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Date: 13/09/2016

Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce are delighted to have achieved the Investors In People (IIP) Gold Award, becoming one of only nine businesses in the two counties to achieve the accreditation and the only accredited Chamber of Commerce in Central England.

The Chamber achieved Silver Status in September 2015 and made the decision to “top up” this year to attempt to reach the coveted gold status. The threshold for Gold accreditation is 165 Evidence Requirements; the Chamber not only reached this but far surpassed it, achieving an incredible 173 ERs.

IIP is the global standard for people management, delivered through a rigorous assessment framework. Successful accreditation is the sign of a great employer, an outperforming place to work and a clear commitment to sustainability. Organisations working within the standard report increased efficiency, productivity and employee engagement, as well as increased profitability, sustainability and optimism about the future.

Fourteen staff from a cross section of all departments were interviewed during the process. Key areas assessed included the organisation’s Learning and Development Strategy, People Management Strategy, Leadership and Management Strategy, Reward and Recognition and Performance Measurement. The new Directorate structure was a key factor in the Chamber’s success, as well as the Directors’ Leadership Development programme and the new Managers Charter. Training of staff, sharing knowledge and staff development were also praised, with the Chamber’s innovative approaches to training, one on ones between Directors and Managers, team meetings and the opportunities for personal development being recognised. Positive affirmation from staff was also a key criteria; feedback recognised that the Chamber’s Directors and Managers led staff effectively, encouraged improvement, supported them in their work, showed an interest in their development and created a very positive working environment, culture and atmosphere.

Mike Bramall, IIP Assessor, said: “I am delighted to confirm that Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce has now achieved Investors in People 'Gold' status. I have worked with the Chamber since 2009 and this success is just reward for the importance it places on its people and for the continuous improvement it has made in its people-management practices over this period. Mike Ashton and all his colleagues are to be congratulated on this excellent achievement of which everyone should be very proud.”