Explore the Standard

The Investors in People Standard

The Standard explores practices and outcomes within an organization under three performance headings: leading, supporting and improving. Under each heading, we have identified three key indicators.



Creating purpose in a fast changing environment whilst motivating through change have become essential skills for many roles. Outperforming organizations foster leadership skills at every level of the organization to deliver outstanding results.

1     Leading and inspiring people

Leaders make the organization's objectives clear. They inspire and motivate people to deliver against these objectives and are trusted by people in the organization.

2     Living the organization's values

People and leaders act in line with the organization’s values at all times. They have the courage and support to challenge inconsistent behaviours.

3     Empowering and involving people

There is a culture of trust and ownership in the organization where people feel empowered to make decisions and act on them.



For many, constant change is now normal. Successful organizations are moving towards flatter structures to enable faster decision-making, customer focus and agility. Reduced overheads, better service for customers and more successful organizations are the benefits of this approach.

4     Managing performance

Objectives within the organization are fully aligned, performance is measured and feedback is used.

5     Recognising and rewarding high performance

Recognition and reward is clear and appropriate, creating a culture of appreciation where people are motivated to perform at their best.

6     Structuring work

The organization is structured to deliver the organization's ambition. Roles are designed to deliver organizational objectives and create interesting work for people, whilst encouraging collaborative ways of working.



The best organizations are always looking for opportunities to improve by seeking every marginal gain. They know that every small change adds together to enable them to constantly outperform.

7     Building capability

People’s capabilities are actively managed and developed. This allows people to realise their full potential and ensures that the organization has the right people at the right time for the right roles.

8     Delivering continuous improvement

There is a focus on continuous improvement. People use internal and external sources to come up with new ideas and approaches, supported by a culture that encourages innovation.

9     Creating sustainable success

The organization has a focus on the future and is responsive to change. Leaders have a clear understanding of the external environment and the impact this has on the organization.

The Performance Model

A journey of continuous improvement

The performance model creates a roadmap for continuous improvement against the Standard’s framework. This approach is based on extensive research into the concepts of performance and change management and sets out the criteria for different levels of accreditation; Accredited; Silver; Gold and Platinum.

Simply put, the model describes the practices and outcomes required for better performance and higher accreditation. Progression through the model maps out how practices are embedded within an organisation, starting at the "Developed" stage and progressing towards "High Performing".


1     Stage 1 - Developed

The principles and practice are in place, communicated, and understood. Everyone in the organization knows what is expected of them.

2     Stage 2 - Established

Employees are actively engaged in ensuring that principles and practices are applied consistently. These ways of thinking and behaving become second-nature within the organization.

3     Stage 3 - Advance

Employees actively drive positive outcomes, taking ownership of the principles and practices, and applying their knowledge to solve new problems.

4     Stage 4 - High Performing

The principles and practices are fully integrated with wider activities. Employees take responsibility for delivering consistently positive results, always with an eye on future improvement.

Introduction to Investors in People

Download the introductory guide