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IiP reaccreditation


I am due to start work at an organisation which is questioning the need for going for reaccreditation.

Although I believe in IiP I have never had to prove that it works in hard nosed business terms.

Does anyone know where I can get hard facts and figures to back up my conjecture? What do your organisations and/ or blue chip companies do?

Is IiP still the main tool for ensuring training and development is in line with business needs?

If not what else is out there? What will be in place in five years time?

What do your organisations do?

Many thanks and happy Xmas!


andy phillimore

18 Responses

  1. Why don’t you ask…
    I think it may be useful to have a look through some of the Coverage of IiP here on TrainingZONE. This has not only come up in the interview recently with Ruth Spellman, IiP CEO, but also in a number of other features and other Any Answers questions. Put iip in the search box in the top right hand of this page as a starter.

    Also I would recommend that you consider contacting IiP and asking them to help out in this matter. They are a commercial organisation and you are their client…what kind of service would you demand of them? And, without wishing to sound to hard about this, how interested are they in keeping you?
    Does the service stop with accreditation and start again at re-accreditation? They say not…so…

  2. Clients and accreditation
    We have found that a number of our clients have jettisoned the accreditation after a couple of years. Reasons vary but most have stated that they keep the methods and principles in place but the badge does not achieve anything for them once obtained.

    We have noticed that for some it may have significance for business contracts but ISO has greater significance for most.

    We think accreditation is a lot more important to training and HR professionals than business owners, the reason is that business owners look at what it means to the bottom line. So once achieved it can be maintained without cost of reaccreditation, it does not mean a slippage of standards just a case of been there, done that now what can we go for?

    The discusssion on this site was very interesting, have a look at it was well supported by various views.


  3. A good question to ask
    Too many companies look to have Iip on their headed paper without any real cultural change taking place.
    So, your new employer is asking a good question, although it may be purely from a perceived cost basis.

    I would suggest asking (please God not some survey form) employees how they would feel if Iip ceased at your organisation, I think the answers will be illuminating.

    Sincere good wishes for your new job Andy, and so a very happy new year.


  4. IiP Costs and Returns
    Your employers are correct in their approach but are possibly missing the point. If they achieved IiP status and shoved the badge on the wall and the letterhead, then waited for the business to flood in, then of course they won’t see the benefits.

    If they set clear objectives and met them, invested in quality training (not the bargain basement, one size fits all style, but the properly tailored product) with clearly identified requirements which the people attending were aware of and were ready to meet, you would not be having this problem.

    IiP is only a starting point in that it puts in place measures and procedures, for it to make an impact the company has to comply with them. It’s easy to send someone on a training course, but not so easy to match a course with the needs of the organisation and the capabilities of the individual. If you fail in this area, your IiP status is meaningless, and re-investment on these grounds will not occur.

    In short, you either need to show that there has been a performance-related improvement since IiP or show that the reason the return has not occurred is because the management have paid lip service to the training requirements by buying a bucket of generic compost when a Fisons No3 was essential for growth.

    Good luck

  5. IIP return can be measured
    Hi Andy,

    The benefits you can expect to achieve from continued use of IIP in your organisation will depend entirely on your current strengths and weaknesses. For example, you may have a robust business planning process, but poor communication of those plans and goals. IIP may help you to refocus employees on your organisation’s goals, and improve overall performance. Alternatively, you may be doing lots of training and development, but not really evaluating it – in which case IIP may help you to better target your T&D spend or even reduce T&D costs.

    However at a wider level there is good data to prove the impact of the Standard on performance. We use People Insight as a tool to measure the people performance of organisations. The tool has been used across organisations of many sizes and sectors and what we see within our database are marked differences in results between Recognised Investors in People and organisations not working with the Standard. For example, we see higher levels of employee motivation, more consistent management effectiveness and greater goal clarity amongst teams and individuals.

    Unsurprisingly, these results follow through to the bottom-line – we know that Recognised organisations tend to operate in the upper quartile of performers in terms of key measures such as turnover and profitability per employee.

    So, the next step for your organisation should be to undertake an honest review of its current strengths and weaknesses against the IIP Standard. If there are issues found that are likely to impact on employee performance and the bottom line, then you have the business case you need to continue work with the Standard!

    Tom Debenham

  6. What’s in it for you?
    As an accredited Adviser, I’ve asked it myself. I pay for the privilege of being a member of the club just like you do, so I’ve considered how well IiP stacks up against other improvement models.

    What’s in it for you? Be honest. For many, it’s the three C’s:

    1. Cosmetic
    (looks good on the wall)
    2. Competitive
    (everyone else has it)
    3. Conditional
    (mandated or strings-attached)

    And one more. Some seek recognition to help achieve business results in a way that’s consistent with their purpose, principles & direction.

    So where do you stand?

    Has your direction changed so fundamentally that your original motives for seeking recognition are no longer valid?

    What’s the business impact? *££ cost to achieve IiP?
    *££ benefits of IiP?
    *££ to bail out of IiP?
    *££ to try something else?
    *What will customers think?

    How does IiP support our business being the first choice among…
    *current/future staff?

    Is top management committed to improvement? Why are they questioning this?

    Does the Standard work for you, or do you work for the Standard?

    Are people cynical about ‘Investors in Paper?’ Will they be more or less so if you fail to keep your promise?

    Do you have the influence and will to build a coalition to challenge the naysayers? Do you want to?

    Did your Assessor add value with continuous assessment, or were they hot on the paper trail to nowhere? Have you held them accountable? And what actions have YOU taken against their findings? Take a good look.

    For a start, you can make use of resources available to you as an Investor in People. If you believe that developing people is the key to sustained improvement, you’ll find supporting stats and case studies at the IiP website. A delivery partner with sector expertise can provide valuable support. And there’s ample independent data–pro and con–in the literature too.

    As a good practice standard, IiP is both practical and universally recognized. As a business improvement tool, it can bridge compliance QA(ISO; sector-specific models) and complementary or breakthrough improvement initiatives (NTA, Balanced Scorecard, Business Excellence Model et al). But if you think it’s ‘a bridge too far’, think again before heading up the river with ANY of these. There are NO worthy soft options.

    The revised IiP Standard, complemented by the new IiP Profile and optional standards in recruitment & selection and leadership development, show that IiP has evolved to embrace a broader range of business activities. This will enhance its efficacy as a stand-alone or complementary improvement model. Its focus and scope–and how you’ll be assessed–have evolved in response to customer input, but the model itself isn’t going away anytime soon.

  7. Hard Business Measures for IIP
    Hi all,

    Hope this is useful.

    I’ve taken these figures from an independent survey of 25,000 IIP Accredited companies, undertaken in 2001. These are the averages:

    Return on Sales (up 14%) – IIP Companies confirmed rising profits.
    To achieve that, all the skills in the business need to be deployed at once – from chasing bad debts to delivering fault free products on time, every time.

    Net Worth (up 53%) – There is no corporate goal greater that that of building capital value for shareholders, with implications for financial security and growth potential. IIP Companies enjoy net worths well above the national median, which means they are skilled at making money and retaining it.

    Return on capital (up 18%) – for IIP Companies is above the median, regardless of size. That means that these companies do not just acquire and sit on rising cash reserves, but have developed the ability to keep on investing them successfully for a rising payback.

    Return on assets (up 16%) – is another attraction for shareholders and IP Companies had higher returns on assets than the median. This could be because managers know how to deploy all of the companies resources wisely and effectively.

    Average remuneration (up 25%) – grew at a faster rate after achieving IIP, reflecting increased investment in human resources and the ability to pay higher salaries.

    Sales per employee (up 19%) – also rose after achieving IIP due to investment in skills, focus on goals and motivation levels as staff feel more valued.

    Profit per employee (up 33%) and return on human capital (up 6%) are much higher for IIP Companies. It is clear that an employer committing to IIP is sending out a powerful message to its employees, which is repaid handsomely in business results.

    Deryck Banks
    Business Link Kent

  8. More Information
    I was very interested in Deryck Banks entry. Could he tell us what is the name of the survey and is it available for general distribution and reading, if so where from.

  9. IIP Reaccreditation
    Coming late to this debate I have little to add to the excellent advice provided by my fellow members. Except to say that I would strongly reiterate the suggestion that one asks around. Your local Business Link will be able to supply contacts who have been reaccredited many times by now and they may well be willing to discuss the benefits with you.

    However, I do also need to mention my surprise at the quote from Susan McGaughran that “many of our clients have jettisoned the accreditation after a couple of years”. I do not doubt that this is true in her case but do need to stess that this is far from the norm.

    The total national average drop-out rate is only 7 per cent and this includes organisations taken over by overseas organisations who do not understand the benefits of Investors in People.

    I have personally been involved with the standard since the launch in 1991 as an assessor. I can honestly declare that I have not worked with one single organisation that has not sought reaccreditation – in some cases again and again – over that 11 year period.

  10. Where the IIP Stats come from..
    Hi all,

    I should have guessed that people would want to know the source of the information in my previous posting.

    The stats come from a very meaty document produced by the Hambleden Group.

    It’s a useful document because it gives you National averages, and also industry sector measures as well – e.g. impact of IIP on manufacturing, retail etc..

    Interestingly, the figures show that companies who gain IIP end up significantly increasing their volume of Export business! (Although the report doesn’t explain why – but interesting nevertheless).

    Details for the Hambleden Group below:

    PO Box 16980 London NW8 9WP

    Here’s my disclaimer… Business Link Kent have no vested interest in the Hambleden Group – I’m forwarding these details without prejudice or comment.

    Good luck!

    PS: You could also contact Investors in People Uk to gain case studies and facts and figures etc..

    Or your local Business Link.

    Any business in the Kent area can contact me directly if you want to find out more about how we help Kent businesses to achieve IIP. There could also be some funding available if you are a business looking to do Investors in People for the first time (employing between 5-49 people).

    We work with businesses to improve business performance – rather than ‘just doing IIP’ – which means we use IIP as a framework of good practice to drive improved business results..

    In this way IIP becomes a by-product of what we deliver.. e.g. after working with us to improve your planning, communication, management effectiveness, performance management, recruitment and training processes – we find that businesses not only improve performance, but naturally meet the IIP Standard as well.

    We also offer an OnLine route to gaining business support – leading to IIP Accreditation. All from the comfort of your desktop.

  11. IIP Re-accreditation
    Jennifer is quite right about the figures for IIP accreditation globally.

    We deliver consultancy in mergers and acquisition cases with the emphasis on the legal sector and have found that the figures for IIP retention in the newly formed enterprise are significantly lower. The ‘old’ business ceases to exist and the new enterprise often has little or no inclincation to adopt the process of IIP. It may be sector specific of course.

    This may also be because no calculations have been made for ROI on the IIP or any other quality badge and at the stage we are called in we are dealing with figures and returns on investment.

    We too will be very interested in the business case presented on the facts of Derek’s recommended report and the nature of the data collected.

    0870 241 3998

  12. More food for thought.. IIP & business ‘needs and wants’
    Hi all,

    On reflection.. whilst there are facts and figures available showing the financial impact on a business for doing IIP (and continuing to do it).. It does help if you can clearly identify the businesses ‘needs and wants’ first – and then see how/if IIP can address these.

    For example:

    A labour intensive business (who’s route to competitive advantage is mainly through getting cheaper labour than its competitor) can use IIP to ensure the labour resource is being used to the maximum of its ability (e.g. multi-skilling, working to clear outcome targets). Also, whilst this type of employer can’t pay high salaries – IIP can be used to encourage training leading to qualifications, and people feeling valued (in spite of low salaries).

    A material intensive business (who’s route to competitive advantage is via purchasing cheaper raw materials than competitors (e.g. Asda’s merger with Walmart leading to greater purchasing power)) can use IIP to demonstrate to consumers, customers, (others in the supply chain etc) that they use a framework of good business practice to supply the goods and services they provide. Therefore people employed by the company will be skilled, well informed, focusing on quality of service, keen to add shareholder value.

    A machine intensive business (who’s route to competitive advantage is through maximising the effectiveness of production and equipment) can use IIP to ensure managers are skilled in improving production, motivation of the workforce, reducing equipment down-time, target setting, balancing the flow of production, building ‘quality’ into the production process.

    A knowledge intensive business (who’s route to competitive advantage is through research & development of innovative products and services, niche markets, ‘The widget with wings’) can use IIP to ensure the right working culture is in place to foster creativity and support for new ideas. Can also use IIP to add structure to internal planning processes, business plans, financial plans, identification of training needs, performance review etc. In this type of business the people are the main route to income generation (their knowledge creates wealth for the company) so IIP should be used to ensure people’s needs for support and development are met – i.e. to encourage staff retention.

    Food for thought..

  13. IIP
    Whilst I agree with a lot Deryck says the question is still ‘Is IIP right for this business?’.

    We can select a lot of data on IIP performance figures for companies who have used the IIP process to improve their commercial advantage. However was all of the percentage of improved profits, staff retention soley caused by application of IIP or the process of control it brings? Can this process by done in house or by other means?

    We still believe in the IIP model and advise use of it but, and it is a big but we continue to look at other methods of quality measurement too.

    TBD Global Ltd
    0870 241 3998

  14. Needs Measures
    TBD Global Ltd suggest that the same results may be achived by better procedures but my experience has been that if there is no measure or reason to follow a procedure then they slip back into their old ways.

  15. Proving the case for continued assessment
    Dear Andy,

    I have followed the Investors in People re-assessment debate with interest and hope to set out the case for your organisation continuing its work with the Standard.
    The Investors in People Standard is not just a pat on the back but a framework with which an organisation can move forward. The re-evaluation process provides a marker to work towards and prevents organisations from simply paying lip service to the Standard once it is stamped on their letterhead.

    It is for this reason that re-assessment with the Standard every three years is compulsory. Many organisations do it more frequently. The external assessor offers an objective verdict on the organisation’s successful or unsuccessful adherence to the principles not just of the Standard, but of people development. The assessment process acts as an opportunity to review procedures and, hopefully, celebrate hard work and business success with external recognition.

    I realise however, that terms like ‘people development’ can fail to strike a chord with some cynical business leaders or finance directors. I would like to take this opportunity then, to share some statistics with you that prove the business case for continuing to work with the Standard:

    1.) In a survey of recognised organisations:
    • 96% agreed that the Standard helps people achieve their potential.
    • 90% agreed that investment in people is a good business decision.
    • 80% of organisations with 25 or more staff felt that the Standard delivers bottom line results.
    (Source: UK Tracking Study – Employer Research, MarketShape Ltd, Feb 2001)

    2.) Other research showed that:
    • 80% have increased customer satisfaction
    • 70% have improved their competitive edge and productivity
    (Source: Building Capability for the 21st century. CREATE 1999)

    3.) We have a 90% customer retention rate

    To conclude, it is my belief that the small cost of re-assessment is negligible compared to the potential benefits to business of the Standard.

    I hope this helps build your case for continuing to work with the Standard and for being regularly assessed against its framework. With more than 30,000 organisations now working with the Standard, we must on the right track!

    Yours faithfully

    Ruth Spellman
    CEO, Investors in People UK

  16. Investors in People
    I am writing in response to the debate regarding the need for Investors in People

    I am Managing Director of a manufacturing company employing 35 people in Chesterfield, and I have been involved with the Standard for 4 years. During this time Investors in People has provided an excellent framework to help us implement our business improvement plan, which has required the active involvement of employees at all levels.

    By working with the Standard, we have achieved improved efficiency, morale, and innovation and our staff turnover, absenteeism, and sickness levels are now significantly below national averages.

    I also believe that the re-recognition third party assessment is a vital part of a company’s development, as it helps and encourages organisations to maintain levels of service, and embark on continuous improvement and development.

    And the cultural shift and learning curve that companies experience is far more significant than one would imagine. Of course, it is easy to track reduced staff turnover, reduced absenteeism and improved quality and customer service – but the change in attitudes and behaviours that sustained work with the Investors in People Standard can bring is profound. I believe it is a priceless tool for those organisations that aspire to business excellence.

    I would advise any organisation that is thinking of going for re-recognition to do so; it ensures you will continue to reap the rewards of “Investing in Your People”.

    Ian Greenaway
    Managing Director
    MTM Products Limited

    10th January 2003

  17. IIP
    No Iain, what I said was that each business is unique and we need to look at whether IIP is right for this(or that) business.

    External objective evaluation against a National or International standard is often the only way businesses can measure the road they have travelled.

    It may be that IIP is the right standard but we do not believe it is always the only one.

    TBD GLobal Ltd
    0870 241 3998


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