Gwendolen is Professor in Health Service Education at the University of Bradford where until 2018, she was Pro-Vice Chancellor responsible for the strategic development, implementation and evaluation of the University’s framework for academic standards, academic quality and enhancement.
Gwendolen has taken a keen interest regionally, nationally and internationally in quality assurance methods and activities. She has undertaken the role of both Subject Reviewer and Institutional Auditor for the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) undertaking 16 institutional reviews across a diverse range of institutions including both home and overseas collaborative provision using a range of methodologies.
As a nurse and midwife with a long clinical and teaching career, she worked previously as Dean of the University’s Faculty of Health Studies. Her leadership of teaching, research and scholarship in the faculty focused especially on the involvement of service users in all aspects of student learning and assessment, a salient feature of her earlier Doctoral thesis that examined the role of women in the formative assessment of student midwives.
Moreover, as a representative of the Regulatory Body, Gwendolen has acted as a Specialist Registry/ Visitor member on a number of professional accreditation events. This has been in addition to acting as external specialist for a number of midwifery programme validation and periodic review events. These institutions have included the Universities of Birmingham, Kings College London, York, Northumbria, Coventry and De Montfort.
Her external examining experience of midwifery programmes in England and Ireland has included undergraduate and post graduate programmes at the University of Manchester; the University of Sheffield; the University of Cardiff, the Universities of Teesside, Trinity College Dublin, the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway and Central Lancashire.
Additionally she has undertaken the role of Faculty Chief External Examiner at the University of Gloucestershire. Examinations for Midwifery Doctoral and MRes awards have been undertaken at the Universities of Sheffield; Cardiff; Central Lancashire; Salford; Huddersfield; Staffordshire and Trinity College Dublin. Gwendolen has acted as Peer Reviewer for journals that include The Journal of Advanced Nursing, Clinical Effectiveness in Nursing and The Royal College of Midwives Journal.
Gwendolen’s standing across the midwifery profession is further evidenced through the breadth of published work and conference presentations ranging from her exploration of risk management within the curriculum to a co-authored a book for NHS students on health service policy and most recently, through an invited contribution to the latest edition of the renowned Mayes Midwifery in 2017.
She has been a keen and frequent contributor to policy formation throughout the United Kingdom over almost two decades. In 2001 she acted as an independent contributor to Education in Focus: Guidelines for Pre-registration Midwifery Programmes for the English National Board for Nursing Midwifery and Health Visiting.
She had an active committee role in the conception and production of Delivering High Quality Midwifery Care: the priorities, opportunities and challenges for midwives for the Department of Health in 2009. Additionally, she participated in and led the Education and Career Progression Workstream in the creation of Midwifery 2020: Delivering Expectations for the four home nations also or the Department of Health in 2010.
During her career she has also been a member of the Royal College of Midwives, the Council of Deans of Health and the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Lead Midwife Educator Strategic Reference Group. She participated in the NMC Subject Matter Expert Group responsible for drafting the requirements of the UK-wide Education Framework for Nursing and Midwifery.
More recently has chaired the Review of the Pre-registration Midwifery Programme Standards Reference Group whilst also participating as a member of the Thought Leadership Group concerned with the Future Midwife Standards.
She has wide-ranging committee experience, was a member of the University’s Senate, Executive Board and Senior Management Committee. In her capacity as Pro-Vice Chancellor for Learning, Teaching and Quality she chaired the University’s Learning and Teaching Committee.
Access and widening participation have been among Gwendolen’s key interests and she led the development, implementation and evaluation of her University’s Access and Participation Plan thus furthering Bradford’s mission to recruit and support a high proportion of its undergraduate students from under-represented groups, something for which it has a long-established renown within the sector.
Developing others was another of Gwendolen’s strategic objectives to which end she promoted strategic-level engagement with the Higher Education Academy resulting in a range of accredited activity and successes across both the National Teaching Fellow and Collaborative Awards for Teaching Excellence Schemes.
Professionally, Gwendolen sustains her registration. She was appointed as a Supervisor of Midwives in 1995 and continued in this statutory role maintaining a modest case load until its demise in 2017.