At Highfield we take great pride in having started as a small family business operating from the living room of a 3-bedroom house. We are now the global leader in compliance and work-based learning qualifications, training materials and e-learning, and winner of the Queen's Award for Enterprise. We employ around 250 staff members, offer over 250 individual qualifications and each year our training materials are used by over 2,000,000 learners around the world. We are also proud to work with some of the world's most recognisable companies, including Marks & Spencer, Nestle, Superdrug, Staples and Emirates.
Our story began in 1982 when food safety expert Richard Sprenger wrote Hygiene for Management and the Food Hygiene Handbook. These books proved so popular with food safety trainers that Richard, alongside his wife Jayne, decided to form a company named Highfield to sell food safety training materials. This was a huge life-changing decision for the couple, which involved them re-mortgaging their house and Jayne leaving her job in customer services at the National Westminster Bank.
Richard and Jayne share an innate understanding of customer service, value and the training market, which helped the business to flourish and set the foundations for the business today.
It wasn’t long before Richard and Jayne’s children Jason, Christian and Rebecca wanted to be involved in the business, as from a young age all three would spend time packing deliveries and be involved in discussions ranging from branding to product development.
Today Managing Director Christian (who joined in 2002 following a successful career in retail management and marketing) personally heads up the customer service committee and receives all customer service emails and comments.
In the 1990s the family made the decision to expand into other compliance areas and started to reinvest the company’s profit into development. This is still their philosophy today and Highfield’s research and development team is proportionally far bigger than most of its competitors. In 1995 the company launched a health and safety range, followed by fire safety, first aid, licensing and security products.
The year 2000 was a landmark year for Highfield as the strategy of becoming a ‘one-stop-shop’ for corporate customers became reality when the company won its first contract with UK retail giant Marks & Spencer. Since this time the relationship has continued to grow and is still very strong today.
We have since built incredible relationships with many corporate clients including winning a contract with McDonald’s to provide an innovative customised package for their 15,000 managers.
Our growth even remained strong during the UK recession, and increased dramatically with the launch of Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance. This was driven by our customers asking us to become an awarding organisation. After a great deal of research, a decision was made that this venture was viable and there was the potential to make a significant difference within the industry. In 2007 Jason Sprenger (the current chief executive of Highfield) left his position as a senior solicitor with international law firm Eversheds to drive our application forward with regulatory body Ofqual. In 2008 we achieved awarding organisation status.
Since then Highfield has enjoyed exceptional growth and is now one of the top 10 awarding organisations in the country. Highfield is also a market leader in security, first aid and management level food safety. In 2011 Highfield entered the apprenticeship market and now has an excellent portfolio of qualifications and accompanying Apprenti-kits.
In 2010 the government of Dubai suggested that we open a branch in the UAE. A decision was made to do this, resulting in an office being opened in Dubai - managed by Richard Sprenger. We now have contracts in the UAE with the Dubai Municipality, Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), along with a number of world leading companies and training centres.
While we have come a long way since 1982, we have never forgotten our roots and are fully aware that we could not have achieved the success we have without our valued customer base. We thank you all for your loyalty and for trusting in us, and look forward to continuing our successful partnership with you for many years to come.
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