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Training Bursaries

APG is a not for profit membership organisation.  This means we can make funds available to enhance the overall standing of the planning and strategy community and the skills of individual planners and strategists. 

You can make an application for funding of £3,000. You will need to fill in the application form to demonstrate what skills you will learn as a result, and how the training will help you develop as a strategist and hence benefit the community overall.

Applicants should use the bursary initially for specialist planning/strategy training. Please note the possibilities on our site. You may also apply for coaching as part of the APG Bursary Scheme.

APG is piloting a scheme with a group of highly experienced industry mentors. You can put part of your bursary to fund this.​

On the form you need to state how you plan to spend the money awarded to you. It does not have to be spent in 2019 and can be carried over to 2020. 

Genuine financial hardship/need will be taken into account. 

Bursaries will be allocated at the discretion of  the APG.  

Important dates

Applications will need to be submitted by 29th November 2019. The APG sub-committee will let you know if your application has been accepted after that date.


If you have any questions, please get in touch with the APG Director, Sarah Newman or the APG Chair, Matt Tanter.

Training courses 

You can view all the APG courses available here.


APG offers coaching packages worth £1,600.  These can be a combination of 4 x 60 minute sessions, 2 x 2 hour sessions or a full morning/workshop.

Each of our 4 coaches/mentors has accumulated 25+ years working as a practitioner, manager and/or coach in and around the advertising industry. They also variously teach, write, work as facilitators or run their own independent businesses. All are good listeners, and operate independently of any particular agency. 

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Giselle Okin

Giselle runs Opinionated Thinking doing brand and communications planning, strategic consultancy, qualitative research, facilitation and training, advertising development & production. She has worked as a planner at ad agencies such as Y&R, Chiat Day, BBH, HHCL, WCRS, St.  She is a strategic sounding board and technical coach.

Jon Leach

Jon Leach

Jon works as an independent planner, strategist, trainer and consultant to the industry ‘previously known as advertising’. His background is as a planner in advertising (BMP and HHCL), PR (Bell Pottinger) and Sports Marketing (Chime). He specialises in career and life coaching.

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Johnnie Moore

Johnnie is a facilitator and coach, working with managers and leaders and says that he is “here to help people work better together. And I try not to rush”. His background is as a planner in ad agencies and marketing consultancy. Currently a visiting professor at the Said Business School at Oxford University. He specialises in group coaching and team facilitation.

Previous beneficiaries.. 

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Nishant Raj

Junior Strategist at Publicis London - Attended 'Bullet Proof Strategy' & 'Essential Planning Skills'

It’s becoming harder and harder across the industry to find funding for training - this isn’t new news.


That’s why the APG Training Bursary has been so fantastic, as it’s opened up access and opportunities to training that would otherwise have been very difficult to come by. These trainings have given me the chance to systematically hone the skills that I need as a planner, and I can already feel the difference they have made in the way I work every day.


'Bullet Proof Strategy'

I was at a Noisy Thinking event a few months ago where Alex Steer said “Lots of people are looking at the data. Not enough people are looking at the maths.” 


I realised I was one of those people - as a young planner, I was spending time looking at data without a sense of how to explore the underlying patterns. As someone who hadn’t touched an equation since A levels, my maths was more than a little rusty, and so I was keen to jog my memory of the fundamental mathematical concepts involved in studying data. That’s what made me keen to sign up for the Bullet Proof strategy training.


The training was exactly what the doctor ordered, and more. I got a great refresher in basic statistics as well as a crash course in playing with data in Excel. But perhaps most importantly, I felt like I came away from the training with a better sense of how to approach analysing data in a more systematic way. 

'Essential Planning Skills'

I came into the APG Essential Planning hoping it would do what it said on tin - give me a solid grounding in the fundamentals techniques and skills of our discipline. 


It did that brilliantly. The hands on nature of most sessions have left me feeling much more confident in applying these different skills, and the range of modules was broad enough that I’ve been able to apply something I’ve learned from the course at work pretty much every day. 


Moreover, it gave me a tribe of fellow young planners to learn these skills alongside, which was like the icing on the cake. People came from a wide range of agencies and specialties, and this diversity in background helped make our sessions all the more engaging. 


All in all, a great course and (hopefully), a great springboard for my career over the next few years!

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Kerensa Ayivor

Planning Director at TLC Marketing - Attended 'Agile Strategy' & 'Why Did Nobody teach me this stuff?'

A couple of years ago a mixture of serendipity and hard graft (as is most often the case) meant I moved from in-house marketing for brands into an agency role in strategy. As I soon found out, strategy and planning is all about being curious and constantly having a drive to learn and I immediately fell in love with it. Since then I haven’t looked back and I am always hungry to learn new ways at getting better at what I do.

Having the APG to tap into for support and knowledge has been invaluable and I genuinely think it is filled with brilliant, fascinating people who want to make a difference to how well we do our jobs.

Last year I was lucky enough to win a bursary from the APG to attend two of their fantastic courses (and yes I did a little dance when I found out).

‘Why did nobody teach me this stuff’ with the inspiring Russell Davies and ‘Agile planning’ with the brilliant Jon leach. Was it tough? Yes. Did I feel a little stressed out? Most definitely. But I left both courses on a high, having learned so much. The three most important things I took away were these: 1) What you learn is practical, enlightening and instantly applicable to your day job 2) The level of honesty from both my course tutors was refreshing and inspirational 3) A mixture of listening and doing means you leave with a thorough understanding of what you are being taught and you don’t forget it!

The very next pitch I did after my course with Russell actually got an email back from the client thanking us for a great pitch and idea. Result.


Alex Luff

Founder & Director at Rarefied - Attended 'Strategic Thinking'

Knowing that the APG is actively reinvesting in our industry through training bursaries, and being one of the beneficiaries of that investment, is a hugely reassuring thing. I’ve personally benefited from the support, knowledge and guidance received through APG - and am grateful for the opportunity afforded to me through the bursary programme.


Put simply, the Strategic Thinking Course has helped give me more tools, simpler, better frameworks and the skills to  analyze, understand and help solve strategic challenges for all of Rarefied’s clients.


Erin O'Hare

Planner at McCann Health - Attended 'Strategies and Models for Creating Fame' & Marketing Week's Mini MBA

It was great to have the backing of the APG to pursue further interests and broaden the training I had been receiving. For a while I had been thinking about strengthening my core Marketing skills and the bursary also allowed me to cover the cost of the Marketing Week Mini MBA. 


'Strategies and Models for Creating Fame'

Paul Feldwick welcomed us personally into the Museum of Brands and it set the tone for his humble approach to the day, making it feel as though we were navigating through and learning about the topic together. Throughout the day, we pondered the question as a group, How Can We Create Fame? Starting with history and the inspiration around us, we observed how brands have approached creating Fame throughout the decades. The day culminated in discussing how our learnings could impact our briefs and work, and since the training I’ve come away with ideas on how to strengthen my briefs as well as criteria to improve the way in which I judge creative work.

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Will Eliot

Junior Strategist at Publicis Poke - Attended 'Essential Planning Skills'

A training shortage in the creative industries and the APG is one of the few organisations that is investing to keep the talent talented. I highly encourage everyone to make the most of opportunities like the APG training bursary.


I attended ‘Essential Planning Skills’ for a comprehensive look into the fundamentals of strategy. It was 6 weeks of hands on learning with some of the best practitioners in the industry. I was subjected to plenty of interaction and heated discussion. Everything I learned was interesting but, even more importantly, practical. I picked up real skills, principles and frameworks that could be applied to projects immediately. 


Amy Jarrold

Strategist at Joint - Attended 'Strategic Thinking'

The course was helpful in so many ways, but if I had to hang my hat on one thing, it was it’s take-awayableness. Instead of just getting handouts, different ‘tools’ were explained and applied to real life examples, so we could put them to use on the brands we personally working with straight away.

The main things I got out of the course: 

  • A refresher, on the vital basics  

  • Clarity, across the strategic process

  • Perspective, working with people of all different abilities from all sorts of strategy based background

  • Awareness, of my strengths and typical approach to tasks, a skill which will help me get the best (out of everyone) in a given situation

  • Confidence, in my abilities

  • A new peer set to lean on   


Tim Clancy

Senior Brand Strategist at LinkedIn

APG Bursary Summary

My job as a brand strategist is to simplify brand and marketing challenges. That's really hard though, because (it turns out) the world is an incredibly complex place. The APG Bursary has allowed me to build the skills and knowledge which in turn help me simplify brands and marketing for my team. 


Holding Your Own With Senior Clients

I don't have a financial background, so understanding the business world has been a bit like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle. This course gave a broad overview of the most important principles and terms in business, which allowed me to see the bigger picture and how different financial concepts and business terms relate to each other. It has increased my confidence in business and financial matters no end. 


One-on-One Coaching with Johnnie Moore

We spend so much time rushing through projects, impatiently working towards a promotion, or just spinning our wheels and not making the progress we would like. Working with Johnnie has been a revelation for me. He has helped me adopt a more considered - he would say unhurried - outlook. He's challenged my thinking by bringing an experienced outside perspective. Most of the time though he has just pointed out the obvious but overlooked - a tremendously valuable trait. Everyone needs a Johnnie (or to at least read his book, available online!)


Run a Really Useful Workshop

One day we'll all be able to sit around a table again and have a conversation 'in 3D'. When that day comes, I now know how to best structure a workshop, and have a range of different methods and exercises to draw upon which will help everyone get the most out of the session.

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