Case Studies

Client: Birth to Five Service

Services Supplied: Bespoke Management Development Programme


The Birth to Five Service in Lincolnshire comes under the umbrella of Lincolnshire County Council. A central Government target since 2005 has been to grow a 'graduate workforce' as, it has been proven in review documentation that, having a graduate leading practice in a 'setting' improves outcomes for children.

The Birth to Five Service consulted with the graduates, who felt that the degree had been extremely worthwhile, but it had left them with a desire to up-skill within their other areas of work, in particular, the management and people issues.

It was in response to these needs that Totem Training Ltd was asked to develop a bespoke package that would provide the Managers with the skills, knowledge and understanding they desired, resulting in the 'Awaken the Leader Within' programme.


Totem Training Ltd had been delivering a range of soft skills short courses for the Birth to Five Service for two years prior to conversations about this programme. On the strength of the success of these courses, together with excellent delegate feedback received, we were then asked to develop the format for a wider management development programme.

From the knowledge of the sector gained over the previous two years, further discussions took place to highlight and focus on the specific needs of the delegates in terms of people and management issues.

The ‘Awaken the Leader Within’ programme has been designed to run over 6 consecutive months of one full day of training delivery per month. Although there is no set ‘homework’ a simple Learning Log template is used by the delegates in order to capture learning highlights between sessions.

A comprehensive and high-quality resource folder of material is provided to the delegates and built up over the duration of the programme. This material has been developed to provide a useful working document both during the training and afterwards.


After delivery of the first four programmes, all the delegates, who had successfully completed, were invited to attend a graduation day, which comprised of further training input, group discussion and presentation of trophies and certificates.

It was at this event that the delegates unanimously requested that Totem Training Ltd takes their learning to the next level such was the success they had achieved and the enthusiasm they felt.

The Birth to Five Service agreed to the development of ‘Awaken the Leader Within Two’ which will be an additional 3 days of learning, self-reflection and action planning delivered over a further 6 months.

Delegate feedback …

“All content of the course was fantastic, I learnt so much over the 6 days I attended. Craig was a great teacher made everything fun and easy to take in the group we had was very interactive and easy to get on with.”

“Outcomes for the children will improve as I will be more confident to lead the team and help in decision making and problem solving for the setting, supporting improvements and their implementation.”

“A more effective way of managing a setting, impacts massively on the development of the children ensures every outcome is met effectively.”

“I found the course fantastic, Craig inspirational, course content really good. Came away with some great ideas. ”

“I am becoming more confident in myself and the decisions that I have to make in my new position as a manager.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed all of the course and was the best course that I have attended. Craig made everyone feel very relaxed and friendly and catered for everyone's needs and learning styles. I particularly enjoyed the self-reflection processes and communication.”

Client Comments:

“We are very proud to endorse both the course and Craig's application for Trainer of the Year with Nursery World, he has had a huge impact on the Managers in Lincolnshire and it would be wonderful to share his story with others.”

Stephanie Douglas Head of Service Birth to Five
Susan Otter Lead Early Years Consultant (Workforce) Birth to Five

Taken from the letter of support provided for the nomination of Craig Collinson of Totem Training Ltd for the Nursery World Awards 2013, resulting in being successfully shortlisted in the category of ‘Trainer of the Year’.

Client: ACS & T Logistics

Services Supplied: Bespoke Management Development Programme


ACS&T Logistics are a business with a Head Office and depot in Grimsby and other locations around the country.

Following on from an introductory day some months earlier, the company wanted a Management Development Programme to run over a further 3 full day sessions. The content needed to address specific subject areas, and Totem Training Ltd was engaged to facilitate this.

Working in partnership with the three company Directors (MD, Sales and Finance) together with the HR Manager a comprehensive but focused programme was developed and then delivered over a four month period.


The entire senior and middle management team of ACS&T, including the three Directors, took part in the programme. All three full day sessions were run twice in order to accommodate the twenty delegates in workable group sizes and allowing for business commitments.

The training took place approximately one month apart and was delivered on site at the company venues in Grimsby and Wolverhampton. The delegates were continually mixed together in different groupings, and this was an additional effective team building element.

As there were many issues that required detailed group discussion the style of the programme was a mixture of training and workshop session.

Although there was no requirement from ACS&T for Totem Training Ltd to build in any formal assessment, there was a detailed group Action Planning session on the final day. The action points and deadlines agreed were formatted by Totem Training Ltd and then provided to the MD in order to assist in the monitoring of future activities.

The Action Plan was then subjected to further analysis six months after the end of the programme when Totem Training Ltd facilitated a session at the ACS&T mid-year Management Conference.


The programme was acknowledged, by the MD, to have made noticeable positive differences to how people behaved and performed as individuals and as a group.

Other benefits included: More focused and shorter management meetings, greater awareness of personality styles and implications, improved interdepartmental and site communication and co-operation.

Client Comment:

“Craig was given a challenging task to draw together a geographical and culturally diverse team & create a consistent management philosophy in a demanding environment. He gained significant support through his firm but considerate approach which allowed him to challenge "old" beliefs and introduce "new" ones. We have frequently revisited the outputs of his workshop and utilised him to move us onto the next stage. He is seen as an external partner in developing our managers and supporting their personal development.”

Malcolm Johnstone
Managing Director
ACS&T Logistics

Client: Aunt Bessie’s Limited

Services Supplies: Totem Leadership Programme


Aunt Bessie’s Limited are a Hull-based food manufacturing business with a national profile for their range of products. The company wanted to develop their Production based management team and supervisory level staff.


Initially the programme involved 11 managers (known as Zone & Team Managers). A mixture of training and coaching methods was employed throughout the period. Delivery methods included: Training Days, Workshops, Team Building Sessions, facilitated Team Meetings, Workplace Observation/Feedback sessions and a number of individual one to one meetings with all delegates.

Totem Training Ltd also devised and assessed a Work Based Assignment (WBA) that the delegates were required to complete. This tasked them to highlight an improvement in their area of influence.

Once delegates had successfully completed their individual WBA they were required to make a formal presentation to a panel comprising Senior Management, including the HR Manager and the Production Director.

The next stage of the programme involved the supervisory level of Process Area Leaders (PAL’s) and Process Technicians (PT’s) that report directly to the Team Managers.

Twenty-four delegates split over two groups (PAL’s and PT’s) attended for a total of four days per group. This was a rolling programme on alternate Monday’s over a three month period.

The areas covered included: Personal Styles, Communication, Motivation, Positive Mental Attitude, Leadership and Management, Teamwork, Time Management and Prioritisation Delegation and Coaching.


The programme was acknowledged to be a success by both the delegates and Senior Management and resulted in many delegates taking on different roles and/or greater responsibilities.

The ideas generated through the WBA’s were a rich source of new company initiatives and improvements, some of which were very simple and cost effective to action.

Other benefits included: Improved communication across zones and shifts, enhanced team spirit and co-operation, impact on personal confidence and belief in own abilities, improved ‘ownership' of roles.

Client Comment:

"Aunt Bessie's Ltd have been working with and through Craig Collinson for approximately 4 years. During this time Craig has proven to be a strategic partner in our HR Development Strategy for the manufacturing site. He has worked closely with us to ensure our company values are achieved and communicated through structured training programmes.
His insight and thorough understanding of both our processes and our people has meant that he has been recognised by all as a 'mentor' who has added value both to individuals and to the company as a whole.
The formal Totem Leadership Programme which was introduced for team managers was identified as a measurement of best practice at our recent Investors in People assessment process, for which we have received continued accreditation.
We have no reservations whatsoever in highly recommending Totem Training who will, we are convinced, add real value to your organisation."

Janet Dixon
HR Manager
Aunt Bessie's Limited

Working in partnership with Senior Management a tailored programme was developed and then delivered over a period of almost two years.