Verinder will leave midway through next month to dedicate himself full-time to Chalkstream Communications, which he set up in 2012.
His departure means that current public affairs head Chris Walden will now take on a new role overseeing both departments.
Verinder first joined the association in 2003 as a press officer, before rising to become comms director.
In that time, the AoC has expanded its network of college marketing and PR contacts from 35 to more than 750.
However, Verinder said that his consultancy, launched last June, had reached the point where he had to focus on it full time.
‘I was doing two days a week or so but it’s gone so well that I had to make the choice and go for it,’ he said, ‘and I am lucky to have a good network of associates who can help me focus on the work.’
Chalkstream Communications currently has clients including news service for schools The Day and study guide publisher Connell Guides.
Verinder added that it would now focus on reputation-related research and senior management training as well as both change and risk management.
The A0C was established in 1996 as a voice for further education and higher education.