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Case Study: Association of Colleges

Business Procedures Manual for the Association of Colleges

Following a number of years of growth, both organically and as a result of mergers, the Association of Colleges (AoC) was keen to update its processes to empower colleagues to make decisions within clear guidelines. There was a need to ensure clear audit trails relating to key decisions, and to unify and simplify processes throughout the Association.

Stephen quickly grasped AoC’s culture. He understood the issues we faced, the circumstances, the challenges and the politics

Peter Brophy
Director of Finance & Corporate Services

Peter Brophy, Director of Finance & Corporate Services, set out to introduce ways of working which would make a positive difference to the organisation.

He called upon the consulting services of Stephen Singer to assist in creating a new Business Procedures Manual.

Business process improvements


“Stephen’s work was meticulous in making sure the Manual would work in practice,” said Peter


In the past, process manuals had been left on the shelf.

Stephen carried out internal audits – the tests which proved to Peter that the new processes were working well.


“Stephen held induction presentations to show people how to use the new Manual to best effect. His enthusiastic and supportive style of presenting was well-received.”

Staff were given the responsibility to complete tasks within certain guidelines. It made sense to delegate authority to junior staff to complete routine tasks (such as booking hotels within a price range). The Business Procedures Manual made this possible.

ISO 9001 certification

“With so much work already completed, AoC was almost fully prepared for ISO 9001 certification,” said Peter. In 2010, they “sailed through.”


The Manual was the foundation of the AoC’s ISO 9001-certified Quality Management System and is continually reviewed and updated to keep it fit for purpose.

Infralogics continues to work with the AoC when staff need training in new procedures. Peter has asked Stephen to work on a “higher version of the Procedures Manual.”

What did Peter value most about Stephen’s work?

“Stephen quickly grasped AoC’s culture. He understood the issues we faced, the circumstances, the challenges and the politics. He took time to listen, to discuss ideas and to advise on the outcomes (positive and negative) of different approaches we might take. The solutions he recommended (for our complaints process, for example) still work well.”


Peter had considered several consultants before he selected Stephen. He preferred a long term professional relationship with ongoing support which some consultants don’t provide. Stephen has worked with AoC since 2008.

About Association of Colleges

The Association of Colleges (AoC) is a membership, representation and support body for further education, sixth form, tertiary and specialist colleges across the UK.