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3 April 2023

Ciphr acquires Marshalls


Emma-Louise Jones

Emma-Louise Jones

Emma-Louise Jones is digital PR manager at Ciphr. She is a member of the PRCA and has worked in PR, communications and marketing for over 15 years.


Ciphr news

Marshall E-Learning (Marshalls) – a specialist diversity and inclusion online learning provider – has been acquired today by ECI-backed, SaaS HR provider Ciphr for an undisclosed sum.

The deal will bolster Ciphr Group’s extensive learning and development content offering, with new and existing customers of both brands benefiting from access to hundreds more ‘off the shelf’ courses and tailored workplace training opportunities for their employees.


The acquisition positions the group as one of the UK’s leading providers of integrated HR and learning management solutions. It builds on Ciphr’s strategy to acquire UK businesses that complement its core HCM offering, and expands its customer offering to deliver sustained growth.

Joining forces with Ciphr gives Marshalls the scale to bring their industry-leading diversity, inclusion, and unconscious bias training and consultancy to an even broader range of organisations.

Commenting on the announcement, Sion Lewis, CEO of Ciphr, says: “We’re delighted to welcome David and his team of learning and development experts to Ciphr. Marshalls has a great reputation across the learning industry, and their passion for creating amazing content that is flexible and accessible to all is well-known.

“With the demand for online and blended workplace learning solutions stronger than ever, it’s really exciting news for this growing market. Together, Ciphr and Marshalls will be able to deliver an even better experience for our customers and their people.

“A strong learning and development offer has multiple positive benefits for UK businesses – impacting employee productivity, engagement, job satisfaction, morale and so much more. Well-designed, customisable training and content, such as interactive learning activities and engaging visual learning journeys, can support and enhance an individual’s employee experience and help them become more effective in their jobs. Ultimately, people are an organisation’s greatest asset, and good employee training – including, importantly, management and leadership training – is not just integral to a successful learning and development strategy, but it is business-critical to running a successful organisation.”

David Marshall, founder of Marshalls, says: “We are really excited to become part of the Ciphr Group. With Ciphr’s resources and our shared vision for continued growth, our skilled in-house team and strong network of external subject matter experts will be able to generate so much more content and resources for our customers. This will enable them to rely on one partner for all their learning technology requirements.

“While Marshalls will retain its focus on diversity, as part of Ciphr we’re looking forward to building a completely new, and regularly updated, online learning library – boasting everything from plug-and-play microlearning courses to fully-customisable, in-depth and accredited courses. It will enable us to develop within a year, what might have taken us five years. We know that Ciphr is the right organisation to help Marshalls grow – both technically and culturally.”

Stephen Roberts, partner at ECI, says: “We’re delighted to welcome Marshalls to the Ciphr Group. The addition of Marshalls’ strong D&I expertise will be hugely relevant and valuable to Ciphr’s existing customer base, and further adds to its impressive suite of HR solutions. We look forward to working with Sion and David to maximise on the growth opportunity in this space.”

Marshalls’ team of eight employees will join Ciphr with immediate effect. Founder David Marshall will continue to head up the business, joining Ciphr’s leadership and reporting to Sion Lewis.

In the years since Marshalls was founded in 2002, the company has extended its focus beyond its signature ‘diversity in the workplace’ training to include courses and content covering management and leadership, skills, personal development, mental health and wellbeing, compliance, and health and safety.

Over two million people have been trained by Marshalls to date, including employees at Prudential Group, Bank of England, The Scottish Parliament, Santander, Hitachi, Rolls-Royce, Manchester City Council, NHS Employers, and many universities across the UK and Ireland.

More than 600 organisations use Ciphr Group’s people management solutions – Ciphr, Digits LMS and Payroll Business Solutions – globally across the public, private and non-profit sectors. Customers include Busy Bees Nurseries, Claire’s Accessories UK, Crisis UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office, Met Office, Thorntons Law LLP, and Volkswagen Group UK.

For more information, please visit


Media enquiries:
Emma-Louise Jones, digital PR manager at Ciphr
e: [email protected]
t: 01628 244206

Chris Boddice, chief marketing officer at Ciphr
e: [email protected]
Twitter: @ciphrHRsoftware


Ciphr is a leading UK-based provider of integrated HR, payroll, learning and recruitment solutions.

Ciphr’s integrated HCM platform helps organisations manage their end-to-end employee lifecycle so they can deliver an amazing employee experience. With Ciphr, organisations can be confident they can access all their people data in one place, thanks to secure, time-saving integrations between Ciphr’s own solutions and API connections to specialist, third-party tools.

Ciphr is a privately held company backed by ECI Partners, and headquartered in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Over 200 employees work across the group, which includes Ciphr, Digits Industries, Marshall E-Learning, and Payroll Business Solutions (PBS).

Ciphr spokespeople are available to provide expert media comment on a broad range of topics, including HR strategy, people management, employee experience and wellbeing, learning and development, the future of work, tech trends, business and leadership, marketing, and more.