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Thirty years of training excellence and innovation

Excel Communications reflects on its development over the last three decades
Excel Communications 30th anniversary

In 1985 Neil Tappenden and David Strachan left what was then Roussell Laboratories to set up training company Excel Communications.

When Duran Duran and Band Aid were in the Top Ten there was no chart-topping training organisation. Instead the only choice was to either work with one of the few global companies who offered formulaic, agenda-driven courses with little flexibility, or with any one of a number of individuals -  who could be flexible and tailored, but lacked head office resources or trainers to back it up.

From speaker training for key opinion leaders, group selling skills for representatives, leadership development for managers, and professional medical communication for medical and scientific personnel, Excel Communications has worked with most pharmaceutical companies during the past 30 years.

Striving to add greater value to clients The Excel Academy was launched in 2007 to provide a specialist healthcare division providing communications training for healthcare professionals - working closely with marketers, sales managers, medical departments and medical communications agencies on key opinion leader and customer engagement projects.

This was followed in 2010 with Excel Enterprise, a new division dedicated to bespoke training for sales professionals and management, with programmes such as successful account management, exhibition excellence and outcome selling.

Bringing the story up to the present day, this year Excel Communications celebrated its 30th birthday by launching Excel SciMed - highly tailored learning and development for medical and scientific professionals. Two fields where roles have grown in recent years and that have very specialist needs, communicating as they do technical data to colleagues, customers and patients, being informative but non-promotional.

Excel SciMed reflects the growth in the scope and numbers of pharmaceutical medical and scientific professionals, people that Excel have been helping to develop for 30 years but whose needs have continued to evolve.

Today these medical and scientific professionals often find themselves in increasingly specialised roles with therapeutic or geographical alignment overlaid in a matrix with functional responsibility. They are subject matter experts and, whether they interface with internal or external customers, their communication skills have to match.

Excel SciMed understands the subtlety of these relationships as well as the precise needs of roles such as field medical, pharmacovigilance, medical affairs, scientific advice and medical information. Each of these are customer-facing, therapy-specific roles, each different from others, and SciMed meets all their needs for:

  • Customer engagement: face-to-face, telephone or email-based communication
  • Medical presentation skills: data without the 'dumping'
  • Leading without authority: influencing peers and colleagues
  • Managing the matrix: time and project management.

No one knows more about training these highly qualified experts and Excel SciMed brings you our three decades of expertise, all together in one place.

Programmes developed by Excel SciMed include:

  • Professional medical communication
  • The science of relationships
  • Handling challenging conversations
  • Chairing effective advisory boards and meetings
  • Coaching for high performance for medical managers
  • Coaching benchmarking for medical managers
  • Scientific exchange - assessment and evaluation
  • Onboarding for field medical and clinical operations.

Separate divisions allow us to specialise in the very specific training needs of clinical and sales professionals, each with their own brand and consultancy.

Time and budget is vital so every proposal and plan has to offer great value. Taking people away from their day job has a real cost and an opportunity cost and what we do in the classroom must balance that. Greater levels of pre-work engagement and post-workshop follow-up maximises the learning and enhances results. Practical hands-on agendas with locally realistic case studies mean that when participants leave training they are confident, skilled and job-ready with a specific action plan they can share with their manager. 

1985 sees the launch of the 'The Perfect Partnership!'

  • Mikhail Gorbachev became General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party and de facto leader of the Soviet Union
  • One of the greatest gatherings of US pop stars got together under the group name USA for Africa to record We Are The World
  • TV soaps Neighbours and EastEnders were launched
  • Boris Becker became the youngest winner of the Men's Singles Final at Wimbledon
  • Madonna launched her first road show, the Virgin Tour

… and in the world of training and pharmaceuticals:-

  • Excel Communications was created
… a partnership that has flourished, changed and innovated for three decades.

Today Excel Communications has over 40 trainers delivering global training programmes in every corner of the globe in any one of 10 languages.

For more information please visit our new website at or call the office on +44 (0) 1628 488 854.

Excel Communications 

Andrew Waiton, Marketing Director at Excel Communications

27th July 2015

From: Research, Sales, Marketing



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