Executive Education

Developing organisations

Embedding Research

Over the years, Loughborough has earned a reputation for cutting-edge research – much of it in partnership with business, public and voluntary organisations.

Our research generates and transforms knowledge, directly benefiting wider society. Our Executive Education programmes are informed and shaped by the research we undertake for partners and our Advisory Board help to ensure that our teaching is applied and relevant.


Consultancy enables you to establish relationships with either individual academics or an expert team drawn from different areas of cutting-edge research.

Our professional and commercially-orientated service is the ideal way to:

  • enhance your organisation's research capabilities
  • hire in trusted expertise to tackle time-critical and complex challenges

For many of our clients, consultancy is the route into a mutually beneficial long-term research partnership. For all of our clients, we strive to ensure we meet their specific needs, enabling them to remain competitive and progressive.

Institute for Consultancy and Research Application

ICRA comprises a dedicated team of experienced researchers who undertake specific research projects for a wide variety of commissioning bodies, and collaborate with colleagues across the School and elsewhere to undertake research and consultancy.

ICRA also has a focus on exploiting the academic research of the School to maximise its impact and value for the wider community, and on developing research proposals which are of real value to users.

Knowledge Transfer

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) is an ideal way to access the innovative ideas and skills of our research and development staff – enabling organisations to achieve product development, business expansion and performance improvement.

A KTP is a three-way collaboration between the University, a private or public sector business and a graduate working on a project geared to your strategic growth.

We will help organisations to identify the appropriate research expertise and then work closely with you and the academic team to define the project and apply for Government funding. Our graduates’ skills and knowledge will then be applied directly to key areas of your business to improve product process and management improvement.


Accreditation for Service Organisations

SOMS (Service Operating Model Skills) is a new framework designed by experts at the SBE to help specify the skills required for organisations to effectively design, implement and maintain operating models.

‌‌A diagram showing the framework for SOMS

Dr Ian Hodgkinson, Deputy Director of the Centre for Service Management at the School, and Rosamund Chester Buxton, a member of the CSM, developed SOMS based on their research within the CSM in response to requests from coaches and facilitators in the service sector who implement and manage operating models.

SOMS supports organisations that deliver management training by auditing their material against the framework; these accredited organisations can then award their own SOMS certificates to clients and staff.   SOMS-accredited organisations have their training material, delivery and assessments audited and are registered with SOMS for two years. After two years the accreditation needs to be renewed. 

What is an ‘operating model’?

The operating model is the operational design that makes it possible to deliver the business strategy. It is the blueprint for how an organisation operates across a range of domains to deliver its objectives. An operating model provides the architecture and framework for business operations – giving core stability with flexibility in key areas. These are the operating model elements that need to be designed to provide flexibility, dependability and quality of service within compliance and regulatory requirements.

The design of the operating model addresses where people and resources are located, what skills and infrastructure is required and how the organisation monitors and improves performance.  This is reflected in the seven essential elements comprising SOMS: The customer experience, delivery, process context - organisational structure and infrastructure, people capability, demand and capacity management, performance management and improvement, strategy, governance and leadership.

Benefits to gaining a SOMS qualification

Advantages to accredited organisations

Accredited organisations can be confident that they are covering the appropriate range of materials for training people in operating model design, implementation and maintenance. The ability to award certificates that adhere to an academically developed framework provides a competitive advantage to the accredited organisation.

Advantages to certified individuals

There are three levels of certification: Foundation, Practitioner and Senior Practitioner.  The Foundation level demonstrates you have attended a course and passed an assessment comprising all seven elements of the SOMS framework.  The Practitioner level demonstrates your ability to apply SOMS to your company’s operating model and that you have completed two projects typically over 18 months (or one large project) that addresses all of the seven SOMS elements.  The Senior Practitioner level demonstrates your ability to lead a major operating model design or redesign typically over two to three years.

Join the SOMS community

The Centre for Service Management at Loughborough University will maintain a database of accredited companies and registered individuals.  This will allow a community of operating model innovators to build. The link to the research centre then allows relevant research to be commissioned and current research to be integrated into the SOMS framework and practitioners thinking. 


To get accredited, organisations need to pay a fee for two years of registration. The fees for the organisational registration fees are on a sliding scale according to how many certificates are required over the two-year period of registration.  

Cost (excluding VAT) per organisation:

  • 0-50 certificates = £4,000
  • 51-200 certificates = £6,500
  • 201-500 certificates = £8,500
  • 500+ certificates = £10,000

In addition, there is a nominal fee per individual registered with SOMS.

Contact us

If you are interested in the SOMS accreditation, you can visit the SOMS website or please contact either Dr Nicola Bateman at N.A.Bateman@lboro.ac.uk or Rosamund Chester Buxton at R.B.ChesterBuxton@lboro.ac.uk

We look forward to working with you.