Gateshead College wins gold

Staff and managers at Gateshead College are celebrating achieving the Investors in People (IIP) Gold standard – the highest level that any organisation can achieve – after an outstanding assessment.

Only a small number of elite businesses in the UK achieve the Gold standard and HR director, Su Breadner, is delighted that Gateshead College is now among the three percent that have.

She said: “Receiving Gold standard is an incredible accomplishment and for Gateshead College it is a considerable achievement at a time of significant change.

“In 2012, we implemented an innovative new curriculum model to transform and improve the way we work, which included the introduction of a new staffing structure. Our recovery from this massive change and our staff’s ability to come through the changes so quickly was recognised by the assessor as ‘remarkable’.

“The Gold standard demonstrates that we are a people business and that investing in our workforce and the community is crucial to our success. It comes off the back of a commitment to deliver a  number of employee-focussed initiatives including an engagement programme, establishment of a clear set of competencies, a new performance management system, staff wellbeing events and a whole host of employee benefits.”  

Gateshead College has held IIP Bronze status for a number of years. It consistently invests in its people in order to ensure students and businesses receive the best possible education and training.

In order to achieve Gold, Gateshead College had to meet 165 requirements, and support them with documented evidence, that included commitment to College values, personal development and social responsibility.          

IIP specialist and assessor, Graeme Mills, interviewed 80 members of staff and commented that among them were some of the most positive people he had ever met.

Other highlights from his report included a willingness by people to accept change and innovate and the distance we’ve travelled as a college was seen as ‘very impressive.’.

He said: “Gateshead College’s achievement of the Gold Award in Investors in People is a reflection of its continued belief and commitment to success through people development and management.

“It is an approach that has seen it through some challenging times and is shaping its future strategies. The College and its staff’s commitment to continually improve is a major strength and benefit to students and the communities it serves.”

Principal Richard Thorold added: “I’m extremely proud of all Gateshead College employees for working together to achieve success internally and for our customers, we have a great team.”

First developed in 1991, Investors in People has grown to be the UK’s leading people management business improvement standard.