Contact Us

The Transformative Power of Education Partnerships for Industry Associations

| 2 Min Read

Industry Associations play the very crucial role of fostering collaboration, setting standards, and advancing the interests of their members. An increasing challenge for these organisations is developing and implementing effective member education programs that aren’t solely focused on completion of CPD activities but also support goals such as; addressing industry needs, shaping the future growth of the sector, and meeting the diverse requirements of members.

Navigating this challenge is already difficult and doing so alone only amplifies this challenge. A path that Industry Associations should consider as they work to build out their member education offerings is to partner with leading higher education institutions. Partnerships with education providers can mean rapid access to rich learning materials, faster learning development processes, and expanded growth opportunities available to members. In this article, we explore just some of the many benefits that higher education partnerships can introduce for Industry Associations and their members.


Accessing Pre-existing Learning Libraries:

Partnering with universities provides Associations with access to a valuable source of learning content, with universities maintaining significant libraries of existing learning, covering a wide array of skills and topics. Through developing partnerships with higher education, Industry Associations gain access to this wealth of knowledge, allowing them to both accelerate the development and deployment of their member learning programs, whilst also offering a broader range of in-demand, skill-enabling resources. This not only saves time but also significantly reduces the expense of creating a broad range of content from scratch, with pre-existing, best-of-breed content generally being available from education brands that are striving to be at the forefront of both learning experience and in-demand skill coverage.

Customising Existing Content:

While accessing pre-existing content is helpful for Associations who are developing their suite of learning content, such Associations often have unique requirements that demands a more tailored approach. A partnership with higher education also facilitates collaboration with education specialists to customise existing learning materials to the needs of the Association. Such collaborations allow each party to bring their strengths to the proverbial table. The Association stakeholders know their industry and its needs intimately and the Higher Education providers are experts in learning, skill transfer and instruction. The result? Targeted, impactful and effective custom learning experiences that are directly aligned to the requirements of each Association.

Built-in Compliance:

One significant advantage of partnering with universities is the focus and awareness of compliance considerations. Learning content developed by higher education institutions is built to align with the rigorous regulatory and compliance standards required of the higher education sector. This built-in adherence to standards eases the compliance burden on Industry Associations, where educational programs will often meet relevant industry regulatory requirements from inception or have a very short path to compliance. This saves development time but also provides peace of mind, ensuring that Associations can keep up with an evolving regulatory landscape.

Co-development Opportunities:

Beyond accessing pre-existing content, Industry Associations can also engage with higher education partners in co-development initiatives. This collaborative approach allows associations to leverage the resources and expertise of universities to create truly bespoke learning programs. Tailored to address specific industry challenges or emerging trends, these programs offer Associations a unique value proposition, helping to drive member recruitment and retention and enhancing the overall impact of their member education initiatives.

Access to Wider Upskilling Opportunities:

Member education programs can and should extend beyond an industry's core competencies or CPD requirements, offering an opportunity to diversify, expand and extend the capabilities of your members. Partnerships with higher education institutions open doors to a broader spectrum of learning opportunities, in areas such as new technologies, soft skills development, and/or leadership pathways. This diversification enriches the Association’s educational offerings and positions it as a comprehensive learning hub, creating a competitive edge by addressing the holistic needs of their members. In broadening the range of learning opportunities available to your members, you help equip them with the skills they need to help advance your industry and allow it to establish and maintain a position as an industry innovator.


In the industry education landscape, the benefits of forging partnerships with higher education institutions are clear. Partnerships allow Industry Member Associations to become efficient and empowering centres of learning for their members. By embracing the transformative power of education partnerships, Associations not only elevate their own education agendas but also contribute to the collective growth and advancement of the industries they serve.