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The Organisational Learning Centre is a College of Further and Higher Education with the headquarters situated in Greater Manchester, Bolton. It has a notable history, from its original status as a consulting company in the 1970s led by Professor Bob McQueen who is now in OLC California, to its current status as a higher education provider accredited by British Accreditation Council, Lloyd’s Register for Quality Assurance, Edexcel Pearson and under educational oversight from QAA. The current College leaders have developed OLC from a consulting and training organisation in 1998 to providing education to over 500 people a year. The college is directed by Dr Chris Bamber an expert in organisational systems analysis and improvement and the director of academic affairs is Professor John Sharp who holds part-time professorial chairs in Organisational Excellence with Brunel University, London and Wuhan University in China. This strong academic and industrial leadership makes OLC an obvious choice for students that want to make a difference.


OLC sign an historic agreement with NCG to deliver a Business Top Up Degree Program

Also in 2020 Sunderland College group extend the existing partnership agreement to include an Betec HNC/HND programme in Business

Two hundred fragments of documents, which have been found in Castle Street, bequeathed to the local Bolton Museum to be restored and then viewed by the public and studied by legal historians and social historians.

OLC recognised as having the largest Moot Court in Europe, at Castle Street, continues to see it used for training purposes most recently by Professional Bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM), The North Manchester Health and Safety Advisory Group. In addition the Moot Court has been used by Businet Law Group and is often the stage for ITV, Coronation Street as the Weatherfield Court and Judge Rinder for some of his tribunal cases.

“On 29th September 2020 OLC signed the Armed Forces Covenant pledging to support both present and past armed force communities and will be looking to be an active participant in supporting educational programmes in particular where ever we can. A full transcript of the signed covenant can be found by click here


Health and Social Care Higher National Certificate courses start in Manchester and then Bolton
A franchise agreement is signed with University of East London to deliver in Manchester a full degree in Hospitality Management and a top-up year for the HND in Business students.
Dr Chris Bamber supports the University of Bolton with courses developed and delivered to a cohort of environmental professionals and ministers from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Discussion is taking place with Myerscough College of Agriculture to partner on jointly beneficial short course provision and international projects.


Dr Chris Bamber and Sunderland College sign a Memorandum of Understanding and Service Level Agreement to deliver Health and Social Care courses in Manchester and Bolton.
Discussions are taking place with University of East London to open University Community campuses up in Manchester and Bolton.


Dr Chris Bamber, Professor John Sharp and Dr Dave Bamber lead research at the University of Bolton Business School and agreements are signed to supervise PhD students in the area of Business and Management
Dr Chris Bamber secures a partnership deal with Russian University, ROSNOU in Moscow to deliver Travel and Tourism Higher National Certificate courses, 15 students enrol
Colchester Institute sign a Memorandum of Understanding with OLC and the first cohort of Business studies students with the University centre Colchester arrive.
Warsaw University of Business and Management sign an agreement with Dr Chris Bamber to jointly run Higher Education courses in Moscow, Poland.


OLC joins BUSINET, the largest European Group of Colleges and Higher Education Institutes that aim to promote Business Studies education globally.

Dr Chris Bamber launches the North Manchester Health Safety and Advisory Group annual competition for Young People that have significantly contributed to Occupational Health and Safety initiatives.

OLC have opened a centre in Fethiye, Turkey and are delivering short courses and English Language courses to both local students and international students.

A Memorandum of Understanding and Service Level Agreement have been signed with Stockport College to deliver Business HNC and HND courses in greater Manchester.

Dr Chris Bamber with Dr Alan Lawrence visited Russia and Armenia and have recruited in partnership with projects beyond Borders both Russian and Armenian students on distance learning HNC and HNDs


The College continued to develop partnerships with both domestic and international partners. Potential developments in both Malta and Turkey are currently being explored with the view to open up colleges in both countries delivering courses in Business, Engineering and English as a Foreign Language. Demand for Higher National Certificates/Diplomas has continued to grow as the latest cohort of students move on to the second year of their course. The high achievers are now being supported in their applications to University. The OLC team continues to strive for excellence in teaching and learning through the development of its staff across all campuses. Plans are now in place for the first ever OLC International conference where around 500 guest speakers will be invited to present papers about the Oil and Gas sector.


Popularity of the college reached unprecedented levels with the UK student population nearing 1000. The majority of students enrolled on Higher National Diplomas in Business. OLC expanded its campuses in Manchester through the opening up of new classrooms and continued this expansion through the opening of its first London campus. Further to this, OLC gained accreditation to deliver a new Higher National Diploma named Chemical Science for Industry.


The College has delivered many courses to the Royal Saudi Air Force and have trained over 40 commanding officers in English Language, Communications Strategies, Diplomacy and International Protocol.

Avans University from The Netherlands have developed a partnership with OLC to provide training and education for teachers and students alike. Four cohorts of 150 Dutch students come to OLC in Manchester for 1 week or 2 week block teaching sessions and experience UK life. The qualification they gain is accredited by the University and is part of their degree programme.

English Language courses increase in popularity in Manchester and many students learning English have enrolled at OLC Manchester. Students work toward ESOL, IELTS and Cambridge English examinations. Including Libyan MOD students sponsored by the Libyan Attache in Paris, France.


The College has been awarded accreditation to deliver the Postgraduate level 7 EDEXCEL Strategic Leadership and Management

OLC client Azzawiya Oil Refining Company achieve certification to ISO 9001: 2008 from TUV the German accredited company and improve their management systems

OLC client STAG Geological Service Limited providers of geologists for wellsite developments in the oil and gas industry is awarded ISO 9001: 2008 from Det Norse Veritas (DNV)

Delivering prestigious professional credit management corporate training programmes for Virgin Media.

Memorandums of Understanding created and pursued to provide joint collaborative ventures in widening areas of interest.

Working as consultant for Barry Bennett limited supporting their growth and implementation of ISO 27001 an information security management system.


UK Border Agency award OLC (Europe) Ltd incorporating EETTEC Ltd the prestigious award level of Highly Trusted Status.

OLC set-up operations in Libya, Sabbratha delivering English Language, ICT provision and Auto-cad courses to Libyan Nationals.

National Economic Development Board (NEDB), Libyan Government Office send 19 up and coming government ministers for training in the UK in Local Contemporary Administration and Governance. NEDB consider the programme a complete success.


Prepared and delivered professional management course to executives and leaders of health and safety “Delivering performance through culture and leadership: Applying an integrated management approach”.

Vestas Blades UK Ltd are the first OLC (Europe) Ltd client to have staff obtain City and Guilds, Business Improvement NVQs, delivered by OLC as part of a Vestas company wide corporate programme.

OLC (Europe) Ltd incorporating EETTEC Ltd receives accreditation as a Private Further and Higher Education Institute from the British Accreditation Council.

North West Aerospace Alliance contract won with partners The Consulting Company to provide training to 45 member companies.


HNC/HND students arrive from Libyan Oil Companies and 30 achieve the award of HND through EDEXCEL within one year of registration.

Quality Management ISO 9001: 2008 consulting project starts with AZZAWIYA Oil Refinery Company, Libya.

EETTEC Ltd and OLC (Europe) Ltd now obtain certifications to ISO 9001: 2008 with a joint certificate with two annexes.

Institute of Credit Management continue to recognise the efforts of OLC and achievements of OLC students. Premier Centre Education Status is maintained and OLC students receive National Awards.


Edexcel centre status achieved for the delivery of Higher Education courses. HNC/HND approvals through Edexcel and forged agreements with Bolton University as an “Engineering feeder college.”

Leyden-Kirby Group Ltd, PNC Group Ltd and EEF North West collaborative agreements forged to develop Intellectual Property in specialised areas. Leyden-Kirby are environmental specialists with business in asbestos removal and other waste management.

Libyan, Environmental General Authority (EGA) sends 26 delegates on an intensive 26 week environmental scientific course designed by OLC and delivered in partnership with academic staff from Salford, Liverpool, Bolton, Manchester and Brunel Universities.

Over 8 years have built Intellectual Property of over 300 courses with proven pedigree and approvals [Business and Management; Science and Engineering; Environmental; Quality; Health and Safety; Information Security Systems].

Establishment of Centres of Organisational Excellence in China, Wuhan University; in Dubai, UAE, Wollongong University Campus. Third centre to start in Tripoli, Libya in March 2008.

The Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (IOSH) work in partnership with OLC to develop a “management and leadership in health and safety” programme.

March 2007 OLC purchase The Old County Police Station, Bolton and now have facilities that include over 30 training rooms, a Moot Court, a library, Engineering workshops and 2 fully equipped ICT suites.

Vestas Blades UK Ltd are the first OLC (Europe) Ltd client to have staff obtain Graduate Certificates delivered by OLC and (awarded by University of Salford.) Also, OLC partner with EEFNW to deliver Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM level 5) programme to Vestas continuous improvement teams.


Spin-off company, EETTEC Ltd created for Engineering and Technical course development and delivery.

ICM Premier Education Provider status achieved and student awards are the best in the UK.


Continuous Improvement courses developed and a full six sigma programme created. Dr Chris Bamber becomes the Institute of Quality Assurance six-sigma Programme Manager.

Integrated management system conferences and courses completed.


Commenced helping delivery of Institute of Credit management (ICM) courses for North-West of UK.

AMAN tyres consulting project started in Libya, North Africa.

Published with British Standards Global “BIP 2041:2004 Implementing Effective Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance”.


Developed a complete suite of business and management modules called the “The OLC Rolling Programme.”

Great Man Made River consulting project started and successfully completed to deliver, one of the first construction industry, ISO 9001: 2000 quality management systems in North Africa.

Developed relationship with Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and delivered level 2, 3 and 4 courses in health and environmental management.


OLC (Europe) Ltd created, Chris Bamber is awarded his PhD. Dr Chris Bamber takes over the business full-time as Managing Director.

Registered with DFES/Home Office.


Dr John Sharp is promoted to Professor of Organisational Excellence.

ISO 14001: 1994 Environmental Management Systems consultancy starts with Myson Towel Warmers. Environmental consulting and courses developed.


Silentnight Group Courses developed for organisational excellence corporate wide programme.

Full suite of Quality Management Courses for BSi. Developed and delivered modern quality management courses for their client and member companies (ISO 9001:2000).

ISO 9001 consultancy includes firsts: ISO 9001: 2000 in sectors Housing association/Glass company/Food (Soreen).

The Salford University, Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COrE) founded by Professor John Sharp and Dr Chris Bamber.


Engineers Employers Federation (EEF) collaborations. Business Improvement consulting and change management courses developed.

Developed Best Practice Guides for the North West Aerospace Alliance (NWAA), in collaboration with the University of Salford, following on from an Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council grant funding research project.


OLC (California) Professor Bob McQueen links up with John Sharp, Chris Bamber and Mick Hides.

Partnership developed OLC (Europe). Collaborative agreement with OLC (California) leads to sharing of information on High Performing Organisational research, case studies and experiences.