This month we are excited to be celebrating 15 years in business.

GP 15 years rosette

As a company, we’ve come a long way since our humble beginnings working out of a small Edinburgh office with just a handful of staff members. We’ve put together a great team and worked hard to develop an enviable reputation for developing learning solutions that are innovative, creative and certainly not ordinary.

As a business we’ve grown and learnt a lot. Here we reflect on our journey and look back at some of the highlights from our 15 years in business.

Where it all began

We started out in 2000, and in 2001 our very first product, the Knowledge Bank, was launched.

Designed as a resource for HR and L&D professionals, it was the brainchild of our founder, Scottish business leader Baroness Margaret Ford, and our former Chief Knowledge Officer, Peter Casebow. He is now better known as our CEO.

In the early days of GoodPractice we had a good feeling that online learning would come to play a big part in the future of L&D provision. Over the years we’ve stuck to our guns on that – as well as developing our flagship toolkit for leaders and managers, we’ve also added other online tools to the GoodPractice mix, including bespoke e-learning and psychometric assessments.

Looking back and looking forward

Many other players have joined us in the online learning market since we started out.

Over the last 15 years we’ve built up a great deal of experience and expertise about what works (and what doesn’t!) when it comes to online learning. We conduct in-depth user testing, product evaluations and primary research to inform and continually evolve our approach.

Take our dynamic performance support toolkit.

When Owen Ferguson joined the team as Product Development Manager in 2006 he made it his mission to take the toolkit to new heights. Now our COO, Owen has spearheaded numerous technical upgrades and improvements. These have improved the breadth and scope of the toolkit subjects, and introduced new types of content in the form of video, audio and animations. They have have also made great strides on the technical side by revolutionising the user experience, site performance and compatibility with any mobile device.

Experience in all sectors of industry

Speaking of clients, our inaugural client was the Scottish Ambulance Service, who came on board in 2001.

In our first year of business we built up an impressive list of more than 60 new clients, including M&S, Standard Life and RBS. Now we work with more than 300 different organisations, and help some of the biggest names in business provide a different kind of learning experience.

We’re proud to say that 93% of our clients renew with us every year.

A client list to be proud of

GP clients

We’ve honed our skills creating learning solutions for organisations of all shapes and sizes, in the UK and abroad.

We work across all sectors of industry and are just as comfortable designing learning solutions that will work for financial services clients like AEGON and Standard Life, as we are working in retail with global brands like Burberry, Heineken and Lucozade Ribena Suntory.

We have a strong track record in the health sector, working with the NHS, BUPA and Certitude, as well as in education with the International Baccalaureate and Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. We’ve also made an impact in travel and leisure, working with, Manchester Airport and Virgin Media.

With 15% of our clients now based overseas, we are on the up when it comes to building our brand abroad. We opened our Australia office in Melbourne last year, and have our sights set on conquering the US market.

The changing landscape of learning

Alongside the evolution of our products and the growth in our client list, over the years we’ve also seen the L&D world change.

In the last decade we’ve seen many organisations revolutionise their approach to supporting learning by moving away from providing ‘training’ to supporting and underpinning the day-to-day performance of their leaders and managers as they work. L&D is an exciting industry in which to work, and as an agile, evidence-based business we’ve been at the forefront of this revolution.

Everything we do to develop and enhance our products is informed by primary research, not just from the L&D community but from the people who use our toolkits and e-learning.

15 years ago, nobody was talking about ‘informal learning’, ‘performance support tools’ or ‘learning on-demand’. The 70:20:10 model of how people learn at work had yet to break ground. GoodPractice is an organisation that’s not afraid to asking pertinent, challenging questions of the L&D community and it’s practice.

We’ve published informative research about how managers really learn (it’s not how you might think!) as well as the major challenges and trends affecting the L&D industry. We are part of the evolution of the L&D landscape, and through our ongoing research programme we have made a significant contribution to improving L&D practice.

The team that made the difference

As a business, we have grown plenty of in-house talent.

GP team

Members of our team are sought out for their expertise, and speak at L&D conferences and events around the world.

  • Our CEO Peter recently presented the results of our latest research at the Learning and Technologies Conference in London and is set to take the stage at the ATD Conference in Denver later this year.
  • Owen Ferguson, our COO, is a boundary-pushing L&D thought leader, who also speaks at many L&D events.
  • Our Learning and Performance Solutions Director, James McLuckie, holds Fellowships with the LPI and BILD and is a Board member of the eLearning Network.  

As a team, we like to think we are a pretty creative and interesting bunch of people both inside and outside of work.

We’ve got published authors, photographers and bloggers as well as Munro baggers, chicken rearers, animal lovers and a reflexologist. We all love a great night out (who doesn’t?!), but we have a sporty edge too. We regularly take part in charity team bike rides, walks and swims as well as having our own run club and metafit teams.

The future is bright

At GoodPractice, we don’t stand still for long.

Thanks to our record growth, last year we became part of the Emerald Group. With their support we look forward to continued success and international growth in 2016. Also on the agenda for this year is the release of our new look home page for the toolkit, which will bring in a range of new features and exciting functionality. We’ll also be publishing new research later in the year, taking the stage at ATD and branching out into the world of L&D consultancy.

Watch this space for more details!

As we look back on our progress, Peter Casebow, our CEO comments:

“For 15 years, GoodPractice has been a company with a family feel that has punched well above its weight. With a focus on performance, our toolkits and e-learning make a tangible difference to leaders and senior managers everywhere. Our range of products and services is second to none, and the team we currently have in place is exceptional in every department.”

“I’m immensely proud of what we’ve built.”