The Aspiring Leaders Diploma, which was developed in 2012, has quickly become a popular and sought-after qualification for junior level supervisors and managers within the hospitality industry. With its core based on the Institute of Leadership and Management Level 3 award, the programme provides structured learning, delivered across a variety of outstanding hotel venues.
Graeme Bateman, Managing Director of the Elite Hotel Group and member of the Master Innholders, has hosted the course within his hotels since its inauguration with delegates visiting both Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa and The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, in past years. Ashdown Park Hotel in East Sussex was selected as the venue of choice for the 2014 course due to its relatively isolated location, but also because of the exceptional estate in which its sits. Both aspects create operational challenges for the hotel management and staff, thereby provided an exceptional learning opportunity for those on the course.
The course offered attendees the unique experience to acquire the underpinning knowledge to better lead their teams while, at the same time, enabling them to expand their awareness of the industry in one of Sussex’s most prestigious hotels.
The hotel’s dedicated team of staff, some of which have worked at the four star retreat for over 35 years, took time out of their busy schedules to highlight Ashdown Park’s extensive grounds and history. They also shared valuable knowledge with attendees offering tips as well as advice on practical operational challenges they have faced in the past.
Delegates undertaking the diploma were also treated to a mouth-watering culinary feast prepared by the hotel’s Executive Head Chef, Andrew Wilson.
Philippe Rossiter, Executive Secretary from The Master Innholders Ltd, commented: “Our stay at Ashdown Park Hotel was a particularly valuable experience for those members of the group who work within a city environment, for whom a property such as Ashdown Park is so different, with its extensive grounds, history, and practical operational challenges. The hotel staff’s professionalism and genuine desire to welcome the cohort set the tone for our visit resulting in a most enjoyable experience.”
Hilary Cooke, Director at The Merlin Consultancy, added: “The real learning for members of our group is experiencing true hospitality role-modelled authentically, proudly and professionally - which the team at Ashdown Park accomplished so well and consistently throughout our stay. It was evident just how proud the staff were of the hotel and each other and the service we received was second to none.”
Ben Booker, General Manager of Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club, concluded: “We were delighted to host the course on behalf of the Master Innholders and we are incredibly proud of receiving such impeccable feedback from the organisers and delegates alike. We take great pride in every element of running the hotel and our staff play a major role in ensuring our guests, industry insiders or not, experience the epitome of luxury whilst staying with us. Those undertaking the diploma are the future of leadership in UK hotels so knowing that our staff helped widen their knowledge outside the classroom is a great achievement.”