In 1990 the Department for Employment was tasked with developing a national standard of good practice for training and development. Investors in People was born and officially launched at that year's CBI Conference in Glasgow by then Secretary of State for Employment, the Rt Hon Michael Howard QC MP.

Investors in People UK was formed in 1991 to protect the integrity of the Investors in People framework. It was a non-departmental public body and received funding from the former UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The organisation was based in London, United Kingdom and managed the development, policy, promotion and quality assurance of the Investors in People framework.

From April 2010 the work of the organisation was transferred to UKCES (UK Commission for Employment and Skills) which was responsible for the strategic ownership of Investors in People until January 2017, when the organisation transitioned into a Community Interest Company on 1 February 2017.

In the UK, Investors in People is the national Standard which determines a level of good practice for the learning and development of people to achieve organisational goals, and to improve business performance. The Standard provides a national framework for improving organisational performance and competitiveness, through a planned approach to setting and communicating organisational objectives and developing employees to meet these objectives. The end result of being an Investor in People is to ensure that what employees can and are motivated to do, matches what the organisation needs them to do. Investors in People is a cyclical process and should lead to a culture of continuous improvement.

This topic explains the three core principles of the Investor in People standard, how an employer can achieve the standard and the benefits to employers and employees.

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