The Commissioners

The Princess Royal Training Awards Commission is composed of HRH The Princess Royal and ten leading figures in the business and learning & development community.

The Commission is chaired by Pat Stringfellow MBE, who is also a Trustee of City and Guilds of London Institute. The Commissioners met on 13 July 2016 and awarded 33 organisations from a wide range of sectors.

Reflecting on the Commissioners meeting, Pat said: ‘The clear message we have seen emerging from the Princess Royal Training Awards is that making a strategic link between your investment in training and alignment with your business goals can lead to amazing outcomes.  I would like to congratulate all the successful applicants and encourage them to share their stories and their success.’

Read the Commissioner's Report 2016

Pat Stringfellow MBE HonFCGI

Pat Stringfellow is a business leader and HR specialist having spent over 20 years working at board level in blue chip companies such as Marks & Spencer, Lex Service and Rentokil Initial. Pat has successfully managed businesses in challenging and competitive environments in the UK, Europe and parts of Asia. She has also improved business performance by investing in the development of directors and managers to raise the calibre and capability of leadership teams.


Pat now works on a freelance basis with business leaders and management teams to ensure organisations are high performing. Her work ranges from business start-ups, mergers and acquisitions to organisational change and leadership development including coaching and mentoring for high performance. She works with a range of clients across a wide number of sectors including service companies, distribution, charities, education, pharmaceuticals and oil exploration. Her professional style is highly positive and motivational with an ability to get to the heart of a situation quickly and pragmatically. She has high personal credibility and is well respected by business leaders who work with her as a sounding board and confidant.

She has a degree in Business Studies and an MBA as well as being a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development). In 2003 she was awarded an MBE for her services to training through her many years of working with the National Training Awards (NTA) which she chaired and was a great advocate for. She is also a Trustee and Honorary Fellow of The City and Guilds of London Institute and a Non-Executive Director of Corps Security.

Pat enjoys her spare time taking in the outdoors, walking, sailing, and achieving self- sufficiency in the garden. She is married to David and lives in Gloucestershire, working across the country as well as further afield.

Ann Brown

Ann joined Nationwide in October 2014 as Divisional Director for Human Resources.  Ann has held HR Director and Group HR Director positions across a range of sectors and industries – she spent 9 years at Cable & Wireless and became HR Director for one of their subsidiaries, before moving to Colt Telecom as Group HR Director reporting to the Board, and then joining Capgemini an IT services organisation in 2001 as HR Director for the UK business and also Group OD Director.  

Ann is a City and Guilds of London Institute Council member, Business in the Community Advisory Board and is a Visiting Fellow at Kingston University Business School. She actively supports university and school initiatives to encourage women into STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). Ann has received industry recognition and awards for both internal innovation and externally as a driving force in the development of youth skills in the IT industry, including the development of Apprenticeship programmes.  Ann is also a qualified coach.

Carmen Watson

Carmen Watson has established herself as one of the UK’s most successful recruitment leaders. She joined Pertemps in 1976 as a secretary and, by the age of 24, was running a £5m business as branch manager at Wolverhampton. Entering the boardroom as Commercial Director in 1983, Dudley-born Carmen became instrumental in the rise of Pertemps. During the period 1983 to 2000, she was responsible for the formation of a corporate business team. Turnover grew tenfold from £32m in just over a decade to £323m. The serious scaling-up of the business during this time also saw Pertemps double its branch footprint across the UK.

Recognising her talent for generating big profits and fostering rewarding client relationships, in the year 2000 Carmen was promoted to the position of Managing Director and then Chairperson in 2012. In 2015 she was named one of the most powerful female figures in the Global Staffing Industry.

Her passion and commitment is not only reserved for recruitment. A long-term supporter of diversity in the workplace, Carmen is now one of the foremost speakers on women in the boardroom and has been a prominent figure in the ground-breaking campaign by Lord Davies to increase the number of women who are in decision-making roles.

Chris Jones

Chris Jones is Group Chief Executive of the City & Guilds Group, a leader in global skills development. The Group includes City & Guilds, ILM, The Oxford Group and Kineo.

Chris plays a prominent role in driving the national and international skills agenda – something he has personal experience of as he followed the vocational education path himself. He is a member of the Business in the Community Employment and Skills Leadership team and a Governor at the Activate Learning group of colleges.

Before joining the City & Guilds Group, Chris held several senior management positions in Pearson and Reed Elsevier.

Frances O’Grady FCGI

Frances is General Secretary of the TUC.

She first joined the TUC as a Campaigns Officer in 1994 and went onto launch the TUC’s Organising Academy in 1997. Frances headed up the TUC’s organisation department in 1999, reorganising local skills projects into unionlearn which now helps a quarter of a million workers into learning every year.

As Deputy General Secretary from 2003, Frances led on the environment, industrial policy, the NHS and winning an agreement covering the 2012 Olympics. She has served as a member of the Low Pay Commission, the High Pay Centre and the Resolution Foundation’s Commission on Living Standards.

Frances was born in Oxford, has two adult children and lives in North London.               

Mark Duddridge

Mark is a Director of Rodda’s and Chairman of the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP. Between 1998 and 2015 Mark was a Director of Samworth Brothers and Managing Director of a number of its operating companies, most notably Ginsters.

Mark has worked in the chilled food and biscuit markets since leaving

University in 1984. He joined Samworth Brothers in 1997 and has managed a number of the company's sandwich and pastry businesses. In 1999, Mark took over as Managing Director at Ginsters at a time when the business was facing a very tough trading period.

Over the years that followed, he built a very strong and committed team at the company and the Ginsters’ brand sales have grown from £90 million to over £200 million during the past ten years. Ginsters is now a Brand leader across the UK and one of the top 10 chilled brands in the country.

Mark hopes that Ginsters success has helped show other local companies that being located in a rural area can be a competitive advantage, rather than a weakness.

Peter Cheese

Peter is the Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the professional body for HR and people development. Prior to joining the CIPD in July 2012, he was Chairman of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a member of the Council of The City and Guilds of London Institute. Up until 2009 he had a long career at Accenture holding various leadership positions and culminating in a seven year spell as Global Managing Director leading the firm’s human capital and organisation consulting practice.  He writes and speaks widely on the development of HR, and the broader issues of leadership, culture, people and skills.

Peter is also a member of the Board of BPP University and of the Advisory Board for the Open University Business School. He holds an honorary doctorate from Kingston University, is a Fellow of the CIPD and a Fellow of AHRI, the Australian HR Institute, a Companion of the Institute of Leadership and Management, and a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute.

Sir Roy Gardner FCGI

Sir Roy is Chairman of Serco plc, the Senior Independent Director at William Hill plc and Chairman of Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd.  He is also a Senior Advisor to Credit Suisse.

Previously, Sir Roy was a Non-Executive Director of Willis Group Holdings Limited, Chairman of Compass Group plc, Chief Executive of Centrica plc, Managing Director of GEC-Marconi Limited and a Director of GEC plc.

He has also been Non-Executive Chairman of Manchester United plc, Plymouth Argyle Football Club and Connaught plc and a Non-Executive Director of Laporte plc.

Sir Roy is the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Energy Futures Lab at Imperial College London and is the former Chairman of the Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network. Sir Roy is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants, the Royal Aeronautical Society, the Royal Society of Arts, The City and Guilds of London Institute, the Energy Institute and is on the Board of Governors at St Albans School.

Steve Holliday

Steve Holliday is Chief Executive of National Grid plc and has also been a Non-Executive Director of Marks & Spencer plc since 2004. He is also Chairman of the board of trustees at Crisis, the homeless charity.

Steve joined National Grid Group as the Board Director responsible for the UK and Europe in March 2001, becoming Chief Executive for the Group in 2007.

Prior to joining National Grid he was on the Board of British Borneo Oil and Gas and was responsible for the successful development of its international businesses in Brazil, Australia and West Africa. Steve spent much of his early career with Exxon, where he held senior roles in refining, shipping and international gas.

Steve is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He volunteers his time to lead a number of skills, STEM and sustainable energy related activities for Business in the Community and in June 2012 Steve was appointed as the Prince’s National Ambassador.

Steve, who is 57, holds a BSc degree in Mining Engineering from Nottingham University. His sporting interest include following the fortunes of the England Rugby team. He is married with three children and lives in West London.

Stewart Segal FCGI

Stewart Segal is currently Director of Strategy at 3aaa, a leading training provider delivering Apprenticeships in a number of professional services sectors.  Previously Stewart was Chief Executive Officer of AELP since 2013.  Stewart has worked in the funded work based learning sector for over 20 years and in particular has supported AELP since its formation. Stewart worked as an independent consultant within the training sector, working with a number of training providers and colleges specialising in business development and funding issues.

Following a background in HR and general management in the private sector Stewart joined Hertfordshire Training and Enterprise Council in 1994 as Chief Executive until 1998 when Stewart joined Spring Skills as Chief Executive in 1998. Spring Skills was then largest independent training provider in the sector involved in the delivery of a range of programmes in the service sectors such as retail, customer services, hospitality and business administration.