About Alistair Smith

About me

UK’s leading trainer in modern learning methods.

I am an independent learning consultant. My expertise is in the design and delivery of learning and development experiences for high-performing individuals, teams and organisations.

Popularity, Purpose, Preparation.

I have been described as the ‘UK’s leading trainer in modern learning methods.’ I’ve delivered well over 1,800 training and development events in a twenty-five-year career. I would place myself amongst the more experienced developers in the UK.

Any popularity I may have earned has been as a consequence of lots and lots of preparation and treating each piece of work as unique. I’ve never done the same presentation twice. Now I’ve adapted as more and more of my deliveries are on-line.

I’ve delivered to large audiences – 3,000 medics from around the world in the Congress Hall in Prague – and small. I became good at speaking to groups when, as a young man, I had to take museum tours for visitors day after day. Many had come just to get out of the rain. I had to understand their motivation in order to connect with them.


I became very skilled at presenting. Along the way I built successes in facilitating groups and helping manage the learning process. I enjoy taking a project through to a conclusion. I’m very thorough and always practical. I bring an understanding of the ‘science’ of learning to the ‘art’ of teaching. I take pride in modelling the methods I promote.

I do presentations to different audiences and on different topics. Here’s one I did for the Do Lectures in a steamy tent in West Wales!

Sector experience

I’m unique in working in prominent roles across three different sectors: education, professional football and projects related to technology. I have authored or co-authored books, two of which became best-sellers. I’ve written on a variety of topics including books on learning, brain development, happiness, parenting and the culture of high performing schools.

For ten years I was chair of Alite Ltd, a company that was at the forefront of developing learning in education.


I’m the co-principal of a start-up called ThreeWhats. We are a company which uses our site to summarise and share Ideas, research and success stories for busy leaders and decision-makers. We provide Playbooks based on our unique model.


I’m the Education Director for two Technology companies. Frog Education Ltd and Mudita Sports.

Frog are one of the world’s most successful providers of virtual learning environments and my part-time role is to help shape product design and implementation. Frog products are now being built from proven learning principles and are in every school throughout Malaysia.

Mudita Sports have constructed an App to help sports enthusiasts learn languages alongside their heroes. Our App is built using proven learning methods. At this time, we have links with Manchester City, Arsenal, Real Madrid and PSG amongst others. The world’s top 24 teams have over 1.5 billion social media users. We aim to access them!


For over twenty years I’ve been the designated learning consultant to the Football Association. I helped design and deliver the first Elite Coaches course, directed their UEFA Pro Licence – the top qualification in football – towards a competency-based approach and authored a Develop the Developers programme.

The work with the FA has impacted on over 30,000 licensed coaches. Most of my current work is based around design and delivery of the FA UEFA Pro Licence – the mandatory qualification for managing at the top levels around the world.

I work as a consultant to UEFA, based in Nyon, Geneva. I help them design their Coach Educators conferences and set up some protocols of adult learning which can be adopted by the 55 different UEFA federations.

I have worked with a Danish charity Fun Football which brings together children from war and conflict zones to spend time enjoying football.

Human in his spare time

In my spare time I love to do more of the above especially if I can run around as I do so. I like real ale and real pubs, loud bands and snow on the hill tops. I’m an exiled Scot.

What could I do for you?

Individuals and Teams

Over the years I’ve coached and mentored individuals and staff teams in different environments. From professional tennis players, football managers and coaches to Head Teachers and medical students.

  • Executive coaching around your issues
  • Prioritising, problem-solving and decision making
  • Presentation and influencing skills
  • Managing meetings
  • Dealing with difficult behaviour
  • Managing and influencing up


Any of the topics below can be originated for you. Support varies from short keynotes to ongoing staff and leadership support.

  • Strategic Planning days
  • Using Developmental Observations and Coaching to improve teaching
  • Lessons on Leadership, Learning and Life from High Performers
  • Making Learning memorable


I’ve worked with clubs in the top six tiers of English Football.

  • MOT for Managers: we agree the checklist, I tell you how you are doing
  • Developing a Learning Environment across your Club
  • Support for Individual Players – confidence issues, wellbeing, resilience
  • Getting your next role in football


Any activity which is built around the application of the ‘soft’ skills of development and learning.

  • Re-visioning your organisational culture and core purpose
  • Becoming more agile in problem-solving and decision-making
  • Building and sustaining trust and psychological safety