Dr Stephen Vickers


Dr Stephen Vickers taught History, Politics and French in a Sixth-Form College in Sandwell before undertaking a PhD on International Fisheries Law and Policy at Warwick. He worked for over 35 years in the field of designing and administering qualifications, firstly at A and O Level, then GCSE from 1988 onwards, working for the exam branches of the universities of Oxford and later Cambridge. In 1991 he qualified as a chartered secretary.

From 1998 to 2000 he was a Quality Assurance Manager for the government’s Qualifications and Curriculum Agency, inspecting exam boards, before becoming Chief Executive of the National Examinations Board in Occupational Safety and Health, serving until 2006. From 2006 to 2009 he was Chief Executive of the British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education, moving to become Chief Executive of the Vocational Training Charitable Trust, retiring at the end of 2015. He has worked and lectured on educational subjects in a range of countries across four continents.

He is devoted to progression between types of qualification, enabling students to move, in either direction, between “vocational” and “academic” pathways, and to international comparability and mutual recognition of qualifications, to make it easier for people to work across national boundaries. Stephen is a member of the Qualifications Standards Group of UK-NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Centre), a Group which he chaired for six years.

He is now Hon European Officer of the Federation of Awarding Bodies, the trade body for examining organisations, having previously served as the organisation’s treasurer. A passionate internationalist and a believer in the oneness of humanity, Stephen is a member of the Baha’i Faith and the United Nations Association, and serves on the Executive of the South-East England Faith Forum and on the Religious Education Council for England and Wales.

He has been a JP in Oxfordshire for almost thirty years. He is married to writer Rebecca Vickers and has two adult children, lawyer Alice and actor Tom. An exiled Brummie, he practises stoicism by supporting Aston Villa, never a serene experience.