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The University of Sussex

 29 April 2002 

Investor in People award for University of Sussex

The Sport Service of the University of Sussex has achieved the prestigious Investor in People (IIP) award in the remarkably short time of only 12 months.

At a ceremony on Tuesday 30 April at 1.30pm at the Falmer Sports Complex, Vice-Chancellor Professor Alasdair Smith will present Karen Dunster, Head of Sport, with the award, which consists of a plaque and certificate.

IIP is a national quality standard that sets a level of good practice for improving an organisation's performance through its people. To achieve this goal an organisation has to fulfil the requirements of 'The Standard' - a set of principles for effective staff and organisation development.

"Staff are definitely our biggest asset," said Ms Dunster. "If staff are well trained, aware of the service's objectives and work with good communications systems, this is likely to improve the service offered to customers and our efficiency as an organisation."

Changes made to gain IIP status have included setting up a full skills and training audit; including action plans and targets in staff appraisals; revamping the staff induction process; and establishing a successful newsletter.

However, Ms Dunster was keen to point out that the personal touch can be as important as policy changes: "IIP helps you focus on some of the simpler things that don't require much work but can still make the difference, such as remembering to provide more praise and encouragement on an informal basis to staff. You know your staff are doing a great job but it's easy to forget to tell them and say thank you often enough."

IIP is an ongoing process and although the Sport Service have now achieved this goal they will have to continue to build on their success to get their status renewed when it comes up for review in three years' time. A bullish Ms Dunster, however, is confident enough to go for renewal a year early.

Photo opportunity
You are invited to send a photographer to the award ceremony which will be held at the Falmer Sports Complex, University of Sussex, Falmer on Tuesday 30 April at 1.30pm.

 Notes for editors 

For further information, please contact Benedict Brook, or Alison Field, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, or

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