About us

dmh associates is highly experienced in careers, education and skills policy, research, and practice at an international, European, national and regional level. 

We work in partnership with a wide range of public, private and third sector organisations to find solution-focused approaches that increase access to opportunities for young people and adults and enhances the quality of guidance, education and training. The company was formed in 2008 by Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE and became a limited company in 2013.

We offer expertise in independent and rigorous research, evaluation and consultancy services to inform and support our customers to:

We are a member of:

RSA Fellowship; UK Evaluation Services; International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance (IAEVG).

Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE is a Legacy Fellow of UK Career Development Institute (CDI).

Photo of Deirdre Hughes

Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE

A freelance academic researcher, career development professional and government policy adviser. She has written over 125 articles and book chapters, and made over 200 presentations to international, national and regional professional groups dealing with all-age careers work, employment and skills issues. She is co-editor of the British Journal for Guidance and Counselling International Symposium Series. She is also a Cedefop appointed national expert in lifelong guidance and careers education (May 2017).

In 2012 she was awarded an OBE in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to career guidance. She was previously President of the UK Institute of Career Guidance (2009-2010) and co-founder of the Careers Profession Alliance. She was awarded a Legacy Fellowship by the UK Career Development Institute (2012) by process of peer review. With over 30 years of experience working in four UK universities, Deirdre has combined her academic research and teaching with senior advisory roles reporting to Ministers in the UK. She is currently a member of an Advisory Group reporting directly to the Rt. Hon. Minister Hayes MP CBE in the Department for Transport on the Infrastructure Skills Strategy. She was appointed by the Secretary of State for Work & Pensions (DWP) and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) as a Commissioner with the UK Commission for Employment & Skills (2011 -2015). She was Chair of the National Careers Council in England, reporting directly to three Skills Ministers (2012-2014).

Our Associates

Karen Adriaanse

Mrs Karen Adriaanse MA was an HMI for Ofsted from 2007 to 2016, having previously worked for the Adult Learning Inspectorate and the Training Standards Council as a full-time inspector. She held the post of Ofsted’s Special Adviser for Further Education and Skills from 2012 to 2016. This involved: developing inspection frameworks and handbooks in FE and skills; training inspectors on revised inspection methodology; and analysing inspection findings for Ofsted Annual Reports, and presentations to stakeholders, including government departments, Select Committees, providers and employers. She was also Ofsted’s National Lead for Careers Guidance and post-16 English and maths.  As an inspector, she led inspections in general FE colleges, local authority providers, independent training providers, employer providers and prisons, having taught and/or managed in these contexts for 20 years. Her main fields of work in the post-16 sectors are: English, maths and ESOL; provision for learners with special educational needs, including high needs; study programmes; adult learning for unemployed; prison education; careers guidance, including in secondary schools; and apprenticeships. Since retiring from Ofsted, Karen has provided external consultancy to each of the above types of education and training providers to enable senior managers and governors to evaluate the quality of their provision and improve teaching, learning and assessment and outcomes for all their learners.

Liane Hambly

Liane Hambly, is a leading trainer in career theory, professional ethics and advanced guidance and coaching practice. She was previously Programme Leader for Guidance Studies at two UK universities and now runs her own consultancy business (Creative Career Coaching) whilst also working part-time as a senior lecturer for Coventry University. She has an excellent reputation for workforce development and designing a range of high impact, inspirational, learning programmes for teachers and career professionals.  She has published academic articles and is the author of  Creative Career Coaching (Nov 2018), a book which explores the innovative practical application of career theory. 

Chris Percy

Chris Percy

Chris Percy is a leading economist, strategy consultant, and careers researcher with expertise in quantitative methods. His experience of the education sector dates back to 2008 while working as a civil servant for the Department for Children, Schools and Families on secondary education reform and the strengthening of links between schools, universities, colleges and employers to improve progression pathways. He has led individual and team projects that span a range of organisations in the careers and education sector, including the Careers and Enterprise Company, the Education and Employers Taskforce, IntoUniversity, the Edge Foundation and the Open University, as well as pro bono engagements via Impetus-PEF for charities like Adviza, ActionTutors and the Dallaglio Foundation

Chris’s recent clients have included the World Bank (analysis of civil service skills requirements), Social Finance and King’s College London.

Prof. Fusun Akkok

Prof.  Fusun Akkök has more than 30 years of academic and practical experience in guidance and counselling. She has carried teaching and research work in the field of guidance, career guidance, parent counselling, teacher training, written papers and books and participated in national and international conferences and organized national and international conferences. She also has significant experience in developing modules and conducting and trainings on career guidance for teachers and managers of the VET schools in Turkey and in internationally. Prof. Akkök has significant experience in developing a web-based career information system serving all age groups, developing self assessment tools and highly experienced in developing education programs and teacher trainings. At present, she is the national expert to CEDEFOP and support the work on career guidance and empowering practitioners and teachers on career guidance. She is an international expert on lifelong guidance issues and works for international organizations International Labour Organisation (ILO), International organisation of Migration (IOM) and European Training Foundation at local and international projects. She has also been the senior international expert for trainings and career guidance in the TA for Reforms in VET and Employment in Georgia. 

Trevor Carson

Mr Trevor Carson Cbiol  MRSB is from Glengormley, near Belfast in Northern Ireland. He taught Biology and Science in a large boys’ secondary school for 10 years including Year Master and Head of Department. Following this he lectured in Applied Science in what is now Belfast Metropolitan College. He was seconded to BELB as FE Development Officer and Adult Education Officer and also to the Association of NI FE Colleges as Curriculum and Staff Development Officer. He was Director of LSDA NI : quality improvement organisation for the FE and Training Sector. This work included extensive support for governance in the FE Sector and additional responsibility for HR training and development in LSN (LSDA NI’s parent organisation in England and Wales). He has worked extensively for CCEA and its predecessor bodies including Principal Coursework Moderator for GCSE Sciences, subject committees and represented CCEA on Inspections (scrutiny teams) for what is now OfQual. He is currently a self-employed Educational Professional. Other interests include: producer of a talking newspaper for the visually handicapped and part-time sports journalist for the Belfast Telegraph. He has also chaired a range of committees, reference groups and national conferences.

Prof. Graham Attwell

Prof. Graham Attwell, Senior Associate is a researcher and developer in Technology Enhanced Learning. He has a strong track record and international reputation for designing and delivering leading-edge training on the use of ICT and social networking in educational settings. He delivers highly  interactive and fun training  to support practitioners and managers who wish to build their confidence  and experience in using and creating their own online career development resources. Graham Attwell is a leading designer and developer in the field of Labour Market Information, working in European Union countries and Chile as well as the UK. See also, EU Framework Programme (FP 7) Public Employment Services

Dr. Reinekke Lengelle

Dr. Reinekke Lengelle, visiting graduate professor with Athabasca University and senior researcher with The Hague University, specializes in writing for personal development. She is also co-creator of the narrative career-learning method “career writing” and began her career as a poet and playwright. She is a Special Issues editor of “Creative Methods” for the British Journal of Guidance and Counselling and has authored various peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on creative, expressive, and reflective writing for personal and career development. writingtheself.ca

Simon Hepburn MA, FRSA, ACQI, MInsF

Simon Hepburn has more than twenty years’ experience working within the charity, education and careers sector. Simon is the Founder and Managing Director of Black Star Inc. a newly established consultancy firm and is former UK Director at City Year UK, an international social action charity, leading on school partnerships, programme design and delivery, leadership programme development, mentor experience and programme impact.


He was the Director of Education and Policy at U-Explore Start, providing consultancy and support to schools, colleges, local authorities and businesses on their careers and employability programme development and partnering with Start Profile. Up until recently Simon was an Enterprise Advisor as part of the London Enterprise Advisor Network and has worked in colleagues from with the Careers & Enterprise Company and Careers Professionals from throughout the UK.


Simon was also the Director of Pathways and Partnerships for the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) leading on the development of the Championing Careers Guidance Programme working in partnership with the Greater London Authority (GLA). In addition to this Simon led on the national review of careers education and employability curriculum within AET ensuring that the programme was aligned to the Gatsby Benchmarks, integrated into the academy core curriculum and he developed the Trusts wide destination reporting system to report to the Department of Education (DfE) on student destinations within the Trust.


He has significant experience of programme and organisation review and was a Research Associate with Canterbury Christchurch University working with Professor Carl Parsons on a national review of school exclusions in England for the DfE. Simon is passionate about supporting people and organisations to reach their full potential and make a positive contribution to society. He is a qualified youth worker, teacher and chef, has a Masters in Educational Management, from the Roehampton Institute, University of Surrey and is a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts.

Ifza Shakoor

Ifza Shakoor is a keen advocate for careers education, having recently embarked on a PhD research journey where she is exploring the reasons for the lack of diversity in the career development sector and ways of overcoming this. As a qualified teacher, she has a holistic understanding of the importance of careers education and seeing the bigger picture. She has worked on the ground coordinating on a trailblazing careers-related learning project in Derby, which is her home city and where her interest in the community’s wellbeing was born. She has been extremely successful in her role, in part due to her knowledge of the community and having been brought up within a deprived area, Ifza knows first-hand what it takes to motivate and inspire those she works with. She embodies the saying ‘you can’t be what you can’t see.’ Ifza has previously excelled in an internship with the Civil Service. Ifza aspires to becoming a leading careers associate, researcher and be in a position to influence careers policy and overcome current issues related to pay, qualifications and career progression through increasing the diversity of the career development sector.

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