Certification

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Quality Marks

We offer members the opportunity to earn two internationally recognised Quality Marks which certify organisations as they Commit or Verify Compliance to the People In Aid Code of Good Practice.

Organisations displaying a People In Aid Quality Mark can be seen as leaders within the humanitarian and development sector. You can view Case Studies on members who have achieved certification here.

The three stages of People In Aid status are detailed below. Click on the People In Aid logo for further information on being a member, click on either of the two Quality Marks for information on how to obtain them.

 

Quality Mark 1: Committed to the People In Aid Code

There are two ways to achieve the first Quality Mark ‘Committed to the People In Aid Code’. Both require the Chief Executive or Chair of the organisation to make a written and public commitment to the People In Aid Code of Good Practice.

For any assistance in putting your organisation forward for People In Aid Certification or for more information, please contact us here.

Option 1 - Additional to the public commitment, an organisation needs to satisfy two of the following:

  • The organisation explicitly integrates the People In Aid Code within its current internal management systems or HR policies and practices. An organisation shows that its HR manual or intranet makes reference to the People In Aid Code and this appears in induction processes. The organisation also shows there is evidence of staff engagement on specific policy areas, for example health, safety, security, debriefing and performance management.

Tool – HR Manual

  • The organisation undertakes and acts upon the findings of an HR audit to assess performance against the People In Aid Code, and has these findings reviewed by senior management. An organisation should show that it has systematically audited its HR systems, policies and practice by doing an HR audit or some other diagnostic exercise, either department by department or country by country. This Audit helps define the gaps in your human resources implementation, prioritise the areas that need improvement and guides the development of a plan to implement improvements toward embracing the Code of Good Practice.

Tool – The HR Audit Toolkit: Measuring HR Effectiveness

  • The organisation undertakes and acts upon the findings of a comprehensive employee engagement exercise. An organisation shows it has undertaken a comprehensive survey, fed the findings back to its staff and taking steps to address any issues arising.

Tool – Employee Survey

To retain the first Quality mark, the written and public statement and evidence fulfilling at least two of the three criteria above will be reviewed annually and must be ‘current’ i.e. not more than three years old at the point of the annual review.

Option 2 - Additional to the public commitment, an organisation needs to satisfy the following:

  • The organisation gives responsibility and appropriate authority for implementing the People In Aid Code to a named project manager and team who in turn builds the business case and scopes the implementing process (produces a project plan). The team can consist of up to six people from HR and other departments who between them manage the whole implementation process. The project manager is usually an HR Manager.
  • The organisation informs staff of its commitment and intent to implement the People In Aid Code and an independent external social audit

Tool – Stage 1 of the People In Aid Code Implementation Manual 

The Quality Mark Review Panel

A Quality Mark Review Panel comprising of the Executive Director, Director of HR Services, a board member and an independent expert will review the recommendation and evidence submitted and decide upon the award of the Quality Mark. The panel will review the recommendation within two weeks.

In order for an agency to retain the first Quality Mark, the written and public statement and evidence will be reviewed annually and must be ‘current’ i.e. not more than three years old at the point of the annual review. An agency may retain the first Quality Mark for as long as they wish. The Review Panel will only be involved in the process of retaining a Quality Mark where new evidence has been submitted.  

During implementation of the People In Aid Code the social audit process helped us to capture our staff’s contribution while we found the principles and indicators to be the best way for us to monitor our policies against our oganisational objectives.

Deputy Chief Executive, International NGO

 

Quality Mark 2: Verified Compliant with the People In Aid Code

For any assistance in putting your organisation forward for People In Aid Certification or for more information, please contact us here.

People In Aid encourages organisations with the first Quality Mark to progress towards the second and enjoy the benefits this brings.

The second Quality Mark (’Verified Compliant with the People In Aid Code’) is awarded to organisations that successfully implement the People In Aid Code by providing the assurance that reliable management and information systems are in place through an independent external social audit.

There are two ways an organisation can achieve full certification:

1. By following a specific implementation process

Tool – People In Aid Code of Good Practice – Implementation Manual

With this option there are four stages to the implementation process, each illustrated in the process map below. Each stage relies upon different resources and tools, and has distinct activities, participants and outcomes which are detailed comprehensively in the People In Aid Code Implementation Manual.

Implementation cycle

Stage 1 Commitment involves scoping the implementation process; planning for reviewing organisational practices; and ensuring senior management commitment and resources for the process of implementing the Code.

In this stage an organisation provides evidence of a written and public commitment to the People In Aid Code of Good Practice made by the Chief Executive or Chair and that they have met the criteria for the first Quality Mark in option 2 above.

Stage 2 – Stakeholder Engagement involves reviewing an organisation’s current vision, values and policies, as well as any measurement that is taking place. It also involves identifying and consulting with stakeholders and generating commitment to the process of review and actions resulting from it. This is when the bulk of the data-gathering occurs. Through this process of stakeholder engagement key issues are identified. The Principles and Indicators of the People In Aid Code provide a framework for the review. The organisation collects information regarding these indicators and allows full dialogue with the stakeholders. The information is then analysed and targets for improvement are set.

Stage 3 – Reporting & Auditing. At this stage a full report is prepared by the organisation. The report shows how the organisation performed against its values, targets and objectives, and includes a plan for future action. This report is then externally audited and communicated to stakeholders. The audit process looks for accuracy of data, balance of presentation and a true and fair reflection of performance.

The auditor then submit recommendations to the People In Aid Executive Director and the HR Services Team Leader, who then review the Audit Statement to award the second Quality Mark to the organization: Verified by People In Aid Code Good Practice.

 

Stage 4 – Continuous Improvement. The organisation continues to strengthen its people management systems by implementing the above action plan and monitoring achievements against objectives. The organisation also works to establish systems to embed the process and continues to collect information and audit in accordance with the social audit cycle.

Because implementing the Code focuses on staff engagement and ultimately affects everyone in your organisation, it is vital that staff understand what’s involved and buy in to the process. Getting colleagues on board is crucial and successful implementation depends on the support of senior management and the chair or chief executive. Implementing the Code therefore typically begins with informal discussions with key decision makers and by sharing the Code and People In Aid materials throughout the organisation.

2. By using existing systems and practices (alternative approach)

We recognise that many organisations already have good HR systems and practices in place, and are able to measure the impact of these. In response, we have carefully aligned our certification processes to suit your needs and to enable you to achieve the valuable People In Aid Quality Marks. Members can achieve external verification by meeting the following criteria:

  • The organisation can provide assurance to its managers that the policies and strategies and systems it has in place for the management and support of the personnel are consistent with the People In Aid code principles, understood throughout the organisation and implemented in practice
  • The organisation can provide assurance to People In Aid that the organisation’s HR management systems and performance are consistent with the requirements for the award of People In Aid’s second Quality Mark.
  • The organisation can demonstrate that it facilitates continuous self-evaluation against the People In Aid Code.

This approach is not conditional on the organisation producing a report for a specific time period but instead audit the performance of the organisation against the People In Aid Code as well as providing assurance that reliable management and information systems are in place. The principles set out in Account Ability’s AA1000AS Assurance Standard on completeness, materiality and responsiveness will guide this process.

This process is most suited to agencies renewing their Quality Mark 2 status.

Renewing process

In order for an agency to retain the second Quality Mark, they must undergo an independent external social audit evaluating their compliance with the People In Aid Code at least every three years.

The Human Resources Team successfully steered [our organisation] to the achievement of full verification for its compliance with the People in Aid Code of Good Practice in the Management and Support of Aid Personnel.

People In Aid member, 2005 Annual Report

 

Tools for certification

We offer tools and support to assist you with your membership and achieving certification.  The cost of these tools and the nature of the support we offer will vary depending upon your needs, illustrated below.

 

 

Member Rates

Partner Rates

Non member Rates

Product

£

Cost

Consultancy per hour/day

Cost

Consultancy per hour/day

Cost

Consultancy per hour/day

HR Manual

£

75

70/560

50

70/560

150

90/720

HR Audit Toolkit

£

75

70/560

50

70/560

150

90/720

HR Basic Audit

£

560

70/560

50

70/560

720

90/720

HR Full Audit

£

1,680

70/560

600

70/560

2,160

90/720

HR Enhanced Audit

£

Contact
People In Aid

70/560

Contact People In Aid

70/560

Contact
People In Aid

90/720

Employee Survey

£

75

70/560

50

70/560

150

90/720

External Audit

£

2-3,000

70/560

Contact People In Aid

70/560

3,000

90/720

Prices for Network members - Member rates will apply to Networks from high-income and upper-middle-income countries groups, and Partner Rates will apply for Networks from lower-middle-income and low-income countries group.

As outlined in the recognising achievement section of the website, the following tools will assist you in gaining your first and second Quality Marks. Please note the table above outlines prices for Europe marked in GBP, for international prices please contact us here.

Quality Mark 1 – Committed     

1. HR Manual

We offer telephone support with this product and additional consultancy support at an hourly rate.  For organisations outside the UK this would be conducted by telephone and email.

2. HR Audit Toolkit

Self Audit – the HR Audit Toolkit can be purchased and downloaded for those organisations wishing to self-audit.  We offer telephone support with this product.

Basic Audit – we offer the HR Audit Toolkit with 1 day’s consultancy support where practical.  The day comprises of a half day face-to-face meeting with the HR representative and a half day writing up a report with recommendations.  In order to gain the most value from this day, dialogue takes place between the organisation and the HR Services Team at People In Aid, and materials are prepared prior to the 1 day consultancy.

Organisations are encouraged to go through a basic audit as preparations for full certification whether aiming for Quality Mark 1 or not.

Full Audit – we also provide this Toolkit with 3 days’ consultancy support.  Preparations before the consultancy take place as with the basic audit.

Enhanced Audit – we can also offer more than 3 days’ support with this Toolkit at a daily member rate of £560.  We will agree with you the number of days’ support and the content in advance.

3. Employee Survey

The Employee Survey can be downloaded from our Resources section of the People In Aid website.  We also offer telephone support with this product. 

Any follow-up support would be at the standard hourly rates - £70/hour for members and £95/hour for non members.

People In Aid has negotiated a discounted employee survey via a third party for members implementing the People In Aid Code. Members enter into contract with the survey provider, Agenda Consulting, and for a fee, £1,200 +VAT, can access a basic employee survey, designed to assess Code compliance. In addition, Agenda Consulting are able to offer a full bespoke employee service which integrates with the People In Aid Code implementation process.

Quality Mark 2 - Verified Compliant    

The People In Aid Implementation Manual (which includes the employee survey) is free to those members who are fully implementing the Code of Good Practice and hoping to gain the second Quality Mark.  The external audit costs between £2,500 and £7,000 depending on the complexity and size of the organisation.  Organisations are expected to be externally verified on a 3 yearly basis.

Combining membership with the Quality Mark tools

Organisations who are not members of People In Aid can reduce the costs associated with the Quality Mark tools even further by combining membership.  People In Aid is offering a 20% reduction on the member rates for any of the 3 tools should an organisation take up membership at the same time.  As an example - the full audit with full support would then cost £1,344 compared with £1,680.

 

Information on the Joint Standards Initiative

We have been asked about the future of People In Aid quality marks in the light of the Joint Standards’ Initiative.

People In Aid quality marks show your key stakeholders that you are committed to good practice. We want to support you in that, and know from the experiences of our quality mark holders that both the implementation process and the QMs themselves have positive impact. We do not believe that thoughts about possible outcomes from the Joint Standards’ Initiative (JSI) should distract you from focusing on good practice. Whatever the outcome of the JSI, the quality mark you work for will continue to have impact for the period of its validity, and the time and resources you have invested/will invest will be valued in full by your staff, your peers, your donors and others and will be of benefit to the people you support. The profile of People In Aid quality marks is being strengthened by our engagement in the JSI and the increased focus on certification happening outside that initiative, and we, like HAP, are assuming that there will be a two-year phase-in for any changes which might affect People In Aid certification.

 

Next steps

Interested in what People In Aid certification can do for your organisation? Contact our HR Services Manager Emmanuelle Lacroix, on emmanuelle@peopleinaid.org. 

 

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