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This page is designed to give you more of a flavour of the expertise Rule 5 solutions can bring to support your organisation. Examples of successful activities are provided which may align with your current or emerging challenges. Also take a look at the projects page to see some recent and live work. Get in touch for an honest capacity assessment.

Strategic, development

& operational planning


Extensive strategic, development and operational plan writing has been gained and honed over twenty years. Everything from high level strategy through to implementation planning has been undertaken with a consultative approach linking strategy to each business aspect and relevant measurable outcomes or KPIs.

  • Large organisation high level strategic plans and associated development and operational plans.

  • Service aspect plans and development / operational plans including; marketing and communications; business development; apprenticeship improvement; merger transition; enterprise & entrepreneurship; international and work experience have all been undertaken and have resulted in successful outcomes.

  • Devising organisation specific planning systems that cascade and link strategic plans to development plans and which enable business cycle time bound progress reporting.

  • Target and KPIs setting and establishment of tracking, monitoring and reporting methodologies. Back

Apprenticeship growth & Improvement

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An unrivalled record in apprenticeship improvement delivered through a methodical and forensic approach delivered Ofsted 'Good' in 2015 and 2017 at Canterbury College. Increasing achievement rates to well above national rates in all age bands (including the 60% that were 16-18) and levels with a four year improvement trend whilst expanding the offer from 1 to 50 frameworks also ensured year on year growth and an SFA employer satisfaction rate of 92.8% in 2016. Below are some of the specific successful activities.

  • Full review of apprenticeship strategy and operational delivery resulting in 4+ year improvement trend.

  • Achievement rates above or significantly above national rates on all main performance measures.

  • Development and delivery of a systematic Apprenticeship Improvement Plan which delivered success.

  • Ofsted 'Good' for apprenticeships 2015 and 2017 and 92.8% SFA Employer Satisfaction rating.

  • Functional skills improvement strategy which led to high success levels in all skills.

  • Implementation of a risk based methodology and associated apprentice progress tracking. Back

Marketing, comms PR & crisis managemet

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Over ten years directing a highly successful marketing and communications function and team in a large college, delivering successful campaigns that supported achievement of recruitment targets every year. This work was achieved whilst making huge savings and system efficiency improvements from website functionality to integration with social media tools and MIS systems.With increasing competition and less funding you can't afford not to engage Rule 5 Solutions to review or support your Marcoms and PR.

  • Comprehensive strategic and operational marcoms  planning that improved operational efficiency saving 25% of planned budget or £179k in one year, whilst still delivering plan targets and KPIs.

  • In-house redevelopment of the college's website including design principles and MIS integration undertaken with no external costs. Ground up design and launch of the EK Colleges' Partnership site.

  • Re-organisation of the marketing / PR function to deliver savings and efficiency gains enabling creation of a professionally skilled team to support modern marketing and social media methods. Back

Options / Area Review & merger implementation


Wave 5 now completed the pressure is on for the recommendations from all waves to be implemented. During 2016/17 direct experience of establishing a college federation and leading on preparation for merger transition has been a highly successful area of work. That knowledge and a measured professional approach can now help other organisations undertake option reviews, establish partnerships or mergers.

  • Project management of the Area Review process across two colleges supporting partnership position..

  • Identification, procurement ​and project management of supporting specialist consultancy services.

  • Project management and joint working with external consultants on options review exercises​.

  • Establishment and promotion of partnership identity plus co-ordination of federated management and governing boards including governance aspects and production of risk registers to support transition.

  • Production of strategic and operational planning documents to support Transaction Unit application.

  • Designed and provided all content for the supporting site.

  • Options Review and merger consultation co-ordination and consultation delivery management. Back

Business Development

& Stakeholders


Twelve years as Director of Business Development (Canterbury College) delivered sustained apprenticeship, full-cost provision and commercial growth. Through rebasing the offer and effective stakeholder engagement, annual apprenticeship growth ranged between 10-30% yearly. Complete review / rebuilding of employer focused web pages also supported improved full cost and commercial income development linked to an innovative Enterprise Strategy to engage students and staff and drive organisational change.

  • Production of business development and enterprise strategies that increased income across streams.

  • Reviewed and led design concept work for employer focused website pages increasing traffic and leads.

  • Established the 'Active Links' concept and oversaw the college's job shop and apprenticeship and work experience placement service which supported quality business growth and over 600 employer leads.

  • Achieved the former Training Quality Standard twice and 2016 SFA Employer Satisfaction of 92.8%.

  • Oversaw commercial services including feeding 9,000 students and 750 staff via the food hall which increased income year and year and net profit by 5%.

  • Led departments to multiple KEiBA, TES, NUS and NIACE local, regional and national awards.

  • Successfully directed international provision including the award winning Swedish Exchange Project, growing international income by 12% and substantially expanding the client base. Back

Corporate, Leadership

& Mentoring


Through working with fourteen different Principals and multiple senior figures from universities, local authorities and various agencies and businesses a great deal has been learnt. In senior roles from Director of the Kent Association of FE Colleges to Director at Canterbury College and Executive Director at the East Kent Colleges' Partnership an in depth understanding of corporate and senior management best practice has been developed, and enhanced by obtaining the ICSA Certificate in FE Governance. After a successful career working for others, this experience and expertise in delivering tangible impact and outcomes can now support your change management, mentoring, strategic development and operational improvement.

  • Improved organisational strategic and operational planning linked to successful outcomes and business growth. Co-wrote, designed and implemented the college's strategic plan and created the development plan templates and in-year monitoring of headline plan progress.

  • Designed and developed contracting and sub-contracting templates.

  • Supported contracting work and planning for each stage of the college's £100m capital redevelopment.

  • Provided clerking and governance services to the Board from 2005-2010 (Ofsted 'Good').

  • Achieved Ofsted 'Good' 2017 at Canterbury College as part of the Partnership Executive Team.

  • Achieved Ofsted 'Good' 2017 at East Kent College as part of the Partnership Team.

  • Led and achieved Ofsted 'Good' for apprenticeships at Canterbury College in 2015 and 2017.

  • Three times Kent Excellence in Business Awards judge (Young Entrepreneur category) and mentor.

  • Successfully oversaw eight business areas of Canterbury College - each achieving annual targets. Back

Please note this portfolio only provides summary highlights. For a copy of Mark Hill's CV please make a request via the contact page. For the core service list please go to services. However, it's best to get in touch to see how Rule 5 Solutions can help support your organisation.

Strat Planning
Marcoms PR
AR & Merger
Bus Dev & Stakeholders
Corporate LM
Services Strat Plans
Serv Apps
Serv Option Review
Serv Marcoms
Ser Busdev


The six most popular services are below, but go to the specialisms page for a flavour of what else is possible. To meet your bespoke service needs use the contact page to set up a no obligation conversation that will save you time and money, or just call 07795 244216.

Service solutions tailored to your organisational needs and requirements for all your planning challenges:


  • Existing plan review, evaluation and new or revised plan writing,

  • Plan conceptualisation, drafting and final edit, including design options,

  • Consultation processes and exercises including public and stakeholders,

  • Strategic and organisation methodology advice and support,

  • Team integration, team development and operational realisation, innovation facilitation and blue sky workshops. (Services)

Apprenticeship Improvement & Growth

Service solutions that are proven to work, grow market share, improve efficiency, integrate systems, enable a whole organisation approach and crucially at a time of pressured budgets save you money:

  • Strategic / Operational Plan writing and design

  • PR strategy and crisis management including Emergency and Business Continuity Plan drafting,

  • Organisational evaluation of marketing approaches and identification of improvement and efficiency options,

  • Branding and brand maximisation,

  • Website conception and purposing plus effective social media strategy and use to support growth campaigns and recruitment,

  • Return on Investment (RoI) maximisation, realisation and marketing budget system integration. (Services)

Service solutions with a proven Ofsted track record that enable your organisation to grow, improve and maintain outcomes above national rates:

  • Organisational Needs Analysis / review of apprenticeship delivery, operation, MIS use, methods and apprenticeship offer,

  • KPI setting, monitoring and reporting system methodology improvement and whole organisation integration,

  • Apprenticeship Improvement Plans, Quality Improvement Plans and Self Assessment Report drafting,

  • Levy / non-levy engagement strategies and approaches for providers and businesses,

  • Sub-contracting and due diligence processes,

  • Sustainable quality and growth planning combined with organisational business development and employer engagement. (Services)

Service solutions that support Options Reviews & Area Review implementation, establishment of federated models and / or merger transition:

  • Options reviews, reports and merger transition planning,

  • Consultancy procurement and post Area Review or merger implementation and project management,

  • Pre-merger and merging new organisation proposition development, strategy writing and consultation activity,

  • Risk assessment and Risk Plan drafting and merger process and timeline planning,

  • Governance advice and support including Transition Board establishment,

  • Transaction Unit - Transition Fund access support. (Services)

Service solutions that can help maximise your business development which are based on sound, tested and realistic approaches:


  • Business development and enterprise strategy reviews and drafting,

  • Employer engagement growth strategies and related employer satisfaction improvement strategies and operational planning,

  • Market assessment and business scoping work including bespoke LMI reports preparation,

  • Marketing strategy, brand and product promotion sales plus recruitment strategy assessment and integration,

  • Improving stakeholder engagement and growth whilst improving quality methodologies,

  • Entrepreneurship and enterprise cultural change methods and strategy writing,

  • Maximising student / young people engagement and employer interface opportunities to invigorate business. (Services)

Service solutions or options that can be tailored to fit the specific needs of your organisation:

  • Strategic, development and operational planning and writing (whole organisation or department service aspect),

  • Options reviews - Area Review and merger implementation support services,

  • Corporate governance advice and good practice (holder of ICSA Certificate in FE Governance),

  • Business Continuity Plan and Disaster Recovery Plan drafting,

  • Risk management / Risk Register systems - whole organisation and activity specific including mergers,

  • Policy and procedure writing,

  • Consultation exercise planning and delivery,

  • PR and crisis management services,

  • Market assessment and scoping exercises including bespoke LMI analysis,

  • International provision development,

  • Project bidding and project management,

  • Ofsted best practice - including how to improve and sustain apprenticeship quality. (Services)

For more info about Rule 5 Solutions' experience, previous and current projects visit the specialisms and projects pages...

Serv CorpLM
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