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IiP – your experiences needed!


We're interested in hearing from and stimulating debate among members whose organisations have recently gone through the Investors in People accreditation route. Did you find it straightforward, or a big deal? Did you have the full support of colleagues, managers and other members of staff? Did everyone understand what the IiP badge meant - or would mean - to your company, and, if you were successfully accredited, has it proved worthwhile?

Stephanie Phillips
Editor, TrainingZONE

12 Responses

  1. Iip Experience
    A company I work with recently underwent IiP assessment – knowing it was unlikely to get accreditation. The assessment was great in highlighting areas for improvement – and in particular for getting sign on to what needs to be done to improve people management, communication and training.
    The best element of IiP for a small organisation is that it gives focus to improvement initiatives and is based on what people say is happening rather than what is written in some policy somewhere.

  2. IiP accreditation
    I would be very interested to hear more on the same topic. I have heard that it is an arduous process but very worthwhile. Particularly for small firms, it demonstrates the ideal way for an organisation to be set up before it grows too large and unweildy. Not sure of the benefits perceived by others outside the organisation (customers, potential employees, etc.). I will be taking my client down this route as they find it easier to have a standard to define best practice i.e. are we getting it right?

  3. Quick and Easy

    I work for the first telecommunications company to recently recieve the IIP accreditation. we found the process of great value it allowed us with the unique opportunity to take a look at the business as a whole and how we work. The process itself was simple as we trained many employee to be IIP facilitators
    We recieved some excellent feedback and precise recommendations that will only help to improve our business.
    We found the process quick and easy

    Over all a great experience

  4. IiP
    I was MD of one of the very first 28 companies to meet the IiP standard. Seeking it subsequently for my own company some 10 years later was *very* much easier in terms of being less bureaucratic.

    We are now about to be re-assessed, having almost trebled in size in the last three years. It will be interesting to see what that will be like!

    As for benefits, I would say *very* substantial internally (clearer development focus, procedures and even outcomes; faster career growth for quite a few, and faster business growth too) – but no benefits ‘externally’ that I am aware of.

    I hope that might be helpful?


  5. IiP was worth it
    We recently achieved IiP recognition and in my view it was definitely worth it. There are a few key elements to make it a success though:-
    1) Be clear about your objectives – IiP is a tool to meet business objectives not an end in itself.
    2) Know how you are going to measure success before you are too far into the initiative.
    3) Communication and buy in around IiP needs to be ongoing.
    4) Implement processes and carry out actions that are of benefit to your business not just to meet IiP Standards.
    For those of you who have not looked at the Standard since 2000 there is now a much gretaer focus on outcomes rather than paperwork and processes. This makes it much easier to tailor how you use the Standard to your business.

    The process itself is pretty straight forward but I would recommend getting good professional advice early on.

    It is difficult to have too many arguments with the content of the Standard if you have a belief in the value of developing your people. It provides a sensible and usable structure. The key thing, as with most change programmes, is getting the implementation right.
    You could argue that a business can obtain all the benefits of IiP without going for accreditation. However, this requires a huge amount of discipline. When you have a specific, measurable goal in the objectives of your managers it focuses attention on areas that might not otherwise get priority.

  6. Who makes or initiates the move to embark on IiP?
    Does the process of working towards IiP fall to the HR and Training Aspect of the business still? Or has this responsibility been passed through to the MD/FD/CEO?

    The reason I ask is that a former colleague of mine recently told me that his ‘HR Manager was banging on about IiP’ again! So is it more of an HRD priority rather than the head of the business?

  7. IiP outcomes
    I have always believed that IiP and the standard is a model of good and effective practices. However, I am concerned that too many of the organisation’s that seek the recognition view it as ‘badge gathering’ and are happy to jump through all the hoops as long as nothing meaningful actually changes.

    Almost 25% of the UK workforce are now working in organisations that have achieved IiP recognition (40% when all the organisations that are currently formally committed to achieving the standard eventually gain IiP recognition). According to IiP UK, research among accredited organisations has shown that; 80% have increased customer satisfaction, and 70% have improved their competitive edge and productivity. If this is the case shouldn’t we now be able to see some demonstrable bottom line improvements in performance from UK plc?
    Almost all the research I’ve seen about the effectiveness of IiP has concentrated on lower level evaluation. There has been a lot of evidence that gaining IiP recognition has resulted in improvements at Levels 1 and 2 of Kirkpatrick’s evaluation hierarchy (levels 1,2 and 3 of the Hamblin evaluation model). But what of higher level evaluation? If IiP UK is right and getting on for 20% of the UK workforce have improved their competitive edge and productivity, why are we still slipping behind our competitors?
    If IiP is a worthwhile process – and generally I believe that it is – we should now be seeing the beneficial impact on the bottom line of the UK’s competitive performance. I look forward to seeing the evidence.

    Jeffrey Brooks
    Institute of Training and Occupational Learning

  8. IiP experience
    We went through the IiP process successfully in March 2000. It was useful in helping focus on areas that required improvement but the committment of senior management to push these changes forward have been negligible. I think that having got the ‘badge’ they are happy to sit back and let things coast on until the review process, when doubtless everyone will be stirred into action again.
    Effect on staff has been minimal and comminication with management has not improved overall – we at the grass routes level still feel isolated.
    Personally I think the IiP process is only as valuable as senior management’s committment to it. Not just the ‘badge’ gathering opportunity

  9. Got the Badge – Get it on the Letterhead
    We have dealt with organisations that have IiP and embrace the concept completely, who generally have a lower attrition rate because their ‘People’ feel that the process has had a positive impact on the internal culture.

    We have also experienced the ‘badge on wall’ organisations. In these there tends to be greater dissatisfaction amongst the staff because the badge becomes like the proverbial red rag when there is no change in the culture.

    The problem is with the re-accreditation process.

    1. The initial re-accreditation period should be much shorter.

    2. Recorded staff development programmes and training should be assessed for their fitness for purpose – it’s easy to show IT training records, but were they the result of a cheap day out at an off-the-shelf training factory or a comprehensive TNA process that properly addressed individual and organisation needs?

    3. Are your IiP assessors compromised by their links with an organisation that needs to demonstrate success as impetus of their continued existence, or are they in a position wherein they are only as good as their last job?

    Shame, reading some of the comments, that there isn’t whistle-blowing protection for employees with regards to IiP. I’m sure that would result in some pale triangles against painted walls.

  10. Valuable as employee feedback
    Have recently successfully been re-assessed. It was a very valuable and reliable employee feedback and benchmarking exercise. The employees like to be asked and listened too. The sample size and distribution make it reliable and thorough. I whole heartly support the fact that the assessment was based on what the employees say rather than reviewing policies and procedures. Incidently we did no special preparation for the assessment so that it was true and accurate. It would have no value otherwise.
    The badge on the wall has no particular value to us.


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