28th September 2023
Embracing Responsibility: learndirect's Journey to B Corp Certification
From the outset of Queen’s Park Equity’s (QPE) partnership with learndirect, we recognised the importance of placing ESG considerations at the forefront of our investment strategy. We are firm believers that financial success is intrinsically linked to the prioritisation of sustainable and responsible practices and that the onus is on us to create long term value that extends beyond our investment. Therefore, from the start of our partnership, we worked with learndirect to collectively set specific impact KPIs that focused on driving positive change for the business, its employees and the learners served.
Becoming a certified B Corporation is a remarkable step forward, placing learndirect at the forefront of the online education sector and shines a light on their dedication to quality. This achievement marks a significant milestone in the company's journey towards social and environmental responsibility and sets a positive example for the entire education and training sector.
learndirect has long been committed to improving access to education and skills development. The courses and accreditations delivered are critical to improving the career and educational prospects of their customers and these positive outcomes have always been a core indicator of success. The journey to becoming a certified B Corporation has allowed learndirect to further solidify their commitment to all aspects of social and environmental responsibility. The initial B Impact Assessment highlighted key areas of development and this was used to create an action plan that successfully propelled learndirect to become one of the top three certified corporations in online education.
Wayne Janse van Rensburg, Group Chief Executive Officer at learndirect, says: “We’re delighted to officially become a certified B Corporation. For years, we have been evaluating each facet of our business, from our operations and relationships with employees and shareholders to our product development and customer outcomes. Ultimately, we are driven by learner progression and providing people with the qualifications they need to achieve their potential, whatever their circumstances and goals.”
Chris Neale, Group Chief Operating Officer at learndirect, says: “Being recognised as a B Corp is a big achievement for our business and our learners, but it doesn’t end here. We are committed to operating with transparency, adopting sustainable practices, prioritising employee wellbeing, and making a positive impact on society.”
learndirect Digital Group is one of the largest UK providers of online education, and combined with QPE have added a range of impressive brands through acquisition. These include LEAP Academy, The Training Room, SmileWisdom, i-to-i, and Animal Courses Direct, expanding the group’s offering to animal health, TEFL, fitness training and dental nurse courses.
In pursuit of this mission to make education accessible and impactful, the acquisitions were carefully selected based on criteria that extended far beyond financial metrics. For example, quality of course content, dedication to learner outcomes and an alignment to the group’s focus on ESG were key for us. Our joint dedication to drive continuous improvement means we are constantly seeking exciting businesses to join the group and be part of the positive change we are making in the online education space. If this commitment to excellence, sustainability and educational outcomes is at the tenet of your business, we’d be very interested in having a conversation.
learndirect's transformative journey to B Corp certification is a testament to its unwavering commitment to the principles of sustainability, social responsibility, and ethical business practices. It is a shining example of how a leading education and training provider can drive positive change in this industry. We not only want to be a source of inspiration for peers but a home for likeminded e-learning businesses that want to be part of this disruption. This accomplishment is not merely a destination but a continuation of our mission to empower individuals and build a more sustainable and equitable future through accessible, responsible education.