fitting time for me to step down, secure in the knowledge that the organisation is truly embedded within the sector and knowing that it’s destined for bigger and better things. I know that Gateway Qualifications has an even brighter future.”

Carol’s departure is timed to ensure that the organisation remains on a steady course, maintaining the growth and innovation she has championed.

Carol’s leadership will be remembered for its dynamic approach, particularly in digital education, where Gateway Qualifications led the market with initiatives like the Essential Digital Skills Qualifications (EDSQ) and Digital Functional Skills Qualifications (DFSQ).

In recent years Gateway Qualifications has won Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB) awards multiple times- including the prestigious Awarding Organisation of the Year, and Carol, herself was recognised as Individual of the Year last year.

David Ruddy Chair of the Board of Trustees said

“We are most grateful for Carol’s active leadership and guidance. As a judicious steward of Gateway Qualifications she has undertaken her duties with dedication, determination and professionalism. Expertly leading the company strategically and financially which has seen it grow not just in terms of turnover but as a highly respected Awarding Organisation. As Gateway Qualifications prepares for this change, its commitment to the high standards, customer engagement and strategic direction Carol set remains unchanged.”