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09 March 2011
The University is one of the largest organisations in Wales to be awarded Investors in People accreditation. It is also the first of the 20 Russell Group research-intensive universities to gain the standard across the whole institution.
A nationally recognised framework, Investors in People gives people the assurance that they are working for an organisation that cares about improving performance and realising together common objectives through the effective encouragement and development of their people.
Cardiff University has more than 6,000 staff, making the University one of the largest employers within the capital and in Wales. The assessment was carried out in three phases between June 2010 and January 2011. The independent assessors interviewed staff from across the University.
They observed much excellent practice throughout the University including: improvements in staff and management development; in communications; and in teamwork. Specific initiatives such as support for female academics in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, and in academia more widely were commented upon.
The assessors also recognised the need for continued improvement in areas such as appraisal and the leadership and management framework. They identified a need for a consistent approach across the whole University.
The Vice-Chancellor, Dr David Grant said: "I congratulate and thank every member of staff for this achievement. Some Schools, Directorates and Divisions have held Investors in People recognition for a number of years. Undoubtedly this experience has helped us gain recognition University-wide. I am particularly grateful to many colleagues who share my enthusiasm and aspirations for Investors in People, and have worked tirelessly to bring about change where needed, and are committed to continuous improvement through our main resource: our people.
"Investors in People recognition is an important achievement, but it is a milestone on a journey. Our assessors recognised many examples of good practice, but we can do more to share and embed these practices across the whole University. Our assessors found, for example, that appraisals were not consistently applied across the University. These findings, and many others, will be carefully considered so that we can develop more opportunities for continuous improvement."
Lesley Griffiths, Deputy Minister for Science, Innovation and Skills, congratulated the University on its achievement. "People are the greatest asset of any organisation and gaining IiP status recognises a major investment by organisations and businesses in the skills and capabilities of their staff. It is also one of the most respected benchmarks of excellence and a reflection of the commitment it takes and the standards that need to be reached in order to obtain IiP accreditation."
The Investors in People achievement adds to other recent recognition for the University's commitment to a Positive Working Environment, staff development and equality and diversity. These include: the first silver Athena Swan award in recognition of the University’s success in recruiting, retaining and promoting women in Science, Engineering and Technology, the Times Higher Education award for the University’s leadership and management programme for principal investigators on research teams, and becoming a Stonewall Top 100 Employer which recognises the University’s pioneering efforts to create a workplace where lesbian, gay and bisexual people can reach their full potential.
The University will be reassessed by the Investors in People team in three years.
Investors in People report: "By achieving Investors in People, you have put your organisation at the forefront of good practice. This gives a clear signal to everyone you deal with that you are committed to continuous improvement through your main resource: your people".
Professor Terry Threadgold
Professor Terry Threadgold, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Staff and Diversity said:"Investors in People (IiP) is a key part, and a key driver, of the work we do as an organisation to ensure that all of our staff enjoy a positive working environment (PWE). Gaining IiP provides a critical framework for a true culture of continuous improvement."IiP is about team-work. It is and must be a collective effort and every single person who took part and reflects and learns from the process will help the whole University to move forward positively. We are very grateful to all staff who took the time to attend the interviews and made the effort to support us in taking the University forward in this way. Thank you."
Karen Cooke, Organisational Development Manager said: "Achieving Investors in People accreditation is a significant achievement for the University and is a benchmark of how far we have progressed in the way we manage, develop and support our members of staff. We still have areas of people management practice that need improving and this is still very much a work in progress across the whole University. I would like to thank every member of staff who has taken time out of their busy schedule to attend an Investors in People interview over the past eight months and in particular staff in Schools and Directorates who have provided me with information and tolerated my constant enquiries and questions!"
Areas that the IiP Assessment Team felt were strengths across the University included:
• The opportunities for staff to take advantage of a very wide range of courses to facilitate their personal development.
• The way the University genuinely seeks and listens to feedback and plans to improve as a result.
• the ongoing commitment to developing and delivering robust management practices.
Areas for development included:
• More effective promotion of mentoring as there is a lack of awareness and understanding about how the University’s approach works.
• Encouragement to engage in the appraisal process. Highlighting the benefit and value of the appraisal system.
• Building on the good work on the Leadership and Management Framework and encouraging appraisers and appraisees to incorporate this into their approach.
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