Having first been awarded investors in people in 2008, Silver in 2011 and reaffirmed in 2014; we then pursued the higher IIP Gold, with which we were accredited in January 2017.  We have since applied for renewal of the Gold accreditation, the latest version of which now incorporates more stringent analysis, and we are proud to announce that on 12.11.2019 we have, for a second time, been accredited with this prestigious Gold award. (This follows successful audits of our ISO 19001 Quality and 14001 Environmental Standards last year).

Having used the IIP standard successfully for many years as a means for improving our people practices, we plan to take on board the findings and further suggestions of the latest accreditation to support us to achieve our ambitions for the future development of the organisation.

As CEO of Sustain UK Limited, I am delighted with the positive feedback we have received from the inspection and am truly happy that our staff consider working with Sustain (UK) Limited to be a “positive experience”


The assessment was a positive experience throughout and revealed that Sustain UK has a wide range of effective people and business management approaches and practices in place

During interviews, people had a clear understanding of the organisation’s purpose and what it was trying to achieve. Tenants and those in care, who are the organisation’s primary stakeholder groups, are at the heart of everything it does. Throughout the assessment, it was clear that this was firmly embedded within the culture 

Within Sustain UK, the values truly are at the heart of everything the organisation does. Throughout the meetings and interviews held, it was very clear that everyone was totally committed to ensuring that everything the organisation does, benefits the needs of its tenants and those in its care

In 2019, the CEO was nominated for 3 housing sector awards and has consistently been nominated and won awards in past years for her tireless work in the sector; being recognised by her peers for her advocacy in respect of homeless people as well as her inspiration, commitment and dedication. Staff said that they have massive respect for the CEO and that she inspires them to want to be like her, wishing they too had her tireless energy to serve the needs of homeless people

The feedback gathered from staff was overwhelmingly positive in respect of the extent to which people found their job to be “interesting”, “motivating” and “rewarding”, with everyone interviewed suggesting that they “love their job.”

Peoples’ views about the culture in this respect was also very positive, feeling that a “no blame” culture prevails and that the focus is simply on fixing things if they do go wrong. Directors made it clear that they “encourage people to own their mistakes and to speak up about them if something does go wrong.” The quote below typifies the consensus of staff:

“It’s OK to make mistakes here, we use it to learn from and the best approach is simply to own up when you’ve done so.”

Our staff are the most important part of the company and we are thrilled with  their positive feedback which indicates that they happily adopt the ethos of the organisation in its delivery of high quality, person-centred support and care to our valued clients whom we consider to be the centre of the organisation.




In conjunction with individual staff interviews, for the first time IIP now incorporate a staff survey which is  based on the following indicators (alignment is measured on a scale of 1.0 to 7.0 points), and we are also delighted to report better than sector averages.

Survey results – the degree of positivity of Sustain UK’s people in relation to other organisations which have taken the survey and to organisations in the accommodation sector, is above average in all 9 of the indicators which make up the IIP standard, this ranges from +0.8 of a point to +1.5 of a point better than sector averages, also

When compared to other organisations that have taken the survey, Sustain UK’s results are better by +0.7 of a point to +1.5 of a point when compared with data from other organisations which have taken the survey.

In 8 of the 9 indicators (below) we achieved a performance level of “advanced”.

  1. Leading and inspiring people – ADVANCED
  2. Living the organisation’s values and behaviours – ADVANCED
  3. Empowering and involving people – ADVANCED
  4. Managing performance – ADVANCED
  5. Recognising and rewarding high performance – ADVANCED
  6. Structuring work – ADVANCED
  7. Building capabilities – ADVANCED
  8. Delivering continuous improvement – ADVANCED
  9. Creating sustainable success – ADVANCED

“There was no doubt that the ‘hearts and minds’ of staff have been captured and that people are wholly committed to the objectives of the organisation. The views expressed by staff in the online survey were mirrored by those expressed during interviews. The positivity of peoples’ views is well above that of other organisations both in the same sector and in others, which also benchmark themselves against the IIP Standard”

For the purposes of establishing an industry benchmark, data collected from the Accommodation Sector has been used as a benchmark for this assessment, since it is the principal activity of the organisation. The results are shown below.




The organisations main goal, as described in our business plan and which staff were able to describe in in their own words:

‘To be recognised as the “supported accommodation provider of choice” to service commissioners, tenants and regulators, and also a ‘care provider renowned for its quality in service provision” to this end the report identifies our range of strengths as follows:

  • Robust Business Model
  • Loyal, Empowered and Focused Staff Team
  • Strong Cash-Flow
  • Track Record of Delivery
  • Access to Good Quality Housing/Accommodation
  • Good Reputation
  • Social Value
  • Range of 3rd Party Accreditations

In supporting our ethos, we were therefore delighted that some of the areas of strength were found to exist in respect of:

  • The degree to which values are embedded within the culture.
  • The effective working relationships between people.
  • Supportive leaders and managers who are good role models for people.
  • An empowered workforce that benefits from good levels of autonomy in their roles and who believe that Sustain Uk is a ‘Great’ organisation to work for.
  • Commitment to ethical working and social responsibility.
  • Commitment to providing on-going training, learning and progression of staff.
  • Continuously seeking to improve the organisation’s performance and providing value for money services.



Taking into consideration feedback from the report we are now working towards the use of a 360-degree feedback and leadership rating, greater efficiency in communicating our values and the further promotion of the importance of challenging behaviours which do not appear to be in line with our values.

We aim to focus on involving people more widely in the decision making of the organisation and encouraging staff to take greater responsibility for monitoring and assessing their own performance levels; and to ensure that objectives at all levels are SMART so that they can be more easily monitored and measured.

We intend to identify clearer ‘pathways’ for staff progression within the organisation by adopting a more holistic approach to skills development, to enable people to develop transferable skills.

Relevant KPI’ s will be introduced to monitor and evaluate the impact of the organisation’s investment in training and learning.  we will place greater focus on people metrics in the future and ensure that the organisation is monitoring all the people related KPI’s that provide it with valuable insights. also, as recommended, we plan to involve staff more in strategic planning activities, by gathering their views and insights and experience and using this to help to shape future business plans.



We hope that with measures in place and the measures we intend to introduce in the future, we will continue to ensure that we have a happy, informed, progressive workforce sharing our ethos for always delivering an effective, transparent, performance-led, effective service.

Lastly, we would like to thank all our staff for their hard work and dedication and to thank Gordon Stopani, IIP Practitioner (Investors In People) for conducting the assessment and providing such valuable feedback.  


Thank you


Pauline Hughes – Chief Executive Officer

Sustain (UK) Limited


The IIP summary report is available to read here