top of page

Work and Learning Network: Network News: May 2021

Updated: Jun 22, 2021

UALL Work and Learning Network: Network News: May 2021

Welcome to the May special edition of the newsletter.


Dr Peter Critten has been a leading figure in work and learning for many years, encouraging practitioners, championing change, and challenging the status quo. His legacy to this field has been manifested in many ways, through research, writing, speaking, presenting, dialogue and conversations. In partnership with Consalia Ltd. he has been instrumental in professionalising sales education which has informed graduates, undergraduate and professional learning on an international scale.

Peter’s advocacy for organisational transformation has been a guiding light as he strives for that complex balance of individual and workplace learning. We are delighted to have the opportunity to feature Peter and introduce his work to a new audience.

Peter Critten (photo Lisa Gilby) taken at UALL Work and Learning Annual Conference, June 23rd 2017


Peter Critten - A Personal Reflection

By Peter Critten

I have been involved with work based learning since the early 1990s when I was invited to join a small team at Middlesex University which had secured Government funding to investigate the feasibility of accrediting evidence of work based learning against academic criteria thus leading to a University award. We were soon able to demonstrate that indeed WBL could be matched with academic standards for the award of a degree, in our case, a degree in work based learning with the particular subject of the work based learning a secondary consideration

This was significant because it reflected the transdisciplinarity of WBL, not tied to any particular discipline. Subsequently we were able to demonstrate that we could create an accreditation structure for a Masters and then the ultimate, a Doctorate in Professional Practice.

But though I was a member of the team that created this model of accreditation of WBL which other Universities were soon to follow, I have always argued over the years that WBL is a transformational process which can have a transformational impact not just on the individual but also on all those they subsequently engage with resulting, I have argued in potential change to the organisation in which the learning was triggered. The papers I have written over the last 20 years reflect the same themes, which I still feel, have not been recognised by the WBL community.

Dr Peter Critten – A Brief Profile

For a more detailed biography, please find the article below, titled ‘The Good Doctor - Daniel Wain recounts a life in learning with Peter Critten’ from the Training Journal in 2010, which contains many facts and quotes, such as “Learning is quirky, random, emotional. That’s its beauty”. A wholly recommended read:

Colleague and Friend Contributions on Peter’s philosophy and practice

Ian Helps, GM EMEA Consalia

Peter is a master of disguise. He is totally unassuming, and yet passionate about people; appears hesitant at times and yet has a razor sharp mind; low key and yet committed to making an impact in the world. When we were struggling to put together a Masters Degree together in Transformational Sales Leadership, he looked at what we were trying to achieve, thought for a moment and came up with a simple framework that has stood the test of time very well indeed. The greatest testimony to Peter is the impact he has had on people, especially our students. Some have gone from relatively junior positions to leading global corporations, armed with the deeply reflective and transformational mindsets that Peter’s passion for work-based learning has endowed them with.

Thank you Peter.

Prof Anita Walsh, Birkbeck College University of London

Peter Critten has been part of the work-based learning community as long as I can remember. He was a member of the small group at Middlesex whose activities I watched with great interest, attending workshops and conferences to find out what this new development was. When I became a work-based learning practitioner myself I really valued Peter’s innovative approach to his practice, and his willingness to share ideas. In contrast to my concern with individual/social experiential learning, Peter’s focus has tended to be more on organizational learning, but our common interest in epistemology meant we always had much to talk about when our paths crossed. Peter’s work has consistently bridged the theory/practice divide and, even when I didn’t entirely agree with the points being made, I was always engaged and challenged by the way he used and combined contrasting concepts in his discussions. Through his championing of the recognition of a wider range of knowledge and a more relevant pedagogy in HE, Peter has contributed a considerable amount to work-based learning scholarship and practice.

Jonathan Garnett, Emeritus Professor, Middlesex University.

Peter is a scholarly practitioner, master story teller and inspiring educator. His written work marks him out as a torch bearer for authentic work-based learning which is transformational not just at the level of the individual learner but also the work context in which they operate. His work remains pioneering and as challenging as ever to traditional perceptions of university learning, systems, structures and boundaries.

Sample Papers

Critten, Peter, Day, Carl, Helps, Ian and Squire, Phillip (2019) What does business expect from an on-going relationship with Academia? Work Based Learning e-Journal International, 8 (1), 105-121.,-issue-1-march-2019 /

Critten, Peter (2016) A radical agenda for enabling organisation transformation through work-applied learning. Journal of Work-Applied Management, 8 (1), 65-78.

Marcos-Cuevas, J., Critten, P., Squire, P., & Speakman, J. I. F. (2014). Enhancing the Professional Mindset of Future Sales Professionals: Key Insights From a Master in Sales Transformation. Journal of Marketing Education, 36(2), 144–155.

Costley, Carol and Critten, Peter (2012) The business value of structured workplace learning. Global Focus Magazine, 6 (1), 14-17.

Critten, Peter (1996) A learning community in the making - Middlesex University’s new MA in personal and organizational development, December 1996, The Learning Organization. 3(5), 14-17


Workman, Barbara, Durrant, Alan, Critten, Peter, Partridge, Steve and Doncaster, Kathy (2011) Building a cross-disciplinary team – experiences from a work-based learning CETL. In: Learning from experience in employer engagement. Tallantyre, Freda and Kettle, Jane, eds. The Higher Education Academy, York, UK, 26-33.

Critten, Peter (2008) Myself as both subject and object of my own inquiry: raising our profile. In: Using auto/biography in learning and teaching. Frame, Philip and Burnett, Judith, eds. Staff and Educational Development Association, London. ISBN 9781902435398.

Critten, Peter (2008) Creating corporate capability: a new agenda. In: Human resource management: a case study. Muller-Camen, Michael, Croucher, Richard and Leigh, Susan, eds. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, London. ISBN 9781843981657.

Critten, Peter and Moteleb, Aboubakr A. (2007) Towards a second generation of work-based learning: supporting social knowledge. In: Work-based learning futures : proceedings from the work-based learning futures conference, Buxton, April 2007. Young, David and Garnett, Jonathan, eds. University Vocational Awards Council, Buxton. ISBN 9780907311249.

Critten, Peter (1994) Human Resource Management in the Leisure Industry. Harlow: Longman Group UK Limited.


It has been a privilege to spotlight Peter Critten in this May special edition. As government policy once again calls on work and learning practitioners to develop and deliver new programmes, it is important to touch base with thought leaders like Peter to embed purposeful scholarship into the current context. It has been great to have Peter to lead the way.

Call for papers

UALL Work & Learning Network/Middlesex Work and Learning Research Centre Colloquium: Equality Diversity and Inclusion: championing work and learning that empowers and sustains change

Come and join us! Event date: 30th June 2021 Location: Online/Zoom Free

This event is set out to explore and contribute to themes surrounding equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

Proposals from new practitioners and researchers are particularly welcome.

Please send your 300 word abstract for a poster or paper by Sunday the 6th June 2021.

For further information, please visit our website, which has the full specifications for proposals:

UALL Work and Learning Network

177 views0 comments


bottom of page