SERVICES: Facilitating and managing membership and partnership organisations

Peter's career experience makes him well placed to provide support to clients in areas such as:

  • Developing strategic visions and plans
  • Facilitating multi-stakeholder partnerships and developing partnership-based solutions
  • Managing member organisations and small charities
  • Industry cluster group development.

A summary of Peter's relevant career experience is shown below.

Experience in organisation management

Peter believes that the fundamental ethos of an organisation, the integrity and consistency of its 'product' and values, and the commitment of its staff and office holders are key to its success.  An organisation must have credibility as its central guiding principle plus strong buy-in from its key stakeholders. Its practical delivery must be underpinned by effective administration and communications.

He has a 20-year track record of representing, leading and managing member-based not-for-profit organisations.  He ran the TGA's London office and was responsible for all political and communications work (1991-93), then was chosen for promotion to CEO (1993-99).  As Executive Director, he led the FIDC for five years. He led the Institute of Chartered Foresters in an interim management role for 2 years and has led the UK Woodland Assurance Standard partnership since 2004 and the Scotland's Finest Woods Awards charity since 2009.

Peter's managerial style is to lead by example, motivating staff and engendering team spirit through his enthusiasm and commitment to 'the cause'. he identifies competence in staff and provides them with the support and space necessary to empower them. He has built, restructured and led effective teams throughout his career. TGA had a regional structure and he managed a staff of 14, including seven part time staff based across the UK regions. At FIDC, he built from scratch a staff team of seven, including four externally funded project managers.  Peter has been effective in ensuring that project staff deliver to the objectives agreed with funding partners and all project funding agreements were renewed or extended.

He has successfully managed organisations within minimal core-funded budgets whilst achieving strong delivery and clean audit reports.

Experience in leadership and transformation of membership and partnership organisations 

Peter works in a business sector with many internal tensions between its different sub-sectors and between conservatives and progressives and which historically has also been highly controversial with environmental and social NGOs. He is visionary and progressive in his approach and believes strongly in working with people to overcome barriers and achieve common objectives. He has successfully developed new visions and instituted recovery programmes for failing organisations. 

As part of his consultancy services, Peter took a leadership and interim management role with the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF), the sector's professional body, and is Executive Chairman of the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS) partnership responsible for managing the UK's certification standard for sustainable forest management and is Executive Director of the Scotland's Finest Woods Awards.

During his chairmanship of the UKWAS partnership, he has successfully concluded two revisions of the UKWAS standard in a way that uniquely allows its use by both the leading global certification programmes - Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the PEFC. No other standard is used by more than one certification programme and internationally it was only the second FSC-recognised standard to be revised.

Most recently, he has successfully revived the annual Scotland's Finest Woods Awards by refreshing the line-up of awards, raising their profile and attracting new sponsors to turn around the standing of the Awards programme and the charity's financial position. See

Peter was brought in to lead the ICF following the retirement of the previous Executive Director. Initially the brief was to conclude discussions with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) on terms for a merger, facilitate a discussion in the membership and a vote. A clear majority (64%) voted in favour of the proposal but this was insufficient to meet the constitutional hurdle of 75%. In consequence, Peter was asked to facilitate the Institute's "reinvention" and assisted Council define its priorities and agree a Development Plan; the agreed plan emphasises the core role of the Institute in raising professional standards and Peter concluded this assignment by facilitating the appointment of a Communications & Events Manager and a permanent Executive Director to take over the leadership role from December 2006. The ICF now offers a hugely improved professional service to its members and its membership has grown substantially. See

Previously, Peter led the Forest Industries Development Council (FIDC), a partnership of key UK associations and businesses along the value chain from forest management through to timber processing. It led industry engagement on strategic policy and developmental issues. He was recruited to resurrect the organisation following partial withdrawal of funding by business and:

"    initiated a Strategic Review of its role and policy focus and through a consensus process, secured agreement amongst internal stakeholders
"    implemented the consequent restructuring and re-branding
"    developed a strong ethos of working to achieve policy objectives through partnership and engagement with governmental and non-governmental stakeholders and secured resources from businesses and government agencies to manage partnerships and support policy development.

Despite limited resources, there was strong delivery in influencing public policy with the main focus on securing support for the sector's economic development and on developing strong sector sustainability credentials and gaining external recognition for them so as to underpin market development. Over five years, the status and reputation of the Council was transformed: FIDC became the preferred partner for external stakeholders; the value of a pan-industry strategic approach and of partnership working became widely recognised by internal stakeholders; and its work on sustainable development in the forestry business sector was world-leading.

Peter has an exceptionally strong record of achieving objectives through partnership working with businesses, NGOs and government - as a partner, an initiator or a facilitator.   Examples include:

"    economic development partnerships - Scottish Forest Industries Cluster, Wales Forest Business Partnership, England Forest Industries Partnership, Timber Transport Forum
"    sustainable development partnerships - UK Forestry Accord Partnership, UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS), "Naturally Wood" sector sustainability strategy, UK Forest Partnership for Action.

In 2003, he initiated a debate on improving forest sector representation overall which led to the commissioning of the Macdonald Report which recommended establishing a new unified and better-resourced federation to take over the work of FIDC and the main sector associations. In consequence the Confederation of Forest Industries (Confor) was established in autumn 2004.

His previous role leading the Timber Growers Association (TGA) was in many respects similar but as a Trade Association there was greater emphasis on member support and information services and a narrower policy focus. Peter instituted restructuring and re-branding so moving it away from a traditional 'club' ethos to an effective political and professional support organisation working regionally, nationally and internationally.
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