• About

About Us

Stepping Up is an established learning consultancy, run by Felicity Dwyer and Maggie Piazza.  Both Felicity and Maggie are qualified trainers and coaches with many years’ experience and expertise, both individually and in collaboration. And our associate Mike Clayton brings project management expertise to the team.

We have worked with hundreds of managers across the public, private and voluntary sectors, including small and medium enterprises, museums, social care charities, NHS Trusts, students’ unions, and the police and probation services.

Maggie and Felicity have been working collaboratively on training development and delivery since 2007.


Felicity Dwyer

Felicity Dwyer

My areas of expertise include design and facilitation of leadership and management training, with a focus on the needs of first-line managers. I also train in communication skills and am an experienced coach. I have been an independent consultant, trainer and coach since 2003, and prior to that worked as a communications manager at NCVO.

My qualifications include an NVQ Level 4 in Management, the CIPD’s Certificate in Training Practice and an Advanced Coaching Skills certificate from City University. I am a Member of the Chartered Management Institute and a Fellow of the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs. I also spent 9 years as an assessor for the Investing in Volunteers quality standard.


Maggie Piazza

Maggie Piazza

I have been an independent consultant and trainer since 1994, specialising in the leadership, management and development of people – both volunteers and staff. My management development programmes have been delivered for a wide range of organisations within the voluntary, community and statutory sectors, at local and national levels. As well as providing workshop training, I also enjoy action learning, coaching, facilitation, strategic planning and team development.

My qualifications include a Diploma in Training Management, and I am an Associate Member of the CIPD and an associate trainer for Age UK and Citizens Advice. I designed and implemented the national assessment model for Investing in Volunteers, and until recently was a lead assessor supporting a team of assessors.


Mike Clayton (Associate)

Mike Clayton

I spent 12 years managing projects for public, private and third sector organisations as a consultant working for Deloitte Consulting. In 2002, I became an independent trainer and facilitator, training and coaching project managers in all sectors, including: Ministry of Justice, National Trust for Scotland, Big Lottery Fund, local authorities, universities, charities and for The Museums’ Association and two Renaissance regions. I deliver project management and related training for Stepping Up Training.

I have written thirteen books, four of which are about project management: How to Manage a Great Project (Pearson), Risk Happens! (Marshall Cavendish), The Influence Agenda (Macmillan), and Brilliant Project Leader (Pearson, autumn 2011). I also speak nationally on project management and have a widely read blog, Shift Happens!


Our Values

Our approach to training is grounded in a set of values and beliefs about developing people, the importance of diversity, the impact of good leadership, and the value of volunteering.

Read each of our value statements here.

  1. Individual growth and development

    We believe that everybody has the capacity to grow and develop throughout their lives. Our training creates a supportive and challenging environment where participants can learn and enhance their skills, encounter new ideas, take risks and be creative.

  2. Relevant professional learning

    We help individuals to align their personal learning goals with the requirements of their organisations both now and in the future. All programmes are underpinned by a strong theoretical base, with an emphasis on application to real life working situations. We promote peer learning and networking, as powerful and sustainable routes to personal and professional development.

  3. Impact of Leadership & Management

    Anyone in a management or leadership role has the potential to make a significant impact on those they lead and manage.  Effective leadership means tapping into the motivations of your team and helping to get the best from your people, leading to better performance and achievement of outcomes.

  4. Diversity

    We value diversity within our learning groups, and work to support this in a number of ways. We use a wide range of teaching methods to cater for different learning needs and thinking styles. In our open courses, we aim to bring together participants from a range of backgrounds, and facilitate sessions in a way that helps people to learn effectively from each other’s experience.

  5. Value of volunteering

    We are passionate about the benefits that volunteering brings both for those who contribute their time, and for society. Both Maggie and Felicity have a long history of being actively involved in their communities as volunteers.

  6. Commitment to quality

    We are committed to constantly improving the quality of our work, and have various ways in which we aim to achieve this.

    We evaluate all our programmes, and act on this evaluation to continuously review and enhance our training methods and course materials.

    Our accredited programmes are subject to a rigorous quality assurance process based on national standards. This includes external verification and quality assurance by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).