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In this month’s spotlight feature, we interview Steve Conopo, our new Head of Assessment Services

Steve ConopoWe congratulate Steve on his new role as Head of Assessment Services, as he moves on from the Business Development team.

Q. Tell us more about your role with Active IQ?
A. I have been working for Active IQ since March 2016 as a Business Development Manager for the North East/West and Wales. I was responsible for working with key accounts to support them with maximising their profitability along with seeking out new business opportunities. In November 2017, I was successful in achieving an Active IQ internal promotion to Head of Assessment Services.

This newly developed role was established to oversee the development and implementation of Active IQ End-point Assessment (EPA) services including the management of Active IQ Professional Career Development service, offering regulated qualifications to unqualified tutors, assessors, Internal Verifiers and External Verifiers. I see our EPA service as an exciting prospect for both me and Active IQ as we embark on a journey in a slightly different direction to that of being solely an awarding organisation.

Having previously worked with Apprenticeship Frameworks in different sectors since 2003, I think the knowledge, skills and expertise I have gained in this time will contribute to the development of EPA services we offer to employers and apprenticeship providers alike. I think that a collaboration of specialists within Active IQ departments will ensure that we have one of the most attractive offers in the marketplace alongside a suite of extensive resources designed to simplify processes that will ensure robust quality of an apprentice’s achievement of their apprenticeship.

Q. What is your background?
A. I studied Sport and Health Science at university, whilst working part time as a fitness instructor. After graduating I secured a position as a Health and Fitness Manager overseeing the management of a team of fitness and group exercise instructors. During this time, I also taught group exercise classes which spanned a 16-year period, whilst also setting up a personal training business in 1996. In 2003, I moved into education as a means of offering technical expertise support and guidance to a new generation of health, fitness and wellness professionals. I was heavily involved in the growth and development of training provider provision whilst also delivering and assessing a wide range of Active Leisure and Learning qualifications. After a short time, I move into internal and then external quality assurance further supporting tutors/assessors and approved centres, before becoming part of the business development team at Active IQ and moving into a Head of Assessment Services position.

Q. What are your areas of expertise and interests?
Steve bikingA. My areas of expertise are linked to health and fitness including the physiological response of exercise based on the intensity, duration and frequency as well as environmental conditions, including rest and recovery. To succeed I embrace the “marginal gains” philosophy which is a very adaptable model and can be applied to any business. I am interested in holistic therapies and have a passion for architecture and interior design, as this was a career I enjoyed before a hobby in health and fitness turned into a full-time career. I am currently a sponsored Enduro mountain bike racer enjoying the spoils of success in some of the premier UK race series. In 2017 I won my category in the Ard Rock Enduro race which has over 1000 enrants.