OCR commits to sustainable future in Coventry with office upgrade

OCR, the UK exam board of Cambridge University Press & Assessment, has upgraded its West Midlands base with a move to a carbon zero-ready office in the centre of

OCR completed the move to IM Properties’ Bourn building in April, giving the organisation the perfect environment in which to grow sustainably while reducing its environmental impact and running costs. OCR currently employs around 230 people in Coventry.

OCR’s connection to the West Midlands goes back over thirty years. The region’s strong heritage of engineering and manufacturing is reflected in the assessment body’s expertise in vocational qualifications, including Cambridge Nationals and Cambridge Technicals. This move is a commitment both to environmental sustainability and the West Midlands region.

Jill Duffy, Chief Executive of OCR, said: “Coventry has been an integral part of OCR’s success from the very beginning and our new office is a commitment to a long and sustainable future here.

“Our priority is delivering for schools and students around the country, and these offices give us the modern environment in which to do that as efficiently as possible, while also significantly reducing our carbon footprint and enabling modern hybrid working.”

The Bourn office gives OCR a modern base for its growth, with the use of smart technology, extensive wi-fi coverage, mobile access control, and dual network capacity. It is centered around environmental sustainability and modern hybrid working, with green design features including:

  • A recent overhaul by property managers IM Properties making the building 100% powered by green energy tariff, with additional renewable energy supplied by photovoltaic panels on the parking area
  • Extensive bike parking and a bike maintenance station, along with showers and changing facilities for cyclists
  • Charging points for 16 electric vehicles, with the ability to install more as the use of these vehicles increases
  • Ideally located for green travel options, just two minutes away from Coventry train station and multiple bus stops

These features complement the multiple green benefits offered to employees by Cambridge University Press & Assessment, including incentives for low-emission commuting.

The move is the result of two years of planning, ensuring it could be completed without any disruption to OCR’s educational mission to enable all students to reach their full potential. With the move now completed, OCR is focused on successfully delivering assessments for hundreds of thousands of learners around the country this summer.

OCR’s links to Coventry

  • OCR was officially formed in 1997 after Cambridge University bought the RSA vocational assessment body which had a base in Coventry, in 1995.
  • RSA and then OCR have always been at the forefront of vocational training: during these early years in Coventry, one of RSA’s most popular courses was the Computer Literacy and Information Technology (CLaIT) qualification.
  • To celebrate OCR’s links to the region, the OCR Bursary was created in 2004 to provide students from the area with financial support for their undergraduate degree at Cambridge University.
  • Since 2004, over 200 students from the West Midlands have received funding for their studies through the bursary.