Meet the Coaches

Ian Critchley and Ned Skelton deliver Levelstone’s services, with support from associates with specialised skills and experience in coaching at management level. Both are qualified engineers and coaches, who have spent many years’ working in management and with those in management roles in the UK and internationally.

Read more about their management experience and coaching expertise below:

Ned Skelton CEng MIET FCIPD

Ned has had an extensive career in the nuclear electricity generation industry. He qualified as an electrical engineer and gained significant experience of project management and optimising maintenance approaches to ensure the long-term safe, reliable and economic operation of power plants.

This gave him a focus on the people side of management; in ensuring staff are demonstrably competent for the roles through a systematic approach to training and benchmarking, working with utilities across Europe and beyond. He led the HR strategy team in British Energy that was responsible for providing all of the leadership and management training across the organisation.

Read more about Ned

Ned’s industry experience

Ned’s career has included working in Japan and the USA on pressurised water reactor operations and outage management approaches, and working closely with a defence organisation with nuclear responsibilities. He has worked as an IAEA assessor on an operational safety and review team in Japan and France plus he was an observer on the first maintenance assessment of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations.

Ned has designed management training programmes and workshops for British Energy, EdF and many manufacturing and contracting companies;  often designing bespoke solutions for them.

Ned’s approach to management training

Ned deploys quality-assured approaches using accelerated

learning and the effective evaluation of programmes. He introduced rolling development programmes for cross-functional management groups at two client companies to help build on good management. His approach was informed by the work of the organisational psychologist Elliott Jacques.learning and the effective evaluation of programmes. He introduced rolling development programmes for cross-functional management groups at two client companies to help build on good management. His approach was informed by the work of the organisational psychologist Elliott Jacques.

Ned’s training experience

As the leader of the HR strategy team for British Energy, Ned delivered the development of the specification for the company-wide HR database, with a clearer focus on user-needs. He made improvements to the training policies and standards, revitalised the relationship with external training organisations and implemented a company-wide coaching skills programme after assessing the company culture.

In 2001, Ned began working independently, focussing on leadership and organisational culture development:

  • He supported the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) in developing professional coaching standards and implementing coaching skills programmes to benefit managerial capability. Ned is accredited as an EMCC Master Practitioner Coach.
  • He and Ian Critchley developed the Managing ContributionTM model, which gives managers a common language and self-awareness of management effectiveness and helps to structure management development programmes.
  • He helped to apply, review and develop the NNB nuclear safety culture assessment tool to assist organisations implement their learning culture in order to reduce human error.

Ian Critchley, C.Eng., M.I.Mech.E, MABNLP, MATLTA, MABH

Ian’s career has taken him from nuclear submarine commissioning to internal regulation of nuclear plant operations and senior management in nuclear decommissioning, including internal consulting in organisational development and organisational learning. As his duties relied increasingly on coaching and mentoring skills, so his interest in developing people increased. Ian has been offering management support services and coaching to the nuclear and other industries independently since 2009 and he is co-author, with Dr S Brett Savage, of The Manager’s Quest, Managing to Make a Difference.

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Ian’s industry experience

Ian trained as a marine engineer and subsequently worked on commissioning nuclear submarines. He became project engineer/manager at BNFL Sellafield, with responsibility for decommissioning a mixed uranium and plutonium fuel plant. He then joined Magnox Electric/Magnox Ltd, working in contract management and internal regulation, later becoming head of organisational learning and moving into senior EHS management. Ian’s roles entailed training, providing internal management coaching, organisational development consultancy and, as part of senior management, running an environment, health, safety and quality department.

Ian’s management training approach

Ian’s approach is empathic, frank, supportive and pragmatic, with the aim of getting results.

‘What’s different about Ian is that he brings the credibility of having worked in management in large organisations operating in a management role, and the neutrality of not being in your line organisation. He can speak from experience and understand the requirements of the work. The advice given is not ethereal, hand-wavy stuff but far more applicable to our work.’

Craig Buckingham, Internal Regulator, EDF Energy, 2012

Ian’s training experience

Ian has several years’ training experience, and set up Ian Critchley Ltd in 2009 to provide management coaching and consulting, as well as management support services to the nuclear industry. He is a qualified Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Hypnosis and Timeline Therapy and is a certified mBIT Coach. Ian draws on these skills in his coaching practice and training design to deliver a highly impactful outcome. Examples of Ian’s projects include:

  • He has developed and delivered Internal Challenge Training Workshops for Costain, in order to satisfy regulatory concern
  • He carried out Human Performance and Error Avoidance training for Design Authority, EdF NNB
  • Ian was consultant for the introduction of technical and functional competencies for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna
  • His work with Dr S Brett Savage that led to the development and implementation of the Managing Contribution model (with Ned Skelton), which gives managers a common language and self-awareness concerning management capability and helps to structure management development programmes.

About LevelStone

Ian and Ned’s complementary skills and personalities make them a great team and they combined their talents to start Breadstone  in 2013, offering management support services to the nuclear and associated industries. The natural progression from this is to offer management coaching and training to a wider range of organisations and businesses – and so LevelStone was launched. Ian and Ned are based in Gloucestershire. They also travel extensively, carrying out training, consultations and advisory visits for clients worldwide.

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