eQuality Solutions is technology specialist in cognitive disability and mental wellness.
Our talented team share a passion for supporting inclusivity, neurodiversity and mental wellness with personalised learning solutions.
eQS’s founding principle is to create a ‘business that does good’ and the company has been driven by that ethos since 2006. Together, the Group’s portfolio of diversity, inclusion and wellbeing businesses comprise the UK’s leading DEI specialists. Now nearly 100-strong, the eQS workforce are united in a common goal: removing barriers to education, work and life, and transforming internal cultures to create social and business benefits on a national scale.
Founded in Newcastle upon Tyne in 2006 by Chris Quickfall, eQS began life as a technology specialist in disability. With Head Offices in Hebburn, Gateshead – a region which has struggled with years of economic decline – the Group has a clear priority in addressing social and economic disadvantage as well as all other forms of disadvantage. Andy Gough, eQS CEO comments “eQS is currently engaged in a Group-wide DEI review which will set out clear goals on all aspects of diversity including race, gender, sexual orientation and disability.”
Our ambitious Group-wide DEI review is designed and delivered by our own workplace diversity consultancy, EW Group. This project will include a comprehensive diversity audit across all areas of the business from recruitment, management, policies, communications, training and more. Out of this audit we will develop a fully integrated, long-term strategy with a set of measurable actions to ensure that as eQS continues to grow we do so with business practices that are fully inclusive.
The review will highlight the work to be done to ensure full representation at every level of seniority. Today, 40% of eQS’s Board of Directors is comprised of individuals representing a number of diverse groups, including sex and disability. 85% of the ownership comprises of disabled individuals or those with personal lived experience of disability. It’s a good position to build from but we know there’s more to do, particularly on gender and race. “With this in mind, we will soon set out an ambitious set of goals to take us to a fully representative organisation over the next 5 years,” Andy reflects on the results of the DEI review.
eQS have made great strides at entry level and are passionate about growing and developing talent from diverse backgrounds. The apprenticeship programme has so far seen four individuals progress through the ranks from graduates to team leaders and finance professionals. Its volunteering scheme, in place since 2020, has helped three individuals with mental health issues and social anxiety get into the world of work, gaining valuable workplace experience and skills to help them going forwards.
Early in 2022, the eQS leadership team and Board will join EW Group founder Jane Farrell for a facilitated conversation on inclusive leadership and DEI best practice. eQS is wholly committed to developing a fully inclusive and representative leadership team as we broaden our expertise from disability-focused to a full-service equality, diversity and inclusion business. Speaking of what is to come, Andy comments “We are excited to undertake our own DEI journey and we recognise the importance of diversity and inclusion in helping to take our business to new heights, fostering a more creative, equitable and successful workplace for everyone.”
Andy joined the team in January 2018 and has over 25 years’ experience in the technology industry covering both public and private sectors. Andy’s role as CEO is to lead our business and our team. Day-to-day Andy focuses on implementing the company vision and values by inspiring our culture, as well as driving the development of short and long-term business strategy with corporate decision-making on operations and resources. Andy said: “For me it’s about improving the quality of provision for the end user – the learner. Why do what we do, if we are not consistently looking to improve the lives of students receiving DSA? The company ethos of doing good for others is something that has always spoken to me on a very personal level. Being in a position to help develop and offer solutions that are designed to help others, really appeals to me. It’s this genuine passion that fuels my purpose in driving the business forward.”
As Chief Financial Officer Michael is responsible for funding strategy, governance and the overall financial wellbeing of the company. Michael spent 8 years working in commercial banking before moving into executive roles in industry in 2010 and holds Associate membership as a Chartered Global Management Account with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). Michael said: “Not only does e-Quality Solutions have an exceptional track record, it has a bright future and a purpose. We are very fortunate to have a talented team who are all incredibly passionate about trying to make a difference in the world.”
Alison is an accomplished Finance Director with a progressive career transforming financial and operational performance and growing revenue across diverse sectors. In her role as Group Finance Director Alison is passionate about driving performance by building, leading and developing high-performing, cross-functional teams, while guiding organisations through complex strategic change. Alison said: “I feel the values, purpose and vision of eQS really resonate with my own. It’s exciting to help drive such an ambitious expansion and growth plan, towards a vision close to my own heart.”
Neil has won many accolades since 2009: he has been listed several times in the Times Fast Track Tech 100 and appeared both in the Times and FT. As well as winning the Tees Valley Business Executive of the Year, Neil was also a regional winner and national finalist of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards and was then invited back as a judge. Neil is an active member on the e-Quality Solutions board.
Invate, e-Quality Learning and Learning Labs was founded by Chris Quickfall, who was formerly a DSA student himself. Chris wasn’t diagnosed with dyslexia until he was at university. Having experienced the services and support provided to DSA students first-hand, Chris started the businesses. This took a clear focus on improving the quality of one-to-one AT training using a personalised approach. Chris said: “I wanted to create a good company that does good. At eQS, we have the opportunity to contribute to the life chances of our students, a responsibility we take great pride in. We are all working towards one goal, and that is to help our students achieve their greatest potential in their studies and in life.”
Natasha has worked in the DSA sector for eight years, managing Sound Support NMH provision and the Contact Associates assessment centres before moving to Amano. During this time she managed the changes that DSA-QAG, SLC and DfE brought to the sector giving her an insight into the sector as a whole and the ability to work with all colleagues with the same aims, the student having the most positive experience possible, solving problems and improving outcomes
Bryony has a decade of marketing experience spanning various roles in PR, social media and events, in sectors including retail, technology and education. Bryony leads the marketing and design team in delivering innovative and engaging campaigns that support and educate both learners and disability practitioners, as well as campaigns that aim to create positive change in the disability support services sector.
Kim Scott has 30 years’ experience in finance having held previous roles in industries spanning care, charities and the apprenticeship sector. Kim’s role is in managing eQuality Solution’s finances and supporting with financial strategy.
Joy has over 17 years’ experience of delivering end to end transformation projects including infrastructure and applications in both private and public sector. As a strategic thinker with a strong understanding of IT systems and infrastructure his role is to ensure that the business has an adaptable, secure, resilient, and effective IT infrastructure at all times. He believes in developing and maintaining core relationships with stakeholders and partners. Joy has the overall accountability and responsibility of the Group's IT operations, infrastructure, data center, disaster recovery, cloud computing, software development, project delivery, cyber security, InfoSec, procurement, contract management, planning and related on-going advice for the senior stakeholders.
9 Apollo Ct, Hebburn NE31 2ES
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