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Our Professional Education Business is focused on publishing, training, testing and certification for professionals. 

Key performance indicators

£ millions 2011 2010 Headline growth CER growth Underlying growth
Sales 382 333 15% 17% 2%
Adjusted operating profit 66 51 29% 31% 10%

Over the past five years, we have increased operating profit from £27m in 2007 to £66m in 2011. We expect this business to benefit from rising demand for work‑related skills and qualifications in both developed and developing markets, and from close connections with professional content and customers in other parts of Pearson.

Professional testing highlights in 2011 include:

  • We continued to see good revenue and profit growth at Pearson VUE, which administered more than seven million tests during the year, benefiting from sales of additional services to customers and contractual fee increases. We won a number of new contracts including the Construction Industry Training Board in the UK, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying in the US, and the HP certification examination worldwide.
  • We formed a joint venture with the American Council on Education to develop an online General Educational Development (GED) test aligned with new Common Core standards. The GED test measures an adults' high school level knowledge and skills in math, reading, writing, science and social science.
  • We launched a new touch‑screen theory driving test for the Roads and Transport Authority for Dubai. The test is delivered in Arabic, English and Urdu. The new test follows the opening last year of a new Pearson VUE office in Dubai to meet the Middle East's demand for computer‑based testing.

Professional training

  • Despite significant regulatory and policy changes in the apprenticeship market, Pearson in Practice successfully graduated its largest IT cohort and launched or enhanced several new apprenticeship programmes in logistics, construction, management and customer service, business and health.
  • We acquired TQ Holdings Ltd which provides technical education and training services to governments, institutions and corporations around the world with particular expertise in skills related to the defence, engineering, oil and gas and construction sectors.

Professional publishing highlights in 2011 include:

  • Our resilient performance in the US benefited from the breadth of our publishing and range of revenue streams, from online retail through digital subscriptions. As a result, digital products and services now account for more than 25% of our professional publishing revenues in the US. In some International markets such as Japan, professional publishers continued to face very challenging trading conditions.
  • In the US, we launched MyGraphicsLab which integrates 50 hours of videos, 250 creative projects, 50 presentations and 1,000 quiz questions with real‑world assignments to prepare students for the job market.