Nelson & Colne College Group’s CIO (Chief Information Officer) and Vice Principal: Andrew Dewhurst, has won a coveted place on the CIO 100 list, recognising 100 organisations and their teams that use IT in innovative ways to deliver business value.

The award, which was officially announced last week, was presented at the 5-star St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London on Thursday, 22nd September. The evening included inspirational talks from industry thought-leaders, as well as the award ceremony.

The CIO 100 Awards celebrates 100 organizations and the teams within them that are using IT in innovative ways to deliver business value, whether by creating competitive advantage, optimizing business processes, enabling growth or improving relationships with customers. It is an acknowledged mark of enterprise excellence.

The CIO magazine, which hosts the awards, aims to offer key insights on digital strategy for business owners and their employees. It is an international publication and recognises companies not only in the UK but also worldwide.

Andrew submitted an application on behalf of the college group earlier this year. By August he had heard back from the CIO 100 Event Operations Executive, Ashweenee Beerjeraz – confirming that a panel of independent judges had considered his application and established Andrew’s place on the coveted CIO 100 list.

Commenting on the selection process, Beerjeraz had this to say; “Our panel of judges received and reviewed CIO 100 submissions from leading CIOs, CTOs and senior IT executives across a broad range of organisations, paying particularly close attention to those leaders demonstrating operational efficiency, technological progress and business impact.”

Andrew Dewhurst has been working with Nelson and Colne College Group for three years now and is an internationally experienced business leader with thirty-plus years of experience in digital and intellectual property growth. Back in August of 2020, right in the midst of lockdown, Andrew accepted the role of Vice Principal and Chief Information Officer within the college group.

The improvements that have been implemented by his team and himself over the past 12 months have contributed, in part, to the Outstanding rating acquired by the college group back in March of this year and towards this accolade.

The team have initiated eLearning and Digital strategy groups, bringing together all the education provisions (A Level, T Level, 19 + Learners, Lancashire Adult Learning, University Centre) to develop the college group’s eLearning and Digital strategies over the next 5 years. On top of this, the team have enabled full software and network access to college resources to over ten thousand learners across Lancashire.

In addition, the college’s Microsoft license is now available to 32,000 staff and learners, new AR/VR immersive room facilities are available at both Accrington and Nelson campuses, a new digital skills hub facility – with 120 high-end learner workstations for graphic design and CAD has been developed and the implementation of an overhauled hybrid-working policy is contributing to staff attraction and retention.

When asked about the award, Andrew Dewhurst said; “We are delighted to be recognised as a CIO Top 100 organisation – this is testament to the extraordinary work done by our IT, eLearning and curriculum teams in progressing our digital strategy and enhancing our learner experience.”