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Property franchise Northwood has proudly announced that it is the first company to be approved by the Guild of Letting and Management to run its vocational qualification diploma course. Involving professional training programmes, courses and workshops, the diploma maintains and enhances professional standards.

Accreditation is by Edexcel, one of the UK's largest examining bodies of academic and vocational qualifications, with Northwood aiming to have at least one diploma holder in each of its franchised operations across the UK.Parent company Northwood GB, which has 14 staff, recently relocated its head office of 12 years from Southampton to The Main Barn at Cams Hall Estate, Fareham, following a £120,000 refit. The company provides support to an expanding 70-office national network of franchise owners across the UK.

"This is an exciting growth phase for Northwood as we raise the business development bar from our new headquarters," said Franchise Director Nick Cooper. "We've already had a great start as we proceed towards our target of 100 franchised locations - offices at Bromley, Surbiton and Dundee have just opened. Being given the green light from the guild to run the diploma course, which will begin here from January and will further enhance professional standards, was also a lovely moving in present.

"Training people is at the core of our culture and we are proud of the kind of innovative and professional training programmes we offer franchise owners and their staff. New franchise owners spend three weeks in our new bespoke training suites learning how to run the business model before going out for a further three weeks of field-based training. We give them the skills required to run highly successful businesses, with the potential for good returns, as well as providing everything from IT and office furniture down to branded signage, coffee cups and coasters.

"Our franchise network is growing because we provide the right business model with a unique selling point, vital if you are thinking of setting up any business. Our business model works in recession - just ask Paul Ryder in Eastbourne who opened one year ago and now has an average monthly income of £11,000, or Steven Mearns in Aberdeen who opened in January this year and now has a monthly income of £8,500. We anticipate 100 offices trading under the Northwood brand within the next two years."


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