About Us

Who We Are

Empower Development specialises in helping insurance professionals unlock their potential. We provide a wide range of training and development options for organisations and individuals within the insurance industry. This ranges from your first role within the insurance market, to specific support to achieve your ACII certification, soft skills courses, technical training, and much more. All of our trainers have worked within the market themselves and use their wealth of specialist technical and behavioural expertise to ensure that learnings from the classroom are immediately transferable to the day-to-day roles of insurance professionals.

What We Do

When you work with Empower Development, you can rest assured that you are getting the very best training for your career in insurance. Our vision is to make training accessible and engaging for all insurance professionals. All of our courses are tailored to the insurance market, and aimed at helping individuals and organisations develop in the crucial areas of technical knowledge, expertise, and personal skills. We also provide a wealth of free resources to make sure that whoever you are, and whichever role you are in, training is accessible for you.

How can we help you?

We love helping insurance professionals reach their training and certification goals faster, by making insurance fun! Get in touch to find out how we can help you.


Message from Samantha Ridgewell, Founder and Managing Director of Empower Development

After many years working in HR and L&D within the insurance industry, it became increasingly apparent to me that it was almost impossible to identify trainers and training courses that were bespoke to the insurance market. There was nothing available that focused purely on the needs of insurance professionals, and the challenges they faced every day. I figured that if I had a need to improve the training offering available, other companies would surely be facing the same issues. Which is why I decided to launch Empower Development. I’m passionate about helping professionals across the market progress and enjoy their careers, and I love hearing from those within it so please connect with me through any of our social channels.


samantha ridgewell

Samantha Ridgewell

Samantha Ridgewell specialises in supporting insurance professionals develop their personal effectiveness and highlight their career potential. After starting her HR career in private banking, Samantha first discovered the insurance industry as an HR professional at Liberty Syndicates in 2010. Eager to understand more about the industry she worked in, Samantha completed her ACII and began supporting colleagues through their CII revision which is when she discovered her passion for Learning and Development. Through a merger with Liberty International, the organisation grew quickly, and Samantha progressed to Learning and Development Manager where she delivered training and coaching internally across the globe including Dubai, Brazil, Cologne and Dublin. Within the London Market, Samantha supported development through her voluntary position on the LMA Academy Committee and as Chair of the LMA Academy Sub-Training Group.

After identifying a need for high-quality training that was tailored to the unique needs of the insurance market Samantha launched Empower Development in 2017. Since then, Samantha has delivered training across the market and regularly speaks at industry events. Keen to continue to support development for industry professionals, Samantha has a voluntary role on the CII Education and Learning Committee.


ACII, CII Accredited Advance Level Trainer, member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, BA(Hons) Human Resource Management, Myers Briggs Step I, Myers Briggs Step II, ILM Level 5 Coaching and Mentoring Diploma, Strength Deployment Inventory Practitioner.

Grace Maxted

Grace first entered the insurance market 15 years ago as Professional Claims Support at Devonshire Claims Services. Building her expertise as a claims professional, Grace worked at Xchanging, where she completed her ACII and law degree at evening classes. Grace went on to QBE, where she identified her interest in training through the delivery of internal technical training at their offshore office in Cebu, Philippines. Grace became an external trainer and consultant in 2015 and has supported hundreds of students through their CII revision and assisted their understanding of technical subjects with her engaging and supportive delivery style. Grace is well-known across the insurance industry; with recent projects taking her to the United Arab Emirates where she supports insurance professionals through their compulsory exams.



Emma Ackers

Emma Ackers

Emma began her career in insurance in 2005 working in administration at national brokers Swinton Insurance, within the commercial lines division. Emma built her knowledge and expertise progressing through the business in customer service, renewals, accounts, business change and learning & development. This is where Emma completed her Certificate in Insurance and Apprenticeship in Retail Financial Services.

Emma progressed to an operations coordinator role at Towergate Insurance where she developed her passion for ensuring everyone had the support they required to succeed in their role and in their professional studies through training, whilst also continuing with her own studies for the Diploma in Insurance.

After identifying her passion for developing others Emma became an insurance apprenticeship coach, coaching apprentices through their Level 3, 4 and 6 Insurance apprenticeships. This is where Emma gained her teaching qualification and began delivering classes for the Certificate and Diploma in insurance. Emma has worked for some of the main apprenticeship providers in the further education sector.

Emma loves delivering CII training and creating support that breaks down tricky content and makes the learning experience a fun one. She is also a big advocate for careers in the insurance industry and has volunteered as a mentor on Into Insurance for years prior to joining the Empower Development team.


Cert CII, Level 4 Preparing to Teach in Lifelong Learning, Member of the Society of Education & Training as an Experienced Practitioner

Antonia Roberts

Antonia is Head of Training & Development at Empower Development. She has spent over 11 years in Learning and Training including time spent as a L&D manager in insurance, experience leading learning and change projects for complex global organisations with Deloitte and heading up an in-house L&D team for a UK law firm.

Antonia is a passionate L&D professional who loves all things learning. She is an expert facilitator, a qualified coach and holds multiple psychometric accreditations.

She prides herself on her track record of combining a consulting approach with an understanding of on-the-ground L&D to design and deliver practical learning solutions that lead to actual performance improvement. She supports clients with a range of skills topics, specialising in Strategy, Projects, Leadership and Management.


Strengths Deployment Inventory (SDI), MBTI Step I & Step II, Neo PI-3, Hogan HPI, HDS and MVPI, Strengths Profile, APM Project Management Fundamentals (PFQ), BPS Test User Ability & Personality, ILM Level 5 in Mentoring and Coaching, Award in London Market Insurance