People, Culture and Wellbeing Quality Mark

By 09.05.22

Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 runs from 9th to 15th May. To mark this week the Science Council wanted to share its experience of being awarded the ‘People, Culture and Wellbeing Quality Mark’ from the Association for Accredited Learning (AAL).

The quality mark focuses on how an organisation creates connections, spaces and wellbeing activities which then continually evolve to meet the changing needs of its employees and wider community.

During the challenges of recent years, the Science Council team has grown both in terms of its number of employees, and in its maturity in how it works in a remote and agile way. The quality mark offered a great opportunity and structure for the team to reflect on these changes to working practice, and to identify the impact of working approaches, such as how individuals felt supported, connected and engaged. The scheme also offers a framework for continuous improvement.

The quality mark challenged the Science Council to consider its:

  • Wellbeing activities/training
  • Support for a healthy work-life balance
  • Promoting models for positive digital wellbeing

From the very beginning the Science Council took a team wide, collaborative approach to the activity. This was so the employee voice could be captured and considered carefully.

Activities included:

  • Online surveys
  • Small group and team wide activities
  • Discussions
  • Online collaborative digital work spaces

It was insightful to fully understand the needs of individuals and the wider team, and having time to reflect on how we approach people and process, with the impact this can have on mental health.

Since the quality mark focuses on the three aspects of: People, Culture and Wellbeing, it highlights that wellbeing activity should not be seen as a separate part of an offer, but instead act as a golden thread across how an organisation and its people operate, communicate and engage. It is about developing a respectful and kind culture, that allows individuals and teams to feel safe to discuss their concerns, develop their awareness, share experiences, build a sense of purpose and place, and demonstrate a commitment to continuously improve.

“It is very important to the Science Council to focus on staff wellbeing, it is not only the right thing to do as a mark of recognition, respect and support for team members, but it also brings out the best in us. I am delighted that we have received the quality mark, as a shared acknowledgement of our approach, and a commitment to continuous improvement in how we work together in a supportive and successful way. The Science Council is proud to have been recognised for its commitment to staff wellbeing and will strive to adapt and improve based on their future needs.”

Helen Gordon, Chief Executive

Overview of the People, Culture and Wellbeing Quality Mark

The People, Culture and Wellbeing Quality Mark is a 16-point framework exploring the impact of wellbeing activities, resilience support for management, opportunities to strengthen the ‘employee voice’ and workload planning. There are four overarching principles to support organisations to implement person-centred initiatives.

  • Principle 1: People and Teams
  • Principle 2: Wellbeing through Collaboration & Engagement
  • Principle 3: Strategy & Vision
  • Principle 4: Wellbeing Activities Resources & Agencies

The accreditation is awarded for a 3 year period. An organisation will receive a detailed report with recommendations and commendations, following the review of digital, mental health and wellbeing strategies. It is complemented by annual supportive consultations.

Find out more about the the People, Culture and Wellbeing Quality Marks visit their website or email them