Explore the Standard

Reflecting leading workplace trends, the Standard has been developed to describe the capabilities your organisation needs to succeed and highlight the small steps required to achieve excellence.

By meeting the Investors in People Standard, you can be confident you're amongst the very best in the world, when it comes to people management.

Underpinning your journey towards accreditation, the framework focuses on 9 key indicators of organisations that consistently outperform their peers.

The framework’s performance model provides a pathway to future progress, and a journey of continuous improvement. To learn more about assessment against the Standard, explore the Introduction to Investors in People.

The new Standard

The Investors in People Standard

The Standard explores practices and outcomes within an organisation under three performance headings: leading, supporting and improving. Under each heading, we have identified three key indicators.


  • new standard leading


    Creating purpose in a fast changing environment whilst motivating through change have become essential skills for many roles. Outperforming organisations foster leadership skills at every level of the organisation to deliver outstanding results.

    1. Leading and inspiring people

      Leaders make the organisation's objectives clear. They inspire and motivate people to deliver against these objectives and are trusted by people in the organisation.

    2. Living the organisation's values

      People and leaders act in line with the organisation’s values at all times. They have the courage and support to challenge inconsistent behaviours.

    3. Empowering and involving people

      There is a culture of trust and ownership in the organisation where people feel empowered to make decisions and act on them.

  • new standard support


    For many, constant change is now normal. Successful organisations are moving towards flatter structures to enable faster decision-making, customer focus and agility. Reduced overheads, better service for customers and more successful organisations are the benefits of this approach.

    1. Managing performance

      Objectives within the organisation are fully aligned, performance is measured and feedback is used.

    2. Recognising and rewarding high performance

      Recognition and reward is clear and appropriate, creating a culture of appreciation where people are motivated to perform at their best.

    3. Structuring work

      The organisation is structured to deliver the organisation's ambition.  Roles are designed to deliver organisational objectives and create interesting work for people, whilst encouraging collaborative ways of working.

  • new standard improving


    The best organisations are always looking for opportunities to improve by seeking every marginal gain.  They know that every small change adds together to enable them to constantly outperform.

    1. Building capability

      People’s capabilities are actively managed and developed.  This allows people to realise their full potential and ensures that the organisation has the right people at the right time for the right roles.

    2. Delivering continuous improvement

      There is a focus on continuous improvement. People use internal and external sources to come up with new ideas and approaches, supported by a culture that encourages innovation.

    3. Creating sustainable success

      The organisation has a focus on the future and is responsive to change. Leaders have a clear understanding of the external environment and the impact this has on the organisation.

The performance model

A journey of continuous improvement

The performance model creates a roadmap for continuous improvement against the Standard’s framework.  This approach is based on extensive research into the concepts of performance and change management and sets out the criteria for different levels of accreditation; Accredited; Silver; Gold and Platinum.

Simply put, the model describes the practices and outcomes required for better performance and higher accreditation.  Progression through the model maps out how practices are embedded within an organisation, starting at the "Developed" stage and progressing towards "High Performing".


  1. Developed

    The principles and practice are in place, communicated, and understood. Everyone in the organisation knows what is expected of them.

  2. Established

    Employees are actively engaged in ensuring that principles and practices are applied consistently. These ways of thinking and behaving become second-nature within the organisation.

  3. Advanced

    Employees actively drive positive outcomes, taking ownership of the principles and practices, and applying their knowledge to solve new problems.

  4. High Performing

    The principles and practices are fully integrated with wider activities. Employees take responsibility for delivering consistently positive results, always with an eye on future improvement.