Stewart Foster | NCFE

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Stewart Foster


Stewart is NCFE’s Chief Regulatory Officer and is responsible for Audit, Risk, Assurance, Health and Safety, Facilities, Safeguarding, Data Protection and External and Regulatory Affairs. He is also NCFE’s designated Responsible Officer to Ofqual, CCEA, Qualification Wales and SQA in relation to NCFE’s compliance with regulatory conditions as an Awarding and End-Point Assessment organisation.

Tell us a bit about you

I’m married with three daughters, have lived in the North East all my life, and love the easy access this gives to the fabulous coast and countryside. I have many interests and hobbies when I get the time to pursue them. I enjoy reading, podcasts, walking, DIY, clay pigeon shooting, and following the football.

I am NCFE’s board representative for the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), a membership organisation comprising the eight largest providers of qualifications in the UK. I am also a Foundation Governor for North Tyneside Learning Trust.

Tell us a bit about your career

After starting out working as an apprentice engineer, I moved into the education and training sector, working initially for Rolls Royce and Siemens Training Departments. I then moved into FE where I worked in many different roles, from curriculum to quality, over a 13-year period. 

I joined NCFE in 2012 and have enjoyed numerous roles in my time here, including as Director of Product and Quality, Chief Operating Officer, and Managing Director of the Awarding business.  


From an early age, I’ve been interested in the process of learning and get the greatest levels of satisfaction knowing that we are helping millions of people progress in their lives and careers. Within FE, I recognised the impact that qualifications and learning have on people and the doors that they can open.

When I joined NCFE, it was based on my experience as a customer – I saw the enthusiasm that NCFE colleagues showed for the company and products, which intrigued me. I wasn’t successful in my first application, but I eventually left a full-time permanent role to join NCFE on a one-year secondment and have never looked back.

When I joined NCFE, it was based on my experience as a customer – I saw the enthusiasm that NCFE colleagues showed for the company and products.

Stewart Foster 
Senior leaders in the Regulation, Risk and Assurance team 


I joined NCFE in 2021 as Head of Audit, Risk and Assurance, leading and supporting our culture which is profoundly shaped by our commitment to regulation and compliance. We aim to deliver high-quality, robust, and valid qualifications which, in turn, support our learners in their academic and personal progression. I ensure that our commitment to compliance dovetails with our dedication to quality, allowing us to highlight and share best practices, celebrate achievements, and continually pursue excellence.

I’ve worked in further education for over 20 years and am passionate about education, training and learning and the opportunities they provide. I’ve been fortunate to be employed by some outstanding organisations who’ve supported me to continue to learn whilst working full-time. I started my education as part of my apprenticeship and progressed to Master’s level; I’ve since studied teaching, Lean leadership and management, health and safety and organisational excellence, and completed my diploma in organisational risk management.

I enjoy spending time with my little boy, partner, two German Shepherds and horse. We love to escape to the Lake District in our caravan.


As Director of External and Regulatory Affairs, I ensure NCFE’s reputation as a leading educational services provider endures and that our qualifications and services continue to support individuals to achieve their potential. I have over 17 years’ experience of management in the childcare and education sector and spent 12 years prior to this working in industry as a national account manager./p>

I joined CACHE in 2010, combining my knowledge and experience of the childcare sector with my business background. When CACHE became part of NCFE in 2015, I directed CACHE services to ensure its gold standard qualifications continued to meet the needs of employers, providers and students. This included leading the Save Our Early Years campaign, which saw the government accept Functional Skills (as alternative maths and English qualifications) upon entry to the workforce as a Level 3 Early Years Educator.

I live in West Yorkshire with my husband, surrounded by our three children and two grandchildren. I also volunteer as a governor in three organisations which provide day care, out-of-school provision, special educational needs, adult care and further education.