IiP give Ospreys the Gold standard

Ospreys Rugby has become the first rugby business in the UK to be awarded the Investors in People Gold standard.

The award means that the Ospreys join the top seven per cent of accredited organisations across the UK, demonstrating their commitment to realising the potential of their people for high performance.

It is a major coup for the business, which has gone through an off-field transformation over the last three years, and recognises the investment made by the board in creating an environment where individuals can thrive in pursuit of the region’s long-term vision of sustainable success.

Andrew Hore, Chief Executive, Ospreys Rugby, said:

“We are absolutely thrilled to have achieved the Gold standard. It is an award that acknowledges the outstanding work we have put in as a business to build a strong culture and an environment that puts our people at the heart of everything we do, recognising that it is our staff that drive the business towards achieving our strategic goals.

“There is also a clear understanding within the business that no member of staff is more important than another. Elite rugby, rugby development, commercial, finance, operations and marketing, each division has a role to play in the success of the business.

“Having begun the Investors in People process aiming to achieve the Bronze standard as a starting point, we are blown away that our efforts have far exceeded the level required for such an award, and have resulted in us receiving the much sought after Gold standard. Every single member of staff can take great pride in this award. What this award does do is recognise that the systems and structures we now have in place are robust enough to allow us to achieve our long terms goals despite the obvious budgetary restraints.”

Andrew Hore, Ospreys CEO, received the Gold Standard award from Shelna Sinte, Operations Manager (Wales), Investors in People 

Investors in People is the international Standard for people management, it defines what it takes to lead, support and manage people well for sustainable results. Underpinning the Standard is the Investors in People framework. The framework reflects the latest workplace trends, essential skills and effective structures required to outperform in any industry.

Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People, said:

“We’d like to congratulate Ospreys Rugby, who have charged ahead and raised their people management practice on and off the field, achieving the Gold Investors in People standard.  They have placed their people at the heart of their business, a clear commitment to success. This is a sign of an outperforming employer, Ospreys Rugby should be extremely proud of their achievement.”

Carmel Gahan, Investors in People Assessor, commented:

In planning the assessment, the indications were that the Ospreys had made a bigger journey than they had thought and therefore would benefit more from a higher level assessment. I assessed them at the Gold level and had no hesitation in recommending they be accredited at that level. The experience has been valuable for them in moving forward and of course gaining this level is a real credit to the organisation who have been on a transformational journey – a well deserved recognition”.


Andrew Hore and the Ospreys senior management team receive their IiP Gold Standard award at the Liberty Stadium.

Key findings of the Investors in People assessment


  • Developing a common culture in a professional sports organisation at the elite level is a huge challenge. There are pressures on people who are part of a professional sports business from outside that no other business type has to deal with. Ospreys Rugby have set out on a journey to transform its own culture in a way that respects all the people in the business and promotes a culture of acknowledgement that all people have a valuable contribution to its success.  Organisations set out to change their culture for a variety of reasons. In the case of Ospreys Rugby, it was a situation of having to make change to turnaround a financially loss making business. The business has turned around and is moving into a much stronger situation in every respect. This Assessment report is as much of a marker of that change as it is about achieving an external recognition for its people processes.


  • It was evident from all the sources considered that Ospreys Rugby has good people strategies and practices in place in all areas of the IIP framework and many exemplary ones. The report is written to give feedback on specific focus points agreed at the planning stage, to highlight areas of particular strengths, and to identify a number of areas for development in the future.  The organisation has been through a root and branch change process which is continually developing because the standards themselves are being raised. To have pursued and achieved major change is no small thing and the leadership and staff and players have to be congratulated for the way they have done this.


  • The organisation has developed and carried out a well organised strategy for business improvement to raise its standards as an organisation – on the field and off the field. The foundation of this is having a clear business strategy and mission which the Ospreys have developed into a succinct easy to understand vision. The vision sets out the objective, the philosophy of development of its people, definition of who the Ospreys are, role in the community and behaviours.


  • Players, ranging from those at the academy to senior see themselves as role models – sometimes as roles models in the community but also in the case of senior players for the newer younger ones. The ethos and practice of the Ospreys fosters this in different ways – the clear mission, community engagement activities, and senior players’ engagement with younger ones.


About Investors in People


Investors in People is the Standard for people management. The international people management Standard defines what it takes to lead, support and manage people well for sustainable results. 

With a community of 14,000 organisations across 75 countries, successful accreditation against the Standard is the sign of a great employer, an outperforming place to work and a clear commitment to sustained success.

Based on a tried and tested framework and a rigorous process of assessment, organisations that meet the Investors in People Standard proudly display their accreditation to the world because they understand that it’s people that make the difference.