Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 12.00.00Newcastle-based awarding organisation, NCFE, yesterday announced its acquisition of the awarding organisation and CACHE brand – the Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education – for an undisclosed sum.

The trustees of Newcastle-based qualification provider NCFE and St Albans-based CACHE have entered into the acquisition agreement with a view to combining their strengths, and enhancing their service offerings for the benefit of both centres and learners in the FE sector. Whilst NCFE has acquired the awarding organisation and the CACHE brand, the charity itself will continue under a new name to serve its beneficiaries.

Ongoing changes in regulatory and funding dynamics have increased the likelihood of market consolidation in the accredited qualifications sector, and NCFE was identified as the preferred organisation and best placed to help CACHE realise its growth opportunities and ensure the highest standards of qualification development are maintained.

David Grailey, Chief Executive of NCFE, commented: “We are delighted to be incorporating CACHE into NCFE. We were keen to make this acquisition because not only is it highly respected in the care sector, but crucially it also shares our values and ambitions, placing strong emphasis on learner success and exceptional customer service.

“This acquisition aligns with our growth strategy to continue development of our portfolio in Health, Public Services and Care (which includes Health and Social Care and Childcare). The decision was also taken in response to the changes and funding cuts taking place in the FE sector. We’ve already been working collaboratively with other organisations and partners to share expertise and offer flexible and innovative solutions in the changing education environment, and we believe combining portfolios and some back office systems will make us more efficient and better placed to face the challenges ahead.

“We are confident that by coming together, the NCFE and CACHE brands will be able to grow their influence in the sector. What’s more, customers of both organisations will benefit from the development of streamlined and aligned systems supported by the exceptional customer service that our centres have come to expect. Learners remain at the heart of all we do and will continue to have access to qualifications which raise professional standards across the world.”

Marilyn Hawkins, Chair of CACHE, said: “This is an exciting new chapter in CACHE’s long and prestigious history as an awarding organisation with significant benefits and opportunities for all concerned. When we entered into discussions with NCFE, it quickly became apparent that there was a great deal of synergy between the two brands around education and training, our portfolios and how we design our products. We’re very pleased that the CACHE brand will become part of NCFE – sharing our expertise with a stable, ambitious and forward thinking organisation will undoubtedly add value and help each other to grow and diversify, putting us in a much stronger position going forward.”