As if the advent of the organisation’s 175th anniversary wasn’t enough, the team at the Royal Association for Deaf people (RAD) have had another reason to celebrate recently – thanks to the news that the charity has been awarded the prestigious Investors in People Gold accreditation.
The Investors in People accreditation is a national quality standard which defines best practice in people management, promoting excellence in the workplace through exemplary leadership and support. The Standard is met by fulfilling 39 evidence requirements from the core framework, while Gold is only achieved if an organisation can demonstrate an additional 125 evidence requirements. Just 16% of UK employers are accredited with Investors in People, and less than 5% achieve the prestigious Gold accreditation.
To secure the award, RAD underwent a rigorous assessment at its sites in Colchester, Dorking and London, with assessors performing a comprehensive audit as well as speaking to staff across the organisation, which employs 133 people in London, East Anglia, the South East, and the South West.
Following this visit, RAD was applauded for its exceptional and established staff policies. The assessment report highlighted a number of areas as being particularly strong, with ‘wow factors’ including a keen awareness of, and support for, professional and personal matters in team members’ lives; an organisational culture which ensures all team members are able to contribute ideas and opinions, a particular focus on recognising and retaining talent, and an outstanding commitment to communication – with all staff and volunteers encouraged to use British Sign Language (BSL) to ensure full understanding throughout the team.
Training was also an area singled out for particular praise. “Driven by a comprehensive understanding of the value and benefit of learning and development, activities are effectively planned and resourced to primarily ensure people have all the skills, knowledge and ability to work in a competent and professional way,” said Allan Churchman, Investors in People Specialist. “The positive theme of setting expectations, delivery of excellent training and measurement of performance remains constant throughout the implementation of RAD’s training strategy.”
“We’re delighted to have been recognised as one of the UK’s leading organisations in terms of people management,” said Dr Jan Sheldon, Chief Executive, RAD. “In recent years we’ve done a lot of work on developing and refining our organisational culture, and ensuring that we have the right people in the right places in order to strengthen our team through effective leadership and ongoing learning and development opportunities. Not only does this approach mean RAD is stronger as an organisation, but also it ensures that we can deliver the very best possible services to the Deaf community.”