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Awarding Organisation

The Retail Banking Academy® Awarding Organisation is the guardian of academic excellence. 

Norman Gealy  

Norman Gealy | Chairman

Norman chairs the RBA Awarding Organisation. He has specialised in educational measurement since graduating in Experimental Psychology from Oxford University in 1975. He worked at US based The Psychological Corporation and City and Guilds in the UK, before setting up an independent consultancy. His main fields of work have been vocational and professional qualifications for accountancy bodies and the finance sectors. He worked directly for the UK Government to help develop the framework by which all English qualifications were regulated from 2004, and also in an agent in the provision of oversees consultancy. He continues to help develop new professional qualifications in facilities and project management, as well as contributing to national qualification policies.

Nigel Harper  | Awarding Organisation Member

Nigel Harper is a professionally qualified banking director with direct responsibility and experience of lending, risk management, compliance and corporate governance. He was managing director and shareholder at his property loan boutique company where he was head of risk, governance and audit.

His career in banking progressed from branch banking into head office at the Co-operative Bank and finally at the Paragon Group of Companies where he was head of Commercial Lending and chair of the arrears committee. In 2009, he joined HM Revenue & Customs as their Specialist Retail Banking Adviser. He reviewed banking operational practice and structures within the banks. 

Nigel is a Council Fellow of the Chartered Banker Institute and a former President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers where he was also a Fellow. He has tutored the Chartered Institute of Bankers BSc (Hons) subjects and also lectured for the HMRC and others as part of a Tax Academy.

  Nigel Harper
Godfrey Banks  

Godfrey Banks | Awarding Organisation Member

Godfrey has an interesting blend of experience in retail banking and awarding body organisations and the English regulator of qualifications, Ofqual. After graduating from London University, Godfrey joined Midland Bank (HSBC) in the bank's planning division, rolling out the first branch credit-scoring system. He then worked for the London Chamber of Commerce where he took charge of the operational side of their awarding body. After two years, Godfrey joined the British Government's Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, the forerunner of Ofqual.

Kevin Garforth  | Awarding Organisation Member

Kevin has worked in retail banking and financial services for over 35 years and brings a wealth of experience and skill sets to the Academy gained in a variety of roles including sales, strategy, product development, proposition and marketing. 

His retail banking career started at National Westminster Bank .He moved on to work in the specialist banking sector and held senior positions  at City of London based Robert  Fleming & Co , Banco Santander subsidiary Cater Allen Private Bank  and Santander Private Banking UK. 

Since 2011 Kevin has run his own financial services and banking consultancy business, KGG Consulting Limited. Clients of the business have included several of the new start challenger banks in the UK, specialist accountancy firms and an accredited body of the Financial Conduct Authority. Kevin has a particular interest in the future shape of retail banking and the opportunities arising in the ever changing landscape of the digital world.  


Kevin Garforth


Awarding Organisation Committee Members 

David J Cavell


David J Cavell  | Awarding Organisation - Examinations Committee

A senior banker and member of the General Management team during the highly successful 1990s transformation of the UK Cooperative Bank, David is now an international retail banking consultant. He also has extensive senior experience in retailing. David has worked for clients across the World, including financial institutions and key industry suppliers. He has researched and written many collections of international case studies on related innovation. His internationally recognised expertise has brought regular invitations to direct workshops, chair or speak at conferences, and publish articles.

A panel member for the former UK Banking Code Standards Board, David has also acted as a judge for industry awards given by the Institute of Financial Services (ifs). He developed and ran the ifs consumer credit examination.  He is a member of the General Assembly of the University of Manchester and an adviser to the UK Forum of Private Business (SMEs)



Heward Simpson


Heward Simpson | Awarding Organisation - Appeals Committee

Heward is a qualified Chartered Accountant and spent several years working in the telecommunications and food sector industries. In 1986 he joined the Institute of Chartered Accountants in an assessment development role.During this time, Heward conducted several World Bank projects as an expert in syllabus and assessment design, including curriculum benchmarking and assessment development and redesign of programmes of theoretical learning and work experience for bodies in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Ghana.

He was responsible for producing exam papers and managed the introduction of objective testing into assessments, the introduction of the pioneering case study examination, and creating new qualifications for the ICAEW portfolio.He now works as an independent educational consultant.