Supporting customers and building strong relationships

SQA’s Business Development Consultants play a vital role in supporting both colleagues and customers; from guiding new centres through the onboarding process to managing large client portfolios, their remit is far-reaching.

We caught up with Team Leader, Linsey Baxter and Catherine MacFarlane, Amanda Gilmour and Gillian Lindsay to learn more about their roles and the importance of building strong relationships.

9 February 2024 - SQA - Categories: Here to Help

Features and developments


The Business Development Team is made up of six Business Development Consultants and a Team Leader. We manage regionally aligned portfolios consisting of 467 training providers in Scotland and the Rest of the UK. We also prospect new business in Scotland and the Rest of the UK to generate growth. We consistently look to identify opportunities for growth through prospecting new business, expanding individual customer qualification portfolios and this is built on excellent customer service and strong business relationships. The Business Development team excel in supporting their centres and are a team I am consistently proud of.


My days are varied but can include assisting with queries, completing due diligence for new centres, sourcing new business and supporting customer service colleagues. A key part of our role is to keep our customer relationship management tools up to date – our team deals with a huge volume of customers so it’s important colleagues can access this information when needed.

The queries we receive can consist of questions about a specific qualification, issues with systems, a new centre coordinator needing support with their role or even a change of head of centre or coordinator. On occasion, I also work closely with the SQA Regional Managers to resolve issues and relay this information back to the centre.

My centres are pleased they have a named contact to go to for support when they have a query or need guidance. It builds good relationships, promotes a quick resolution, and improves customer satisfaction. I have been working closely with a centre who has seen a positive impact in its business performance and its staff is grateful for the ongoing support.


I have a portfolio of over 108 SQA Centres that I continually support and develop. I also nurture prospective organisations coming through the process to become an SQA centre; there are various stages of the process, and I am here to support every step of the way giving feedback and advice.

I enjoy the variety of queries that centres bring to me each day as this supports my professional development of products and departments within SQA. I continuously receive good feedback from my centres. It’s very rewarding knowing I have helped and made their day a bit easier.

Having a named contact at SQA is so important as it gives centres one port of call and helps to build relationships, trust and confidence in the partnership. They have the benefit of coming to me directly with queries without having to go round various departments which can cause frustration. I have built great relationships with some of my centres and have lots of personal conversations which strengthens rapport.


I enjoy working closely with my centres and building good relationships with my contacts. In particular, I am passionate about supporting my centres with the development of their qualification portfolio. The approvals process can be time-consuming and there is a lot of work involved in becoming a SQA Centre and its rewarding to see them come through the full process.

If you’d like advice on delivering SQA qualifications, contact