The region's largest business membership organisation this week awarded its first global graduate with her new qualification in overseas trade.
Lynsey Smith, export coordinator for Mayborn Group, was the first person to receive the North East Chamber of Commerce's Foundation Award in International Trade.
NECC is one of a handful in the UK running the full qualification, which aims to equip companies with the practical tools necessary to oversee the streamlined, compliant movement of goods.
Lynsey is one of only a small number of delegates in the UK to have achieved the qualification, which was launched late in 2012.
She said: "I'm absolutely delighted to be the first person in the North East and one of only a handful across the UK to achieve this qualification.
"I would recommend this course to anybody involved in the movement of goods to foreign markets."
Simon Greetham, import/export coordinator for subsea specialists SMD, is another from the region to complete the course.
He said: "Working in overseas markets can be a daunting prospect and it does have its challenges, but with this course, NECC is equipping companies with knowledge, skills and technical know-how to negotiate their way through the export process."
NECC offers a selection of accredited one-day courses that cover the 'Core 6' modules, which are individually and collectively relevant to small and medium businesses aiming to improve the skills and capability of staff.
At the end of the training, learners are given a series of exercises based on the skills learnt. These will then be assessed and those receiving a Pass or Merit will receive a uniquely numbered certificate.
Those who pass six modules will achieve a nationally recognised Foundation Award in International Trade.
Mayborn Group, which owns baby products brand Tommee Tippee, recently signed up for NECC's Global Membership package which offers a high level of support, guidance and documentation expertise and certification for exporters.
NECC international trade manager Brian Dakers said: "This qualification offers a real opportunity for SMEs and their employees to gain skills and experience within exporting.”
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