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Launched in 1990 Investors in People is a business improvement tool administered by Investors in People UK and supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Investors in People offers a business improvement tool designed to help all kinds of organisations develop performance through their people. It is a tailored assessment process designed to support organisations in planning, implementing and evaluating effective strategies. It is relevant for organisations of all sizes and sectors.

According to Cranfield School of Management, in 2008 there were almost 40,000 organisations currently working with Investors in People. These organisations employ approximately 7.5 million of the UK workforce [1] .

Though UK-based, the Standard has been licensed to a number of other countries.


The Standard

The Investors in People Standard is part of the fuller Investors in People framework. Investors in People assists organisations to improve business performance and competitiveness through a planned approach to setting and communicating business objectives and developing people to deliver them.

Investors in People has three fundamental principles:

• Plan – developing strategies to improve the performance of the organisation

• Do – implementing these strategies

• Review – evaluating and adjusting these strategies

These three principles breakdown into 10 indicators; each indicator is subdivided into a number of evidence requirements. These detail the criteria organisations are required to meet in order to achieve the Standard. There are 39 evidence requirements in total.

The Investors in People standard covers a variety of business areas including:

• Indicator 1 – Business Strategy

• Indicator 2 – Learning and Development Strategy

• Indicator 3 – People Management Strategy

• Indicator 4 – Leadership and Management Strategy

• Indicator 5 – Management Effectiveness

• Indicator 6 – Recognition and Reward

• Indicator 7 – Involvement and Empowerment

• Indicator 8 – Learning and Development

• Indicator 9 – Performance Measurement

• Indicator 10 – Continuous Improvement


Recognition and Scoring

Organisations need to achieve all 39 evidence requirements in order to become recognised.

In 2009, Investors in People launched with a new approach for customers which provides more opportunities for organisations to go beyond The Standard. Organisations can now achieve Bronze, Silver or Gold status by meeting additional evidence requirements from across the broader Investors in People framework.

Including points at The Standard level, organisations that achieve:

• 65 evidence requirements or more will be recognised as Investors in People Bronze,

• 115 evidence requirements or more will be recognised as Investors in People Silver, and

• 165 evidence requirements or more will be recognised as Investors in People Gold [2].

Assessment process

The assessment process is undertaken by licensed Investors in People Centres. Organisations apply to be assessed and if the external assessors can find sufficient evidence of policy and practices in line with each indicator, the organisation is awarded 'recognition' of its Investors in People status.

Recognised organisations are able to display the Investors in People plaque and use the logo on recruitment advertisements and stationery.


The Investors in People Standard was created in 1991 through a partnership of businesses and other national organisations. It is revised approximately every 5 years by Investors in People UK. This development work involves consultations with customers, employees and leading people management organisations.


The Standard is regularly reviewed by Investors in People UK and research is conducted on the benefits of working with the Investors in People framework and the impact of achieving recognition [3] . In recent years, research studies have demonstrated that Investors in People has a positive impact on performance [4] .

Investors in People UK

Investors in People UK was formed in 1993 to administer the Investors in People framework. It is a non-departmental public body and receives funding from the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) . In 2009, responsibility for The Investors in People framework will be passed from the UK Government to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES)[5] .

The organisation is based in London, United Kingdom and manages the development, policy, promotion and quality assurance of the Investors in People framework.


Investors in People UK works collaboratively with a range of strategic partners across the public, private and third sectors to:

• Support greater understanding and insight into the variety of business issues and workforce challenges,

• Provide information and alignment to complex agendas, and

• Influence the focus on people performance, business improvement and productivity.

Examples include close partnerships with Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy(CIPFA) and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) providing Continuing Personal or Professional Development [6] benefits for employees, mapping the Investors in People framework against other standards and sector frameworks and contributing towards policy of other Government initiatives [7] .

External links

• Investors in People official website (

• Investors in People UK (

• Department for Business, Innovation and Skills(

• UK Commission for Employment and Skills (

• Investors in People Centres (

• International Quality Centre (


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