Talbot, who joined the organisation in 2015, has worked in the leisure industry for 20 years. As former Head of Products at IQL UK, she was responsible for the management and development of all awards and qualifications.

“I’m so excited to be leading the team at IQL UK. We have some fantastic, talented people doing some great work behind the scenes to help operators meet their recruitment and staff development needs, while supporting individuals to build successful and rewarding careers,” says Talbot.  

Succeeding Martin Symcox, Talbot will oversee the provision of high quality qualifications and awards to candidates, trainers and operators that  meet the requirements of regulators, while providing expertise and advice to operators of swimming pools. 

“One of my main aims is to ensure our guidance, qualifications and processes are clear and easy to understand for our customers. But ultimately, I want to make a difference to our customers. I want IQL UK to be the go-to organisation for qualifications and advice about swimming pool safety,” she says.

Like many leisure professionals, Talbot started her career as a lifeguard and she remains passionate about drowning prevention.

“More than 700 people in the UK and Ireland lose their life each year to drowning. RLSS UK works tirelessly with an amazing team of volunteers to provide awareness, education and training on drowning prevention all over the UK and Ireland. Unlike most awarding organisations, IQL UK’s profit is gifted to the RLSS UK charity, whose vision is a world without anyone losing their lives to drowning.” 

Di Steer, CEO of RLSS UK added: “I would like to congratulate Jo on her position as Interim Director of IQL UK. This is a well deserved opportunity and the RLSS UK Leadership Team is looking forward to working with Jo.

“In order to reduce drownings, as a charity, we need to ensure that we create a sustainable and robust way of supporting our drowning prevention activities. Our model of delivery relies on a varied stream of income from fundraising and commercial activities. Our current commercial offering is based on the delivery of the highest quality of both OFQUAL regulated and non-regulated vocational training programmes. I have every confidence that under Jo’s leadership, IQL UK will become even more innovative and will continue to provide excellent training programmes and support materials to ensure the highest standards, across our range of lifeguarding, lifesaving, first aid and consultancy services.”