The Awards 2018

Congratulations to the 48 UK businesses who have achieved the Princess Royal Training Awards standard in 2018!

The successful organisations range from multi-nationals and SMEs, through to charities, the public sector and small employers. What each organisation has in common is its commitment to investing in its people.

2018 Awards Gallery
Antwerp Dental Group
BAE Systems plc
Bluestone Resorts Ltd
Brother UK Ltd
Busy Bees Training
Christies Care
Clarkson Evans
Clarkson Evans
Clarkson Evans
The Co-operative Group
Coventry Building Society
DAF Trucks Ltd
East Coast FM
Epos Now
Evolution Recruitment Solutions Ltd
George Clothing (Asda)
George Clothing (Asda)
George Clothing (Asda)
The Goldsmiths’ Centre
Gravitas Recruitment Group
The Haven Wolverhampton
Lifetime Training
Macmillan Caring Locally
Mander Duffill
McFarlane Telfer Ltd
McFarlane Telfer Ltd
McFarlane Telfer Ltd
Medical Defence Union
Mercedes-Benz Cars UK
MWR InfoSecurity
North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Oakman Inns & Restaurants
Arthur Padgett Ltd
Red Carnation Hotel Collection
Red Carnation Hotel Collection
Red Carnation Hotel Collection
Resurgo Trust
Scottish Enterprise
Stockport Council
TOM Vehicle Rental
Troup Bywaters + Anders
Web Applications UK

North York Moors National Park Authority

Antwerp Dental Group


Addressing skills shortages
Manufacturing | 250-999 employees | Rotherham

In response to engineering skills shortages, this highly-specialist company created a bespoke Apprenticeship training programme in conjunction with Rotherham College and Sheffield University. 51 of the 63 trained apprentices from the last five years are still with the company and the average age of employees has reduced by ten years.

BAE Systems plc

Andrew Collinge Hairdressing

Created a training incubator to build confidence
Retail | 50-249 employees | Liverpool

This hairdressing business created a Graduate salon for newly trained hairdressers to build their experience and confidence away from their own places of work. Results include graduate apprentices improving their client retention year-on-year.


Apprenticeship in Hospitality Scotland

Upskilling the next generation
Hospitality | 50-249 employees | Edinburgh

This is an example of an industry-led training programme devised to inspire and develop the next generation of hospitality talent in Scotland. The programme was created by four of Scotland’s leading hotels and it now has 16 partners along with a number of high-profile industry supporters.

Antwerp Dental Group

Bartlett Mitchell Ltd

Investing in its people
Food and beverages | 250-999 employees | Surrey

This successful company, which provides food and beverages to work place restaurants, designed a management development programme in order to increase staff retention and improve customer satisfaction. Results include reductions in staff turnover and employee sickness figures and 25 internal promotions in the last three years.

BAE Systems plc

Belfast Met

Ensuring staff are skilled to support learners
Education and training | 1000+ employees | Belfast

This college created a Mental and Emotional Health and Well Being programme to ensure that staff had the skills and resilience to best support learners. Outcomes from the programme include exceeded attendance targets, increased knowledge and confidence to offer early intervention to learners and a more proactive, caring culture across the college.


Brother UK Ltd

Putting training at the centre of the business
Technology | 50-249 employees | Manchester

In 2016 this business devices provider launched the Employee Engagement Toolkit, an online application that links job specifications, annual appraisals and training records. This has resulted in over 98% of staff undertaking some form of training with over 70% undertaking development or CSR activities over and above their target hours.

Antwerp Dental Group

Caring Homes Group

Making care outstanding
Professional services | 1000+ employees | Colchester

This organisation developed a Future Leadership programme to upskill managers and to meet industry criteria. Results include positive performance in inspections with two care homes reaching the highest accolade, reduced staff turnover and positive feedback from both relatives and employees.

BAE Systems plc

Crest Nicholson

Tackling sector skills gaps
Property | 250-999 employees | Chertsey

This house building company created a training framework to address a national sector skills shortage and to ensure that they had the right people with the right skills doing their job as effectively as possible. Outcomes include a 5% reduction in staff turnover, a large increase of female employees and industry recognition through numerous award achievements.


The Donkey Sanctuary

Talent mapping to increase internal promotions
Charities and not-for-profit | 250-999 employees | Sidmouth

This animal charity initiated a strengths-based development strategy in order to meet its 5-year growth plans. A talent map and skills analysis is used to pinpoint individual learning needs and to develop people for future promotional opportunities. This has resulted in internal promotions rising from 33% to 42% over the course of a year.

Antwerp Dental Group

Dovecote Park

Creating an impressive talent pipeline
Food and beverages | 250-999 employees | Pontefract

This is an example of how a meat processing plant established an Apprenticeship programme in order to create a pipeline of ‘grown its own’ butchers trained to its own exacting standards. The impact of the learning has been outstanding and includes impressive retention rates of apprentices and a high number of female trainees, in what is usually a male-dominated sector.

BAE Systems plc

East Coast FM

Working in partnership
Charities and not-for-profit | <50 employees | East Lothian

This local radio station used a partnership approach to create a tailored programme for people with additional support needs. The aim was for the group, along with their carers, to produce a two-hour weekly live radio show. Outcomes have included increased work with the community and the ability to apply for additional funding, crucial in keeping this community radio station on air.


Exchange Utility

Empowering staff through coaching
Energy, chemicals and utilities | 50-249 employees | Bury

This call centre showed its commitment to training and development by upskilling and empowering its coaches and managers. Return on Investment has been impressive with sales from those who have been coached rising by 50% and employees actively asking to be coached.

Antwerp Dental Group

Eyres Monsell Primary School

Using well-being to improve performance
Education and training | 0-49 employees | Leicester

This is an example of a primary school, based in a deprived area, implementing a well-being and mental health programme for teachers leading to improved outcomes and performance for both staff and pupils. Results include stress-related staff absences reducing from 151 days to 0 days and key stage 2 pupil attainment rising from 14% to an impressive 74%.

BAE Systems plc


Flexible boot camps to meet training needs
Banking, insurance and finance | 1000+ employees | London

This financial technology organisation initiated sales boot camps to address a lack of structured sales training and to meet the needs of a global market. Boot camps are constantly adapted in line with product developments and shifting technology and they are delivering well-equipped staff ready to perform.


Gelder Group

Diversifying the business
Construction and engineering | 250-999 employees | Lincoln

This construction company experienced challenges recruiting skilled trade staff and decided to ‘grow its own’. It created an Apprenticeship programme in 2011 and 90% apprentices still work for the business. Delivering Apprenticeships has allowed the company to diversify and they have grown their insurance claims arm of the business to an impressive turnover of £14 million.

Antwerp Dental Group

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

Investing in female leaders
Pharmaceuticals and healthcare | 1000+ employees | Brentford

This organisation established ‘Accelerating Difference’ in 2013 to accelerate high-performing female staff members into leadership roles. Since 2013 there has been an increase of 4% of women in management positions and 88% of Accelerating Difference graduates have stayed with the business.

BAE Systems plc

Greene King

Developing trailblazer in the sector
Hospitality | 1000+ employees | Bury St Edmonds

Following a review in 2011 of current and future workforce needs this pub retailer and brewer established an in-house Apprenticeship programme. The CEO pledged to train 10,000 apprentices and this was achieved in March 2018. This organisation is now involved with Trailblazer development in the hospitality sector.


Halfords Group Plc

Going the extra mile
Retail | 1000+ employees | Redditch

In order to stand out in a competitive market, this retail organisation created an e-learning platform with a highly-responsive gaming element which reacts to real life changes in the store. Training is at the heart of the business and employees are offered the option of an Apprenticeship regardless of their eligibility for funding.

Antwerp Dental Group

HMRC Criminal Justice Academy

Blended training delivering results
Public sector | 1000+ employees | Belfast

The Criminal Justice Academy was established to train a large number of staff over a short space of time. The innovative training – which includes a blend of classroom, e-learning and realistic role plays using barristers – has met Government targets and has become an integral part of learning and development for HMRC’s new recruits.

BAE Systems plc

Islamic Relief UK & the Humanitarian Academy for Development (HAD)

Empowering its volunteers
Charities and not-for-profit | 1000+ employees | Birmingham

This non-profit organisation, working in partnership with the Humanitarian Academy for Development, established the Volunteer Leadership programme in order to empower and upskill its volunteers. Outcomes include increased funds raised by volunteers and there are plans to replicate the programme both in the UK and abroad.


ISO Quality Services Ltd

Using peer-to-peer learning
Professional Services | 0-49 employees | Worcester

This organisation has used a blend of training techniques including individual training, learning and development plans, competency matrixes and peer-to-peer learning in order to develop its employees. Organisational impacts over the last two years include a 6% increase in customer satisfaction and 14% increase in employee retention.

Antwerp Dental Group


Creating a sought-after qualification
Retail | 1000+ employees | London

Two years ago 25% of branches of this retail organisation didn’t have their own fish cutter so the business established its own fish cutting qualification. The organisation has made the training applicable and highly desirable and has reduced shops with no fish cutting specialists down to 8%. Furthermore fish cutters have been promoted with 16% of them becoming Team Leaders and 3% Kitchen Managers.

BAE Systems plc

John Lewis & Partners

Future-proofing the business
Retail | 1000+ employees | Reading

This national retail organisation created a ‘human plus digital’ experience introducing digital product and sales information devices to all staff. This has provided a unique customer experience that can’t be replicated by Internet retail businesses, has increased sales substantially and has future proofed the business.

Antwerp Dental Group

Lloyds Banking Group

Equipping leaders for the future
Banking, insurance and finance | 1000+ employees | Solihull

This banking organisation is offering exceptional training and development opportunities for leaders whilst facing challenging circumstances including large-scale staff redundancies. Over 7,000 leaders have been trained and have joined a 30-day development challenge across the last two years and staff motivation and productivity is high.

BAE Systems plc

Majestic-12 Ltd

Offering placements to high-calibre students
Technology | <50 employees | Birmingham

This micro-business, working in partnership with Aston University, has developed a placement year for gifted students. The training offered is used as a vehicle for possible recruitment and there is a 100% retention rate of these graduates since 2012. This method is allowing the company to compete with the biggest players for the brightest recruits in the IT industry.


MAMA Youth Project

Providing learning through doing
Charities and not-for-profit | <50 employees | London

This non-profit organisation was established to provide real-life training in TV production for underrepresented groups. Learning through doing is key to the approach with over 400 people having been trained and an impressive 82% employability rate a year after course completion.

Antwerp Dental Group

The Master Innholders

Retaining industry talent
Hospitality | <50 employees | Fleet

This non-profit organisation established an Aspiring Leaders Diploma to develop high performers across the British Hospitality industry. Of the 98 trained participants to-date, 90% are still in the industry and over 60% have been promoted. This is no mean feat in an industry renowned for its high staff turnover.

BAE Systems plc

Medical Defence Union

Creating exceptional induction training
Charities and not-for-profit | 250-999 employees | London

This organisation, which offers medico-legal advice and indemnity to healthcare professionals, introduced a Membership Induction Programme in 2008 in response to 95% of new membership staff leaving the company within 12 months. Staff retention rates have increased to 88% and membership numbers, employee performance and income have all increased substantially


Mortgage Advice Bureau – Scotland

Investing in induction training
Finance | 50-249 employees | Edinburgh

Following a buy-out, this company realised that their one-week induction programme wasn’t equipping employees with the skills needed to be a high-quality, customer-focused broker. A 13-week tailored induction programme was developed resulting in business productivity quadrupling and lower levels of employee attrition.

Antwerp Dental Group

MWR InfoSecurity Ltd

Creating a cyber skills pipeline
Technology | 250-999 employees | Basingstoke

This cyber security consultancy responded to a critical skills shortage by strategically using learning and development to create a talent pipeline via a cyber skills undergraduate programme. The programme has grown from 29 to 85 candidates over four years and has been extended to Singapore, Johannesburg and New York due to its overwhelming success.

BAE Systems plc

North York Moors National Park Authority

Reviving the workforce
Public sector | 50-249 employees | York

This National Park Authority delivers a well-established Apprenticeship programme which contributes to employment prospects in the region. Apprentices cover a wide range of administrative and conservation roles that are core to the Authority’s strategy. The programme has lowered the average age of employees and has revived the Authority’s workforce bringing fresh ideas and new ways of working.



Creating a catalyst for learning
Telecoms | 1000+ employees | Peterborough

This telecoms organisation created a street of houses and underground networks to address employees’ desires to undertake more real-life scenario training. Open Street has been a resounding success and has acted as a catalyst for learning in the business with greatly increased employee satisfaction scores and inspection reports calling the training ‘sector leading’.

Antwerp Dental Group

Perinatal Institute

Creating agents of change in maternity care
Charities and not-for-profit | <50 employees | Birmingham

This non-profit organisation developed a comprehensive programme of education and training of in-house and front-line staff, focusing on key priorities for monitoring the wellbeing of mothers and babies during pregnancy. The training has led to clinical staff becoming committed agents of change, and resulted in significant improvements in the safety of maternity care in the NHS.

BAE Systems plc

Pets At Home

Bringing the expertise in-house
Retail | 1000+ employees | Boston

This pet care specialist retailer brought an animal medicine qualification in-house in order to meet the needs of its staff and improve pet welfare in the process. Staff are now better trained and can dispense medicines previously supplied by veterinary clinics. Training costs have been reduced and sales of licensed medicines have exceeded targets by over £2 million.


Quanta Consultancy Services

Demonstrating success through learning
Recruitment | 50-249 employees | Berkhamsted

This is an example of a recruitment consultancy demonstrating the link between an authentic training culture and business success. Learning is seen as a strategic tool and 50% of managers’ time is focused on staff performance and development. The business invests heavily in coaching and supporting individuals’ learning needs and this has resulted in higher retention levels for trainees.

Antwerp Dental Group


Investing in experiential learning
Banking, insurance and finance | 250-999 employees | Basingstoke

This life insurance broker created an innovative on-boarding programme in order to address its high staff turnover figures following a period of rapid growth. The business devised an experiential 12-week programme to replace its previous 10-day workshop approach. Staff turnover has reduced to 7.5% resulting in large savings of recruitment costs.

BAE Systems plc

Reprezent Radio

Attracting commercial interest
Media and publishing | <50 employees | London

This radio station and social enterprise created the Sounds of Young London scheme to provide media training opportunities to disadvantaged young people. The non-academic, practical programme has achieved impressive transition rates into employment and commercial interest in the scheme has meant that the radio station has started to make a profit which is put back into the programme.


River Island

Transforming the learning strategy
Retail | 1000+ employees | London

This is an example of a retail organisation creating a high-impact, accredited training programme for managers in order to address high levels of employee dissatisfaction. 1000 managers have completed the bespoke, online programme and there has been a fundamental change in management culture: it has completely transformed the company’s people and learning strategy.

Antwerp Dental Group

Royal Air Force

Promoting resilience and combatting stress
Aviation and defence | 1000+ employees | St Mawgan

The RAF has always placed great emphasis on physical fitness but with less consideration given to mental resilience. Senior Leadership committed to developing resilience and coping strategies as part of their Eagles Scheme with an equal focus on Physical, Mental, Spiritual and Social elements. Feedback indicates positive behavioural changes in dealing with service stress.

BAE Systems plc

Royal Bank of Scotland

Improving customer service
Banking, insurance and finance | 1000+ employees | Edinburgh

A good example of a bank implementing a customer-service programme from the top down in a bid to create a shared ethos and language across the business and improve levels of customer service. 51,000 employees, including the CEO, have completed the first level of the training and the model is now being rolled out across contracted staff.


Somer Valley FM

Truly inclusive community enterprise
Media and publishing | <50 employees | Radstock

This community radio station provides opportunities for volunteers to improve their confidence and independence whilst developing broadcast and media skills in order to be on air 24/7. The organisation is wholly inclusive welcoming people from all age groups, genders and disabilities and supporting disadvantaged people who may otherwise be marginalised.

Antwerp Dental Group


Placing value in apprentices
Retail | 1000+ employees | Hampshire

This family-owned opticians places value in Apprenticeships as a way of improving capability and increasing retention in a sector renowned for its high levels of staff turnover. The business realised that it needed local buy-in and support and created ‘The Big Apprenticeship Promise’ – a social contract setting out working relationships and level of support offered.

BAE Systems plc

Superior Seals Ltd

Using Apprentices to grow the business
Manufacturing | 50-249 employees | Poole

This family-owned manufacturer decided to ‘grown its own’ in the face of a severe shortage of specialist engineering skills. A £1 million investment was made into an Academy and the business now trains 6 apprentices a year. Apprenticeships are seen as a significant contributor to the ongoing success and growth of the business.


The Tennis Foundation

Turning centres into viable businesses
Charities and not-for-profit | 50-249 employees | London

This non-profit organisation is using training to support the survival of 53 UK-wide Community Indoor Tennis Centres. The programme, which uses context-sensitive learning resources, avatars and apps, is transitioning the role and competencies of Centre Leaders contributing to the viability and survival of the Community Centre network.

Antwerp Dental Group


Investing in its workforce
Technology | 250-999 employees | Manchester

This independently owned hosting provider developed an in-house Apprenticeship scheme to ensure that its employees could meet its business needs in a constantly evolving marketplace. Apprentices make up 18% of the workforce and are paid almost double the National Apprentice rate. The organisation has recently got the go ahead to build a digital high school to further improve digital literacy in the region.

BAE Systems plc


Line manager accreditation
Travel, transport and logistics | 1000+ employees | Oxford

This UK manufacturer and logistics provider created a Line Manager Accreditation programme to ensure that all employees embody the Unipart way of working. The programme informs the company’s talent pipeline meaning that employees must complete the training to be considered for promotion. Company turnover is low and the company is committed to growing and developing its own talent.


Xtrac Limited

Establishing a strategic approach
Manufacturing | 250-999 employees | Thatcham

This manufacturing organisation devised an in-house Apprenticeship programme in order to meet the evolving technology market and to establish a strategic development plan for the business. After ten years 85% apprentices are still employed by Xtrac, with many of them being promoted into senior specialist or management roles.

The Awards Gallery 2018

See all the pictures from the event at St. James’s Palace on 31 October 2018.

2017 Standard Achievers

The successful organisations were different sizes and from various sectors.

They demonstrated that training and skills development can make a significant impact on business success.

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