Agenda item

Investors in People (IiP)


A workshop had been held on the 14th July to complete a Member diagnostic report and as a consequence the Chairman had asked for the matter to be brought to the Overview & Scrutiny Commission as a number of concerns had been raised which he felt required immediate attention.


The Executive Member for Performance & Communications, the Head of Human Resources and the Member Development Team Leader were present for this item.


The Member Development Team Leader reported on the outcome of the Special meeting of the Member Development Panel which had been held immediately following the workshop.  He advised that four Members had been appointed as IiP Champions to work alongside the IiP Officer Champions.  The Members who had been appointed were Gordon Bambridge, Ian Sherwood, Diana Irving and John Labouchere.


The Head of Human Resources had been invited to the meeting to provide clarity about the IiP process following the Member workshop on 14th July.  She provided Members with the background of IiP, the benefits of achieving the accreditation, why the Council wanted to achieve the standard, what the Authority had done so far, what actions had been made and what the next steps were.


Councillor involvement in the IiP process was part of a commitment to the Member Development Charter. 


In October 2008, as part of the overall aim to achieve IiP accreditation across the Council, the Human Resources Team had agreed to work towards achieving IiP status by March 2010. 


The organisation had set an objective of achieving IiP accreditation by March 2010. 


To achieve IiP accreditation a four step process had to be followed:


  • Step 1 – Baseline review – to establish where the Council was as an organisation
  • Step 2 – Develop an action plan and implement improvements required
  • Step 3 – Mock Audit from IiP
  • Step 4 – Audit from IiP and achievement of the accreditation.


IiP Champions had been identified for each Service Area.  In order to establish a baseline position a diagnostic report had been carried out in December 2008 on all staff by the IiP Champions with the help of the Council’s designated IiP Consultant.      Areas of improvement had been identified.  The overall percentage for the Authority was 63.5%.  80% was needed to be awarded the IiP Accreditation; therefore the Council was only 16.5% behind target.  Members were asked to bear in mind that this report had been completed at the time of major reorganisation within some areas of the Council which would have had a detrimental effect on the overall score.


The diagnostic report that the Members had completed would be included in the overall score.


Examples of the improvements/actions that had been undertaken were explained.  All teams would need to complete the diagnostic report again in September to understand how the Council had improved since December 2008.


Once Members’ had their results these would be collated with the staff report providing a set of results for the organisation as a whole. 


A Member asked if there would be any further training for officers following the diagnostic tests. 


Other Members had been surprised that the score, and what had been achieved by the organisation so far, had not been communicated to staff or Members as they had not been aware of the results up until now.


The Chairman reported that he had spoken with the Chief Executive who had been equally concerned following the comments that had been made after the workshop/presentation.  His advice had been that the IiP status was not the be all and end all; although the quality mark was desirable, achieving benefits from the review and consequent improvements was the real objective.  He had emphasised the fact that it was important to remember that at the time the survey had been undertaken staff morale had been low compared to now.  The Chairman did feel, however, that the communication concern should be taken on board.  He was sure that if the survey was to be completed again there would be a very different result.


A Member was of the opinion that the miscorrelation of the result was the biggest matter that the authority had to overcome.  The Member Development Team Leader explained the reasons why the Members survey had not been carried out at the same time as the staff.


The Strategic Director for Services reported that 63% was a good score in comparison to other authorities and would have been much higher if the re-organisation had not taken place at that time. 


A Member wished to know if the services that had been transferred to Capita would be graded within the IiP; if not, he felt that Capita should be encouraged to take part.  The Chairman advised that Capita, as a business, had to do well and should have the same ethos for its services as Breckland Council had.  The Human Resources Manager stated that she had spoken with Capita and she had been assured that they were on the right track.


The Executive Member for Performance & Communications had no doubts about the Council achieving IiP status and was pleased to see that a detailed action plan had been put in place that would be to residents’ benefit.


The Chairman was confident that now four IiP Member l Champions had been appointed to join the Officer Panel, any concerns that Members had would be addressed.


At the conclusion of the discussion, the Chairman thanked the Officers for attending and it was agreed that IiP would be added as an item on the Work Programme for the October meeting.