Our Story


Photo of Iron Mill College in Exeter and Poole

Iron Mill College is a leading provider of education and training in mental health and wellbeing

Iron Mill was founded over 40 years ago in 1981, taking its name from a stream that ran past its original home on the edge of Exmoor. The College is now based at 'Morwenstow', a beautiful and historic building in the centre of Exeter, with 'The Quadrangle' providing fantastic extra spaces and facilities in the annexe to the rear.


  • We pride ourselves on offering excellent standards of creative and inspiring teaching, delivered by highly experienced professionals.
  • We provide a unique learning environment for our diverse and growing community of students
  • Our expanding range of courses includes University programmes and professional training, from entry level courses right through to post qualifying.

In addition to our Exeter Campus, we have a further training centre in Poole. Our locations have enabled more people to gain access to our training and have helped contribute to the busy, lively learning environment that the college is renowned for. Our academic staff team has also grown, and we employ people who are good team members, relational, friendly, highly experienced, and passionate about inspiring others.

Iron Mill College is a place of creativity, reflection and academic development. We have taken what was so valuable in Iron Mill College’s previous and respected educational history and applying it to the contemporary demands of the mental health and wellbeing professions today. We are large enough to give a good choice of externally validated, nationally recognised professional qualifications that employers will value, and small enough that we all know and value one another within a rich and diverse learning community.

It is an exciting time to join Iron Mill College community and to shape and influence the college's future. 



Mission & Vision

Vision Statement (Iron Mill College will be:)

  1. To establish itself as a centre of excellence and innovation in Mental Health & Wellbeing and psychological education and training. 
  2. Be committed to, and renowned for, high quality training provision.
  3. Be involved and influential within both academic and professional sectors and contemporary and responsive to the developing professional climate.
  4. The provision of optimum opportunities in the inclusive environment will focus in particular on the needs of mature and adult learners. 
  5. Be an outstanding employer that is supportive, empowers, values and respects staff, with clear and positive expectations about their involvement, contribution and achievement.  

Values

These shared values will remain at the heart of all that we are, and guide us in all that we do

  • Excellence - striving for the highest standards and quality in all that we do
  • Accountability - inviting scrutiny to maintain excellence in standards
  • Ethics - operating with integrity, honesty, empathy and respect
  • Nurture - responsive support to enable individuals to maximise potential
  • Responsibility - to students, staff and the wider community; commitment to the promotion and development of personal and social responsibility
  • Equality and Diversity - valuing and actively welcoming difference; commitment to promoting and protecting equality of opportunity concerning age, disability, gender and gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
  • Collaboration – encouraging and facilitating consultative and collaborative work internally and externally to the college
    Aspiration - seeking out innovation and opportunity to maximise potential
  • Freedom of expression – encouraging openness, honesty, difference, and the sharing of experience, by supporting a culture of free expression, freedom of speech and mutual respect. 

Welcome from the Iron Mill College's Principal

Jo Trelfa Profile PictureA very warm welcome to the Iron Mill College! Whether studying at our Exeter or Poole centre, you are about to join a well-established and highly regarded college that is a leading educator in the field of mental health and wellbeing.

My aim is to protect the existing character, values, and warmth of the Iron Mill College, while supporting the growth and development necessary to help the college reach its considerable potential for excellence.

We will not be making this journey alone – we are fortunate to have made some valuable partnerships along the way, including PCI College in Ireland, the University of Worcester, the BACP, UKCP and other professional bodies; and the helping professionals, therapists, supervisors, and placement providers who are so generous with their time and expertise, helping us to support our students in their learning. We value them all immensely.

As a college we want to enhance and increase opportunities for memorable, inspiring, and life-changing learning experiences. Like the ripples that spread across water when a pebble is thrown in, every successful Iron Mill College student will in turn positively impact many hundreds of individuals in the future. I am immensely proud of all of you who have already passed through our doors and are now making such a positive difference in what can be such a difficult world, and equally proud of all who are making the challenging and life-changing journey through training right now. 

We have a strong staff team of enthusiastic and experienced lecturers, and administrative staff who work with dedication to ensure the smooth running of the college. Working together, we have become well known for our exceptionally high levels of student care and support. 

I look forward to meeting and working with you, as you become part of the Iron Mill College - enjoy your learning!

Dr Jo Trelfa

Principal, Iron Mill College

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Course Venues:   Exeter   |   Poole   

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