Regard, which provides residential care homes and supported living services in more than 120 locations across the UK, has been awarded the prestigious Gold Investors In People standard.
It makes them only the fourth out of 17,000 organisations in the UK, which care for people with learning difficulties and mental health needs to achieve the prestigious award.
The Investors In People assessors praised Chief Executive Officer Sandie Foxall-Smith and her team for the way they have been enthusiastically driving up standards while keeping service users and caring at the centre of everything.
Staff will be sharing the success with those they care for with special celebration tea parties across the country on September 30. Previously Regard, which has its headquarters in Kingston-upon-Thames, had achieved the silver standard.
People with learning disabilities and mental health needs receive a variety of services from Regard throughout the UK, many in bespoke supported living services or specialist residential services with others receiving outreach services.
Investors In People specialist Sylvia Zachariah said: “It has been a genuine pleasure to undertake this review of Regard. The wealth and weight of evidence was quite overwhelming. The CEO and her team are fully committed to continuous improvement across all aspects of the organisation and have never wavered.”
The Gold Standard was awarded after visits to Regard care establishments, its headquarters function and after interviews with staff at all levels. Some 147 additional pieces of evidence building on the Silver accreditation were studied.
Sylvia Zachariah, who looked into every aspect of the management and running of the firm, praised the quality of management and the way staff work saying: “It quickly became obvious that people continue to be focussed on the notions of excellence and quality; they are fully committed and passionate about delivering the best possible outcomes for customers, patients, stakeholders and the organisation.
“Your employees are highly motivated and are fully embracing the person centred approach, which is the foundation of their work. It is rare that I find a cohort of staff so committed to improving the life of those in their care.
“People fully understand the concept of customer care which for them is ensuring service users can lead fulfilling lives and are being supported in the most appropriate person centred way.”
The 37-page report looks at every aspect of the organisation from the way staff are recruited and trained, through day to day management, leadership and strategy of Regard has been produced as part of the Investors In People assessment.
Sandie Foxall-Smith, Chief Executive, said: “The Gold accreditation is a fantastic accolade that recognises the hard work and dedication of our staff and it is a huge achievement. In three years we have gone from the bronze award to the gold award which is a fantastic achievement.
“We are dedicated to continuously improving the service we provide to some of the most vulnerable people in society. But the real test comes when an independent external assessor, such as we had with Investors In People, comes into an organisation and looks carefully at how you do things.
“Just four care organisations, that is 0.02%, in the country have achieved the gold standard.”
Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People, said: “We’d like to congratulate Regard on their Gold standard. Such a high level of accreditation is the sign of great people management practice, and demonstrates a commitment to staff development and shows an organisation committed to being the very best it can be. Regard should be extremely proud of their achievement.”
Regard, which was founded in 1994, employs around 2,000 direct care staff to support service users with learning disabilities, mental health needs or acquired brain injuries.
‘Investors In People’ is a business improvement tool administered by UK Commission for Employment and Skills and supported by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.