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Advisory Groups

Governance & Structure


ECCTIS has a long and successful history in managing information services since its formation in the 1990s, including the management of UK NARIC since 1997 under the Government open tender scheme. In July 2013, after a successful re-tender process, the Company has been re-awarded the contract to run the UK NARIC service for the next seven years, effective from 1st February 2014.

ECCTIS is governed by the Board of Directors.



ECCTIS, led by our Chief Executive, Dr Cloud Bai-Yun, is supported and managed by a team of Senior Managers. Listed below are the details of the managers and their areas of responsibility areas:

Paul Norris, Managing Director

Paul was one of the original members of the UK NARIC team in 1997 and now, as Managing Director, assumes overall operational responsibility for the UK NARIC service. Formerly the Head of Research and Consultancy, Paul has managed and delivered a vast portfolio of bespoke research projects and consultancy services including sector-specific benchmarking exercises; qualification ranking; advising on the international recognition of newly developed qualifications and developing criteria for student recruitment and admissions.

Paul is a member of the UK NARIC Quality Standards Working Group, focusing upon quality assuring the methodology and working practices of the organisation, and was personally instrumental in the original design and development of the well-established UK NARIC Band Framework for recognition: a reflection of his extensive experience in credential evaluation, project management, research and analysis. On a personal level, Paul holds a MSc in International Business Management from Manchester Metropolitan University, a BA (Hons) in Modern History with Economics from Manchester University and professional qualifications in accountancy, IT and project management.

Tim Buttress, Head of Stakeholder Management Group

Tim Buttress’s primary role is at UK NARIC is to understand the needs of our customers. With over 20 years’ experience in the education sector Tim has contributed to raising awareness of UK NARIC in the UK and overseas. He established the UK NARIC Blog, is a regular contributor to NARIC News and plays a pivotal the annual conference. A regular on the conference circuit he has spoken at events across the UK and further afield. He is an expert in credential evaluation, combating education fraud, the UK immigration system, immigration compliance and education marketing.

A Chemistry graduate from the University of Sheffield with an MSc in Organisation Development and the Management of Change from Sheffield Hallam University, Tim has also completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing at the Gloucestershire Business School. He also holds a Practitioner PRINCE2 qualification and is a qualified cricket coach.

Nick Everett, Head of IT & System Development

As the Head of IT and System Development, Nick is responsible for UK NARIC’s IT infrastructure along with overseeing all development of UK NARIC’s online products and systems.

Nick has had 12 years’ experience working at UK NARIC, where he has carried-out roles in research, editorial, project management, and IT. He also holds external experience of working in the fields of technology, data science, and corporate finance.

On a personal level, Nick holds a masters degree in Syntax and Semantics from the University of York, a bachelor degree in French and Linguistics from Bangor University, and other professional qualifications.

Rachel Hollister-Short, Head of Membership Services Group

Rachel has been at UK NARIC since 2005 and is responsible for the oversight of the UK NARIC membership service, which incorporates both membership account management and member enquiry support. A Master’s graduate from Cardiff University, Rachel has previously worked within the Information Services Group rising to lead the Group in 2014.

A passionate advocate of excellent customer service, Rachel has been central to the improvements made to the individual service over recent years. Rachel also helps ensure that those organisations using Statements of Comparability and English Language Assessment as part of their application process fully understand how UK NARIC services can complement their own; to this end she has worked very closely with a number of national bodies such as the National College of Teaching and Leadership, the Solicitors Regulations Authority and the General Dental Council.

On a personal level Rachel enjoys the countryside and often spends her spare time walking and camping in the Cotswolds.

Abigail Jones, Head of International Projects Group

Abigail Jones, as the Head of International Projects Group, has overall responsibility for the management and delivery of all international projects. This involves developing the Group’s profile and business in core and emerging markets; bid writing for projects funded at a national, European and international level; developing project partnerships; creating project solutions to meet client needs; leading on the research, analysis and quality review of all projects; as well as overseeing the smooth management of these projects to time, budget and quality requirements.

With experience and expertise in both project management and international education and training systems, Abigail’s specific project management experience includes: a number of large-scale and high profile sector mapping projects to facilitate skilled work migration; a European funded study consulting with a wide range of national and international stakeholders on the future of recognition; a needs analysis report for a Libyan national agency; a considerable number of projects benchmarking international secondary, vocational, professional and higher education qualifications and qualification frameworks; and a review and comparative analysis of international teaching standards.

Abigail has also developed and delivered numerous training and capacity building workshops on credential evaluation, educational fraud, international education systems and qualification frameworks for higher education admissions, employers and government agencies. Having started in UK NARIC as an Information Officer, evaluating qualifications from numerous countries, Abigail is well versed in the wide variety of educational systems encountered across the world.

Katherine Latta, Head of European Programmes Group

Katherine Latta is Head of European Programmes Group for UK NARIC. She is responsible for the overall management of the four agencies with make up the Group: the National Europass Centre, the Centre for Professional Qualifications (CPQ), the ECVET National Contact Point for England and UK ReferNet. These agencies are delivered on behalf of DEIS/DFE and the European Commission and are dedicated to improving mobility for European citizens and the transparency of qualifications. Katherine joined UK NARIC in 2009 and was formerly the Coordinator for UK NCP. In addition to managing these agencies, Katherine oversees the contributions of the Group towards European-funded projects, and represents UK NARIC externally, for example through the UK ECVET Experts team.

Katherine has a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Corpus Christi College, Oxford and a Master’s degree in Behavioural Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Chris Lyons, Head of Research and Data Group

Chris Lyons is the Head of Research and Data Group, responsible for the quality of UK NARIC data. He is the Chair of the UK NARIC Quality and Standards Group which oversees the rigour of NARIC processes and procedures, including the appropriate application of evaluation methodologies.

Chris is an experienced credential evaluator and researcher with sound theoretical knowledge and practical experiences. This includes conducting several benchmarking studies of prominent international awards to UK standards, and more recently in the development and expansion of key databases, including International Grade Comparisons. He has previously held responsibility for the delivery of government contracts and the project management and delivery of solution-focussed studies.

Chris has represented UK NARIC on a number of internal and external advisory groups, including the English and Northern Irish and Scottish steering groups for referencing national frameworks to the European Qualifications Framework.

Steve Miller, Head of Communications and Global Partnerships

Steve joined UK NARIC in 2015 and heads up the communications and global partnerships functions. He has wide-ranging experience in UK universities and colleges with a successful track record in developing innovative new courses in close consultation with employers and sector bodies. He has set up and led many education-industry collaborations, including media development in Africa and Commonwealth-level projects.

Steve has also managed communications and campaigns for some of the UK’s largest membership organisations and, in the media sector, has led new magazine, newspaper and website launches, working in the UK and Europe.

Chris Stephens, Head of Commercial Division

Chris recently joined UK NARIC early in 2020. He is responsible for leading the Commercial Division and B2B relationships with large private and public organisations including Memberships and Corporate Partnerships. His remit covers all existing and new business development across the UK and globally – with particular strategic focus on China and SE Asia, MENA and North America.

He is a proven senior Sales and Marketing leader with more than 30 years of pure commercial and not-for-profit successes in market leading and blue-chip organisations. With a strong strategic commercial perspective and developing superior insights from deep-dive analytics he has successfully lead & managed large and smaller commercial teams and businesses through significant change & transformation programs. For nearly a decade Chris lived and worked extensively internationally in Europe, N & S America, the ME and Asia. In the last 10 years he has focussed on education and training with Board roles in larger and smaller membership organisations developing solutions and driving business and surplus for reinvestment for sustainable organisation growth.

Chris has a First Class Honours Degree in Statistics, a Post Graduate CIM Diploma and a career life-time of blue-chip organisation workplace personal CPD investment in Sales, Marketing and Leadership & Management.

Collette Stirzaker, Head of Individual Services Group

Collette joined UK NARIC in 2018, bringing several years’ experience of managing successful teams and working in diverse educational settings in the UK and overseas.

An innovative and spirited leader, Collette is now responsible for four departments; Individual Services, the Visas and Nationality Service, the Enquiries Service Centre and Sectoral Services. Working alongside the Department for Education, the Home Office and professional bodies, Collette focuses on maximising operational efficiency and the provision and development of high quality services for Individuals.

Collette has represented UK NARIC at our annual conference and delivered training sessions for member organisations. Collette has also designed and led bespoke workshops and webinars on credential evaluation and international education systems.

Collette holds a BA (Hons) in Spanish and Catalan from the University of Sheffield, a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages and a professional qualification in leadership.

Fabrizio Trifiro, Head of Quality Benchmark Services

Fabrizio Trifiro’s primary role at UK NARIC is to oversee the development of quality benchmark and quality assurance services, with a primary focus on transnational education (TNE) and international education providers. As part of this role he engages strategically with key international and national stakeholders. Prior to joining UK NARIC Fabrizio has worked for the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education for over 10 years, where he led on the quality assurance of UK TNE, international strategic engagement with counter-part agencies overseas and their networks, the international students experience, and developing information services to support the internationalisation efforts of UK providers. In this capacity he has managed TNE review visits in a number of locations, including Hong Kong, Malaysia, Ireland, the UAE, and mainland China, and has played a key role in advancing cross-border cooperation in the quality assurance of cross-border provision.

Prior to working for the QAA, Fabrizio held lecturing and research positions in Italy, the UK and Ireland, on issues related to globalisation, democracy and civil society. He holds a PhD in Political Theory from Birkbeck College, an MA in Human Rights from the University of Bologna, and an MSc in Social Research Methods from the University of Sussex, with a BA (Hons) in Philosophy from the University of Bologna.

John Williams, Head of Corporate Affairs

John has worked for several professional bodies: Head of Membership and Professional Standards for the Society of Operations Engineers, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM), Professional Development Officer for the Institution of Fire Engineers, Professional Development Manager for the Institute of Road Transport Engineers.

John has been engaged with the NARIC function since 2000 when he was running the educational department of the institute of Fire Engineers and has continued to utilise NARIC expertise up to and including his role as CEO of IGEM. He has a military background with 22 years in the army rising to the rank of Warrant Office in REME which included leading a team of 40 mechanical and electrical engineers on a United Nations Operation into Angola to fulfil the equipment support tasking.

Peter Wood, Head of Operational Division

Peter is responsible for the oversight of UK NARIC’s operational groups: Individual Services, Research and Data, International Projects and European Programmes.

Formerly the Head of Evaluation Services, Peter has managed the implementation of several bespoke recognition, skills mapping and verification services for UK Government, industry bodies and competent authorities.

Peter has played a central role UK NARIC’s work on mutual recognition agreements, leading bilateral technical committees in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Argentina. An experienced credential evaluator, Peter is well versed in international education systems and has developed a specialist knowledge and a keen interest in Latin America. This follows on from professional experience in the HE and non-profit sectors in the region and a BA (Hons) degree in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies from Newcastle University, where he won prizes for best student in both Spanish and Portuguese languages.

UK NARIC Executive Council

To support the work of UK NARIC, the NARIC Executive Council has been established comprising stakeholder representatives in the public interests that NARIC serves, the education and employment sectors and independent legal and financial advisers.

Quality and Standards

The UK NARIC Quality and Standards Group is in place to safeguard service standards and develop delivery mechanics so as to ensure the highest quality service provision.