A North East-based not-for-profit has enjoyed double success at one of the UK’s biggest innovation conferences and awards evenings.

Awarding organisation and educational services provider, NCFE, scooped the top award in the Technology and Digital competition and the Corporate Social Responsibility category under its CACHE Alumni brand at the ideasUK international conference held in Edinburgh.

Designed to celebrate innovation in the workplace, ideasUK is a not-for-profit network organisation which supports its members across the world to harness the power of ideas to help promote positive impact within their own businesses.

Now in its 33rd year, the ideasUK annual conference and awards programme aims to showcase all that is cutting-edge in the worlds of science, technology, theory and practice from a cross-section of industry sectors.

NCFE’s innovation team impressed the judging panel in the Technology and Digital category with the company’s PregnancyVue app which is used to support its learners studying for childcare, health and care qualifications.

The 3D virtual reality app was designed in consultation with learners, tutors and subject specialists to create a fully immersive learning experience which enables students to see and experience foetal development from conception to birth from a viewpoint inside the womb. Utilising an accompanying audio guide to help learners gain a deeper understanding of the different stages of development, the app has been well received by the FE sector since its launch earlier in 2019.

Meanwhile, NCFE’s CACHE Alumni brand gained recognition for its dedication to Corporate Social responsibility and the wide range of support that the service has been able to provide to an often neglected, workforce.

The professional membership network site, which was launched in December 2017, has already attracted over 6,000 members who utilise the organisation’s dedicated website and social media channels to continue their professional development by sharing best practice and resources.

Dawn Mulvaney, CACHE Alumni editor, commented:

“We are absolutely delighted to have had our hard work recognised at the ideasUK conference.

“ideasUK brings organisations together from all over the world, from all different industries so we were up against some fierce competition from some fantastic businesses.

“CACHE Alumni is still a fairly new professional association so to receive this award so early on is a fantastic benchmark, letting us know that we’re heading in the right direction as we grow. Looking to the future, we are planning to undertake a Digital Transformation Project to allow us to provide a much more personalised and holistic service to our members, many of who work in challenging roles which require a huge amount of skill, often without recognition or a huge amount of support.”

NCFE is a registered charity which provides of a range of nationally recognised technical qualifications and educational services for individuals, schools and colleges, employers and training providers.

For over 170 years, NCFE has been at the forefront of technical education, helping to support millions of learners into employment through its extensive portfolio of NCFE and CACHE branded qualifications.

The company, which employs over 800 people across the UK, has enjoyed a fantastic year of awards success for its innovative range of products, having also recently won a Nursery World bronze award for equipment and resources on behalf of CACHE Alumni.

Dawn Baker, Director of Innovation at NCFE, commented:

“Having sat at the forefront of technical education for the past 170 years, NCFE has become the qualifications provider of choice for a variety of different industries, with a strong presence in the education, health and social care sectors through our CACHE brand.

“In order to remain at the cutting-edge of qualification delivery, we are constantly investing in new technologies and innovations as part of our commitment to our core purpose to promote and advance learning, so to have some of our products recognised by ideasUK is absolutely fantastic and a great achievement for the teams involved.”

For more information about NCFE, visit www.ncfe.org.uk.