Human rights activist Malcom X believed that “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today” and this is something I certainly agree with him on.

Three years ago, the ACS conducted a survey amongst some of its board members representing the UK convenience sector, asking about the importance and the need for staff development opportunities. 75% found professional development (very) important, at the same time 85% said that there are not enough professional development courses available for the convenience sector. This led to the development of the “Convenience Leadership Programme”, a joint programme by the ACS and the University of Surrey which I lead on.

Why do we need an education programme at a University? And what makes it different from other offerings? Training is aiming at preparing staff for the present job, teaching skills for a certain task. Education, in contrast, is more long term oriented and aims to prepare participants for future challenges. Rather than developing skills for a certain task, it aims at developing a sense of reasoning and judgment that can be applied now and in future. This is why we need both, training for now, education for now and the times to come.

The second cohort of the Convenience Leadership Programme is about to embark on this development journey with the first full session starting on the 24 March. The programme is part-time, with about two sessions per months finishing in June 2021. Target groups are e.g. area managers, function heads, sales specialist from suppliers and/or the next generation in a family business. If you are interested to find out more or still want to join the programme, here are some details or get in touch with me at