National Standards Authority of Ireland New Standards Shop

Buy Irish Standards Online

Skip to content

What is the Excellence Through People Scheme?

Excellence Through People is a certification scheme designed to help improve your organisation, starting from the inside out. It enables you to engage better with your employees, recognising that they are a key source of competitive advantage. By getting certified to ETP, and boosting your people management processes, you can have greater confidence that your business plans are implemented successfully. The scheme is used by many of Ireland’s most successful organisations in becoming more efficient, productive, flexible, competitive and innovative. You can learn more about our clients in our case study section.

- Listen to our latest webinar on ETP 1000:2017 for small organisations HERE -

What Does Excellence Through People Measure?

1. Business planning and continuous improvement

The organisation plans where it is going and continuously improves its approach to quality.

2. Communication and Collaboration

The organisation communicates with, and encourages people, in an effective manner to ensure engagement and encourage collaboration.

3. Leadership and People Management

The organisation leads and manages its people and their performance to pre-determined objectives in a competent and effective manner.

4. Learning and Development

The organisation plans and evaluates the development of its people in support of the achievement of its business goals.

5. Human resource systems and employee wellbeing

The organisation has appropriate HR policies in place and provides for the health, safety and wellbeing of all its people in a fair and non-discriminatory manner.

How Can I Start My Excellence Through People Journey?

Learn More

The process to achieve Excellence Through People certification is:

  1. Applicant familiaries themselves with the requirements of the scheme
  2. Applicant conducts a self-assessment - Download a copy of the Self Assessment Form
  3. Applicant implements actions to meet the scheme requirements
  4. Applicant completes the Application Form and applies for recognition - Download the Application Form
  5. On-site assessment and staff interviews are carried out by an ETP Assessor
  6. A bespoke, detailed report with score and recommendations is provided to the applicant for improvement
  7. ETP Certificate is issued on successful results

1. What are the benefits to the organisation?

Our clients have told us the benefits they have found from implementing Excellence Through People are:

  • Improved structure to business planning
  • Improved customer satisfaction 
  • Improved employee engagement
  • Formalised workforce planning & succession planning 
  • Quality improvements
  • Enhanced communications
  • Focuses on learning and development
  • Improved innovation

2. I’m a small organisation, how can the Excellence Through People Scheme help me?

Whether you are a big or small organisation, your people are your greatest asset and so to ensure your organisation is successful you need to make sure that the way you are managing them makes then motivated, developed and operating to their highest potential so that your organisation’s productivity increases. 

3. I am in the Public Sector; can I go for it?

Yes – Excellence Through People is open and of benefit to both public and private sector organisations.

4. I am a small organisation and don’t have a full time HR resource or the time or money to spend on complicated systems – would I be able to go for ETP?

You don’t need a HR resource to have effective people management, but you do need a commitment from all levels of the organisation towards the effective management of employees.

5. How much will it cost annually?

The cost is dependent on the size of the organisation and is determined by the number of staff you have and the number of sites or locations to be visited in the certification cycle. For a quotation, email or phone 01 807 3945.

7. Is Excellence Through People recognised internationally?

NSAI has certified organisations internationally to Excellence Through People. 

9. Who can help us prepare?

NSAI runs training courses to assist organisations understand Excellence Through People.  In addition, NSAI can work with your organisation to carry out a gap analysis to identify those areas which need to develop before progressing to Excellence Through People.

If you need assistance implementing the outcome from the gap analysis we can recommend a list of consultants who work in this area who could assist you.

3. Who in my sector has achieved Excellence Through People?

A full listing of all organisations who have achieved Excellence Through People is available on the NSAI website through the Certified Company Search feature.  Choose 'ETP Excellence Through People 1000:2012' from the drop-down list under 'Standard Title'.

4 How much time will it take us to prepare to go for Excellence Through People?

Every company is different and so it is difficult to give an exact timeframe.  For most organisations the time spent is generally less than 6 months.

12. Can we prioritise the requirements in the Excellence Through People spec and decide what to leave out?

Excellence Through People is an integrated system designed to bring together all those aspects required for effective people management and so it isn’t possible to prioritise one aspect over another. 

13. How should we approach implementation?

Organisations have advised they found the implementation easier where it wasn’t seen as a HR project but instead where a committee was involved in the implementation across the organisation. 

14. What happens at the assessment?

In advance of the assessment you will receive a detailed assessment plan, this sets out the timetable for the assessment and a list of the documentation which will be required during the assessment. Please note soft copies of documents are perfectly acceptable so there is no requirement to print.

At the assessment the assessor will meet with your team and have a brief opening meeting to explain how the day will go.  

The assessor will then go through the six sections and seek documentation to verify what they have been advised and may ask for further documentation or verbal evidence to clarify any queries.

The assessor will then choose a selection of staff from throughout the organisation to interview to determine if their experiences mirror what the organisation has detailed. 

15. How will I find out how we have done?

At the closing meeting of the assessment the assessor will give an indication of how the assessment has gone and what recommended areas for improvements or suggestion they are making.

16. What are the "Suggestions for Improvements"?

As Excellence Through People is a business improvement tool, recommendations for improvements are made to all organisations no matter how comprehensive the systems they have in place are.  

At all assessments after the initial registration, the assessor will review what progress has taken place against the suggested areas for improvements.  The organisation may decide that for specific reasons the suggestions were not implemented.

17. Will we receive a report following the assessment?

After the assessment the assessor will write up a comprehensive report and send it to the company.

18. Have often does the assessment take place?

A full reassessment takes place every three years and a surveillance assessment is carried out on the two subsequent years.

19. We don’t formally evaluate training, is that a problem?

Our recommendation is that training should be fully evaluated to determine if behavioural changes are evidenced because of the training and to ensure that the organisation is getting value for money from any investment in training and development.  Our assessors will make recommendations on how organisations can improve their systems for training evaluation through the assessment process.

20. We don’t do performance reviews; would this be a problem?

While NSAI does not prescribe any performance review system, we would need evidence that the performance of staff is reviewed on an ongoing basis and that opportunities for feedback are available as this is the basis of strong people management.

21. How will people know we have achieved Excellence Through People?

Once certified you will be listed on the NSAI website as having been registered.  You will also be free to use the Excellence Through People logo on your organisations branding.  NSAI will also invite you to a certification presentation at which you will receive a certificate of registration. 

Feel free to get in touch with:

Michelle Browne

+353 01 807 3945