Sedgemoor District Council has retained its Gold status for ‘Investors in People’ - something only 16 per cent of accredited organisations achieve. SDC has held an IIP accreditation since 2003.

A spokesman for the council said: "Despite the qualifying criteria being raised by the IIP organisation, Sedgemoor was awarded a very strong Gold status which shows the council understands that it’s people that make work better."

The accreditation process involved an all-staff survey, randomly chosen face-to-face interviews and the assessors key findings were:

• There are clear and ambitious strategies in place, which are well communicated

• The organisational values - Honesty, Integrity, Aspiration and Teamwork - are a key strength and people were very much of the view that the values had been part-and-parcel of their way of work over a number of years.

• People are empowered, engaged and motivated by their managers.

• The Council is performing well on many national league tables.

• Good performance management processes are in place.

• There is a strong culture of internal and external collaboration and really good examples of people coming together to make a difference.

• There is a strong commitment to learning and development and apprenticeships are being used to good effect.

• There is a culture of continuous improvement and stretching targets.

• There is a clear focus on the future, with clear priorities and focus on Sedgemoor’s communities.

Commenting on the award, Allison Griffin, Sedgemoor District Council's chief executive said: “I am over the moon at the result.

"This award is a real testament to our staff and managers and a true reflection of their commitment to provide excellent services to our communities.

Paul Devoy, CEO of Investors in People, said: “We’d like to congratulate Sedgemoor District Council on their Gold accreditation.

"We believe that the success of organisations begins and ends with staff.

"If we make work better for everyone, we make society stronger, healthier and happier.”