North East Sensory Services (NESS), which supports thousands of people with visual and hearing impairments, has been awarded the gold standard from Investors in People (IIP) for the third time in a row.
The charity first achieved accreditation in January 2010 and since then it has been on a journey of continuous improvement, achieving the gold level in 2016 and retaining it in 2018. The standard is used to recognise organisations that are committed to investing in their people through training and development, leadership and creating a great place to work.
In IIP’s report, a “heatmap” measuring performance against key indicators shows progress was made in all areas since it was last assessed in 2018. It shows the charity was close to reaching the top platinum status, which is only achieved by a very small proportion of accredited organisations. The highest standards were met in areas including ‘living with the organisation’s values and behaviours’, ‘creating sustainable success, ‘structuring work’ and ‘building capability’.
NESS, which operates in Aberdeen, Dundee, Aberdeenshire, Moray and Angus, also continued to score highly on ‘delivering continuous improvement’ and on recognising and rewarding performance. And there were big improvements in the organisation with regards to ‘leading and inspiring people’, ‘managing performance’ and ‘empowering and involving people’.
IIP also noted that two words repeatedly used by staff to describe the culture of NESS were “kindness” and “caring”.
Graham Findlay, chief executive of NESS, said: “To have retained the advanced gold standard of accreditation from Investors in People for a third consecutive time is just phenomenal, and it is all down to the continued hard work and efforts of our employees and leadership team.
“We will strive to keep improving and we hope to reach the highest accolade, the platinum standard, next time.”
Hilary Crick, IIP assessor, said: “Graham and his team are fully engaged with their improvement journey and it is a delight to work with such enthusiastic people."