25 May 2001

Praise for Bolton Mission as it becomes an Investor in People

Bolton Methodist Mission has been awarded the Investors in People standard - the first time, it is believed, that a Methodist church achieved the prestigious plaque. The Investor in People benchmark is given to businesses, schools, hospitals and other organisations that demonstrate good standards in recruiting, training and development of employees. The initiative began in co-operation with the Department for Education and Employment and is rapidly becoming the most recognised way of demonstrating good practice when it comes to looking after the welfare and development of staff and volunteers.

Bolton Methodist Mission has been praised for having a "caring, Christian atmosphere which fulfilled its aims. Staff felt valued, both by managers and the clients they serve. One member of staff commented that 'my faith has come on a lot, working in this environment'." In an assessment to allow it to join the scheme, the Mission was described as having strong leadership, good appraisal practices and targets for staff improvement and good partnerships in the local community.

More than 36,000 business and organisations have become Investors in People, requiring them to be assessed independently every three years to ensure that they are meeting agreed targets.

In Bolton Methodist Mission's case, Assessor Josephine Parr worked with Superintendent Minister Philip Mason to agree targets in staff inductions, evaluation of training and development, as well as general business planning. Ms Parr then interviewed each of the 15 staff of the Mission, as well as 45 volunteers. Her report highlighted a very positive feeling among staff" "One interviewee said 'we are a team, what's available to one person is available to all'. Another said 'they care'."

Mr Mason felt that the experience of becoming Investors in People has helped him and his staff to work more effectively. Far from being suitable for big business only, the Investor in People scheme sits well alongside Christian principles, he said.

Further information from Investors in People UK. Tel: 020 7467 1900

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