Jeremy Toole

Management and Business Training Consultant

I engage with businesses to enable knowledge, skills and behaviours which make a tangible difference and drive exceptional success.

What led you to work for PETA?

I was working as a Training and Development Manager for an IT company when a restructure was announced. The business and my role were both changing so it felt like the right time to move on and tackle the challenge of a new role in a different organisation. I knew of PETA and felt excited by the opportunity of working for a respected training provider, so I wrote them a speculative letter in the hope that my skills and experience would be relevant. I was delighted when they asked me to interview for a Business Development position and then offered me an opportunity which I was happy to accept.

That was in 2008 and I remained in business development and training consultancy with PETA for nine years before deciding in early 2018 that the time was right to take on a new challenge. Over the next 2-3 years I worked for two different businesses as a People Development Business Partner and then as a Performance Coach, before the pandemic landed and I was furloughed and subsequently made redundant. Happily for me, my disappointment at being made redundant was short-lived as I was very quickly presented with an opportunity to return to PETA as a Management and Business Training Consultant. I was delighted to have this opportunity as I had continued to hold PETA in very high regard as a training and apprenticeships provider. PETA is such a professional organisation and the opportunity to return was very welcome. I’m in the twilight of my career now so I hope to see out my working days here!

What does your role involve?

It’s a mainly client-facing role with an emphasis on consultancy. I work with businesses to develop strong learning and development solutions which align to objectives and make a real difference to the bottom line. A big part of the role is engaging with clients to identify the right solution for them, one that will have a positive effect and deliver excellent return on investment for the company.

I seek to drive the right behavioural changes within organisations and help them to upskill in the most effective way. Our sales team generates opportunities with potential clients and identifies leads. They are brilliant at pinpointing organisations that require training and go on to confirm interest, gather quality information and then pass this on to me. I work closely with the client to develop the most effective, high impact and value for money solution.

In addition to the consultancy side of my role, I also design, develop and deliver training and have a great deal of experience in delivering both management and personal skills training. In my time at PETA I’ve developed and delivered a range of Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) and Chartered Management Institute (CMI) modules and continue to work closely with CMI Programmes which PETA offers at both levels 3 and 5.

How do you approach your role on a day to day basis? What skills are required?

I love learning and development, it’s something I’m really passionate about. My role allows me to work with people and I get pleasure from seeing people’s confidence visibly grow and witnessing them develop critical skills that make a difference in their business roles. It’s always a joy and hugely rewarding to see people really benefiting from training by developing the knowledge, skills and behaviours that contribute to their personal aspirational growth.

The key skills I use in my role are focused around good communication. I engage very effectively with people; connecting well with clients to understand their business and their needs is critical. I have a strong understanding of a range of learning and development solutions, and my ability to listen and question effectively ensures I get the information which allows PETA to deliver solutions that absolutely meet client requirements.

Good emotional intelligence is also essential in this role. Understanding what people want and why, recognising the challenges individuals are facing, and being able to look beyond the surface at what lies beneath is vital. The best solutions are delivered when you can really get to the core of what people need in order to be at their very best and achieve the very best outcomes for their business.

What drives you to do what you do?

Achievement - the delivery of a great solution and a successful outcome is always my goal. I know that a strong focus on the task will enable me to exceed expectations, which results in happy clients who know they’re getting a great service.

What knowledge/experience do you draw upon for your role?

I have extensive experience in learning and development, having been consistently involved in business partnering, solution consultancy, coaching and traditional delivery throughout my L&D career, which spans 25 + years! I’ve played a key role in helping a business area achieve IIP accreditation, have developed and facilitated the integration of a Performance Management and Appraisal Process in a large private sector organisation, and have engaged extensively with training companies as both a client and as a service provider (PETA). Being on both sides of the fence has certainly increased my understanding of the learning and development industry!

Working in the public sector for 17 years and then in the private sector across five different businesses and industries has given me a variety of knowledge. I have found that it is always crucial to partner effectively with external and internal customers in order to ensure that the best overall solution can be reached and delivered. I’ve constantly worked in business partnering type roles where I’ve had to provide a service to a range of internal departments and external customers, and working in partnership with others has, in my experience, always led to success.

What are your personal values and what is important to you?

Honesty, integrity, kindness and a strong regard for people’s welfare. I’m very much a people-person, who values what people bring to organisations, is able to connect and engage with ease, and who firmly believes that caring about people’s wellbeing is crucial if a business is to obtain the very best performance from them.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

My family is the most important thing to me. I love spending time with my wife Claire and my two daughters Harriet and Ellie. I'm incredibly proud of them all and I have very much enjoyed seeing both my daughters successfully complete their university studies and make their way in this challenging working world.

Other than my family, I have a massive passion for soul, funk, and jazz music - I have over 5,000 albums which is pretty crazy I know! I also play the guitar (although I’m definitely not a master at this!) and like to stay fit by running and walking (I’ve run a marathon, several half marathons and recently walked up Scafell Pike). I’m also a big follower of football and have supported Manchester United all of my life and I’m always very keen to make people aware that I am actually a Manchester born and bred red!