Investors in People

The Investors in People Standard is a business improvement tool designed to advance an organisation’s performance through its employees. It helps organisations to improve performance and realise objectives through the management and development of their people. It has three principles to which an organisation must subscribe and key indicators to work towards. An external assessor will look for evidence that these principles and indicators have been implemented throughout the organisation.


Investors in People (IIP) provides a flexible framework, which any organisation can use. It mirrors the business planning cycle (plan, do, review) making it clear for organisations to follow and implement in their own planning cycle.

The framework is based on three main principles:

  1. Plan – developing strategies to improve the performance of the organisation.
  2. Do – taking action to improve the performance of the organisation.
  3. Review – evaluating the impact of its investment in people on the performance of the organisation. Each principle has clear indicators underpinning them.


  1. A strategy for improving the performance of the organisation is clearly defined and understood.
  2. Learning and development is planned to achieve the organisation’ objectives.
  3. Strategies for managing people are designed to promote equality of opportunity in the development of the organisation’s people.
  4. The capabilities managers need to lead, manage and develop people effectively are clearly defined and understood.


  1. Managers are effective in leading, managing and developing people.
  2. People’s contributions to the organisation are recognised and valued.
  3. People are encouraged to take ownership and responsibility by being involved in decision-making.
  4. People learn and develop effectively.


  1. Investment in people improves the performance of the organisation.
  2. Improvements are continually made to the way people are managed and developed.

Organisations pursuing the Standard prepare their work against these criteria with support from a recognised Investors in People Adviser and guidance from detailed evidence requirements. External assessment is carried out to ensure the organisation has met these principles and underpinning criteria. The organisation can request an assessment at any time once it has decided to work towards the Standard.

Supporting evidence for the assessment is gathered from a range of sources. Evidence may include verbal and observed feedback, for example, through one-to-one interviews with employees or staff appraisal. Once the organisation has been recognised as an ‘Investor in People’ it is subject to regular reviews no more than three years apart. An organisation can be assessed on a more regular basis if it so wishes.

Further sources of information

Training Programme
Strategic overviews and practical training.

We offer tailored online and on-site training and briefings on Theory of Change, measuring social impact, commissioning for outcomes and social value, SROI, measuring local economic impact, community economic development, and more.

We also facilitate workshops to help you develop a Theory of Change for your programme or strategy. 

Clients include local authorities, universities, public health services, charities, community groups, membership bodies, and responsible businesses.

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by @nefconsulting