DfEE outlines plans for transition between old and new IIP standard

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The Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) has set out its plans for the transition between the old and new Investors in People (IIP)standard.

As TrainingZONE reported in April, the new standard has been launched and will replace the existing one after a transition period of nine months. Until 31 December of this year, organisations can continue to be assessed against the current Standard.

In a document entitled Future framework for Investors in People and transitional arrangements, the DfEE describes the framework for IIP and the role of the new Learning and Skills Council.

One-third of the UK workforce now works for organisations which have achieved or are working towards IIP, but the governments targets are for 10,000 small organisations and 45 percent of medium and large organisations recognised as IIP by 2002. The report acknowledges that there is some way to go before this is achieved.

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) will become operational next April, and will be responsible for all National Learning Targets including IIP. Until then, TECs will remain as the main support for organisations working towards the standard. IIP UK will remain responsible for maintaining quality standards, and will continue to run an advice centre for organisations who choose not to work through the TECs.

There are also some changes afoot to the process of assessment and recognition. Currently, IIP assessment and recognition can be carried out by individual TECs, a central unit working for several TECs or individual TECs working with a central licensing unit. Where individual TECs are responsible, there is a potential conflict of interest, as TECs are also responsible for achieving performance targets in relation to IIP. Under the new arrangements the LSC will contract out the work of assessing and recognising organisations as Investors in People, and it is intended that the same provider will handle assessment, registration and recognition, working with local arms of the LSC. Information will be published for companies wishing to bid for this service in July, with the successful providers operating from next March.

A Transition Task Group has been formed to oversee the transition to the new arrangements for IIP. The group, which has members from the DfEE, TEC and NTO National Councils, and the DTI, will be responsible for identifying ways of keeping people informed of the developments, advising the government on IIP-related issues and putting together specifications for assessment, recognition and registration. Government offices have already held a series of workshops with 'key stakeholders' around the country in May.

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