All policies were last reviewed and amended (as needed) by: Ewan Pearson, Managing Director of GPB, on 4th January 2021. Here we publish our other policies, but clients may request these as and when needed.
Our 6 key policies are:
Quality Assurance Policy
1) Our Business
Grant Pearson Brown Consulting Ltd (GPB) is a highly respected and award-winning consulting business. We specialise in effective and persuasive communications, both spoken and written. We are a presentation, public speaking and business development advisor. We advise clients on their key communication events; we also coach senior level clients 1-1, and we run group workshops. We were founded as a partnership in 1993, incorporated on 8th March 2001, and are based in Holborn, London. Whilst we don’t aim to specialise in any sector, we have many financial services, professional services, high technology and pharmaceuticals clients.
2) Why quality is important to our business
Quality is important to us as, by ensuring (i) we give the best advice to our clients, (ii) run our business as efficiently as possible, (iii) continuing to innovate and (iv) staying competitive, we will be sustainably profitable and grow as a business. Measures of quality include both anecdotal and objectively measured client feedback, the results that our clients obtain as a result of our work, and the awards we win through public voting. We aim to exceed our clients’ expectations using SMART criteria. As expectations continually rise we also focus on continuous improvement and the development of new ideas. To this end we have Quality Management Systems (QMS) which allow us to measure regularly how well we are doing versus our own and client expectations.
3) The systems we have in place are
- Secure and business-continuity focused Finance and CRM systems to ensure our clients are well cared for and both their and our data are protected.
- Ongoing training for staff, both ad-hoc and formally, to ensure skills and knowledge are retained and increase.
- Technology covering accuracy, security, sustainability, and business continuity that include the use of cloud technology.
Together, these systems ensure we will continue to serve our clients to our best abilities, and protect our own business.
4) The processes and procedures we have in place to ensure the high standard of delivery of our service are:
- Client feedback meetings for all our advisory work, sessions and workshops.
- Ongoing client development, including a quarterly educational journal, “Speak Up”.
- A client engagement policy to manage expectations.
- Mechanisms to check the quality and accuracy of our advisory and financial information.
- Back-up systems (including offsite storage) of all business data.
- Security processes to ensure client confidentiality and business continuity.
- A billing system that is cross-checked for timeliness and accuracy.
- A holiday booking process to ensure continuous coverage.
5) The processes and procedures we have to measure our Quality Management System (QMS) are:
- We measure our performance for all client assessments vs. aims.
- We monitor the improvement of all our staff following training.
- Our accounts are audited; all invoices and expenses are checked and require authorisation.
- We monitor and respond to our clients’ feedback by improving our systems and processes to drive down weaknesses and work towards ‘Do It Right First Time Every Time’ (DIRFTET).
- Our suppliers are required to meet high standards of quality, consistency and continuity.
- We monitor resources (e.g. energy, utilities, and paper) and have procedures to reduce physical waste and our time.
- We credit check our clients and suppliers to protect our business from damaging external financial forces.
- We protect our intellectual property, including the use of trademarks.
6) Communicating our QA Policy
We communicate our QA policy to our staff, associates, clients and suppliers using our main website, and by placing a link to this web page in the office manual.
7) The Managing Director and and all staff are collectively responsible for the quality of our business.
8) All policies are reviewed at least yearly in January.
Data Protection Policy
Our Data Protection policy has the following objectives:
1) To collect and continue to hold personal data only with the data subject’s permission and for good reason, on the basis of business need, and not to buy, rent, borrow or harvest personal data.
2) To secure and protect the data we hold on all parties, whether staff, client, supplier or other person or organisation, and – where relevant – to report promptly to the authorities and affected individuals any breach of that security.
3) To allow individuals for whom we hold their personal data to have those data updated, corrected or removed (“the right to be forgotten”) easily and quickly, if they so wish.
4) To supply all data requested under Data Subject Access Requests (DSARs) within the time limit for receipt of request.
We aim to fulfil these objectives by:
- Adhering to the terms of Article 6 (1) of the EU GDPR 2016/679 that relate to Lawful processing of subjects’ data, for example by requiring the data in order to fulfil a contract, or by gaining consent in advance from each person for whom we intend to hold data, or for other legitimate reasons. For past and current clients, this adherence is mostly done via contract requirements or face-to-face requests.
- Keeping in regular contact with the subjects for whom we have contact data, e.g. through the sending of regular and expected email communication such as our Quarterly Journal for ongoing personal development of our clients and other business contacts.
- Having procedures for (i) keeping accurate data, (ii) updating where we become aware of errors, (iii)for supplying a record of their data to any data subjects that request this (via DSARs) well within one month, and (iv) for easy removal should a data subject request this.
- Requiring all employees to maintain high levels of security in accessing any data, granting access to that data only to those employees that need through the nature of their work to have access to these data, and removing access for employees that are leaving or who have left the company.
- We protect physical data in our offices, whilst working from home and whilst travelling by keeping those locations as secure as we can.
- Should there be any breach of security, our Data Protection Officer (currently the MD) will report the breach to the relevant authority/ies within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach, and where required we will also contact the individual/s affected by this breach.
Health and Safety Policy
Our H&S policy has the following objectives:
1) To protect the lives and full health our employees whenever they are working onsite or offsite for the company.
2) To protect the lives and full health of all clients, associates, suppliers, and visitors to our offices.
We aim to fulfil these objectives by ensuring that:
- the office and its immediate environment is kept a safe place to work.
- any event that reduces the safety of our workplaces is immediately notified to all staff with recommendations for changes in location and activity, and remedial action is taken immediately.
- regular assessments are done on the safety of equipment and locations, and any remedial work that is needed is immediately carried out before work starts.
- all staff are kept fully aware of health and safety issues and that we all adopt a proactive stance towards minimising risk in the workplace and outside in public areas.
- the health and wellbeing of our employees is monitored at regular intervals, both at formal reviews and ad hoc. We aim to create a healthy working environment for all employees and visitors alike.
- where the company feels that specific steps need to be taken in regard to specific risks to the health of our employees and those others who our employees come into contact with, those steps are considered carefully, agreed by the Directors and then communicated to all staff in a timely fashion.
Equality, Opportunities and Diversity Policy
Our Equal Opportunities/Diversity policy states that: “The company will never discriminate in employing or retaining or advising or otherwise working with individuals on the basis of gender, religious belief, age, sexual orientation, nationality, culture or physical or mental disability.”
The company supports fully the need for and benefits of diversity among its workforce, and is an equal opportunities employer.
All employees, potential employees and other individuals will receive equal treatment (including access to employment, training and opportunities for promotion) regardless of age, race, gender, marital status, physical or mental disability, religion or belief, pregnancy or maternity. The company will never discriminate in employing or retaining or working with individuals.
The Gender Pay Gap is the difference between the average earnings of men and women, pro-rata’d for full time equivalence and expressed relative to men’s earnings. Our policy is to have equal pay for comparable work, and to minimise the gender pay gap.
All members of staff are kept full informed of their responsibilities under the law and this policy not to discriminate; and that severe but legal penalties are encoded into employment contracts should an employee fall foul of this policy.
Our Equality & Diversity policy is set out in instructions to those concerned with recruitment, selection, remuneration, training and promotion. We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all employees and job applicants.
A link to this policy is also set out in our Staff Handbook (latest editions of which are handed out to all employees). The principles of non-discrimination and equality of opportunity also apply to the way in which staff treat visitors, clients, customers, suppliers and former staff members.
All employees and other individuals working at GPB must be aware of this policy and ensure that their behaviour is non-discriminatory. All are responsible for implementing this policy within the firm and ensuring that any problems are dealt with promptly. All employees have an obligation not to discriminate, harass or victimise. Disciplinary action will be taken against an employee who is found to be in breach of this policy. Serious breaches will be treated as gross misconduct.
The following policy details show examples of what is prohibited:
“This may be direct or indirect and it may occur intentionally or unintentionally. Direct discrimination occurs when someone is treated less favourably because of one or more of the protected characteristics set out in the introduction to this policy. For example, rejecting an applicant on the grounds of their race would be direct discrimination.
Indirect discrimination occurs when someone is disadvantaged by a provision, criterion or practice that also puts other people with the same protected characteristic at a particular disadvantage. An example would be a requirement for all employees to be six feet tall because this would disproportionately disadvantage women. Such a requirement would need to be objectively justified.”
“Harassment related to any of the protected characteristics is prohibited. Harassment is unwanted conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating somebody’s dignity, or creating an intimating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.”
“This is less favourable treatment of someone who has complained or given information about discrimination or harassment, or supported someone else’s complaint.”
Our Equal Opportunities policy applies to all aspects of our relationship with staff and is promoted and implemented in the following areas:
(a) recruitment and selection
Recruitment and selection. The only basis for promotion or selection is our management considered opinion of an applicant’s suitability for the job. The recruitment procedure and job selection criteria are reviewed regularly to ensure that individuals are treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities. Short-listing of applications will be done by more than one person wherever possible.
(b) job advertisements
Job advertisements should avoid using any wording that may discourage groups with a particular protected characteristic from applying. We take steps to ensure that our vacancies are advertised to a diverse labour market.
GPB is required by law to ensure that all employees are entitled to work in the UK. All prospective employees, regardless of nationality, must be able to produce original documents before employment starts, to satisfy current immigration legislation. The list of acceptable documents is available from the Human Resources team.
To ensure that this policy is operating effectively, we monitor applicant’s ethnic group, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion and age as part of the recruitment procedure. Provision of this information is voluntary and it will not adversely affect decisions relating to individual’s employment.
The information is removed from applications before short-listing, and kept in an anonymised format solely for the purposes stated in this policy.
(c) Other areas covered by this policy:
Induction, Conduct at work, Promotion, Benefits, Terms and conditions of employment, Disciplinary and grievance procedures, and Termination of employment. Details of the coverage in these areas is available on request.
1) GPB’s policy is to minimising waste, recycle as much as possible, and economise on energy and water usage, wherever it is sensible and not materially damaging to the business to do so.
2) Our Environmental and Sustainability (ES) Policy objectives are:
- To try to reduce our net environmental footprint to as near zero as we can
- Where we cannot avoid making a negative impact, we minimise it in the most cost-effective way
- We do what we can to recycle, and to balance the negative with the positive
- We believe that a good ES policy is also good business economics.
3) We aim to achieve these objectives by:
Minimising our use of electricity for heating, cooling, light and power. We switch off every night, we do not switch a device on until it is needed, and switch it off after use if the gap in use is material.
Minimising our use of water. Whilst accepting that employees have a right to and need for clean water, we minimise water use by preventing leaks, reducing toilet flush volumes, and turning taps off between uses. Washing up is done with minimal water.
Avoiding the use of paper and office supplies especially toner and ink where possible, we use the ‘Think before you print’ slogan, we use smaller fonts and fuller page covering, and recycle paper to be reused where possible. Shredded paper is recycled for use in compost heaps, and coffee capsules are returned for recycling.
Continuing the search and deployment of lower cost and more environmentally friendly lighting, heating and cooling.
Cleaning only as often as is needed to keep the offices clean to the required level.
Having small plants around the office to contribute to an improved air environment and to offset our carbon footprint.
4) Examples of specific measures in place:
Rubbish and recycling
- We use local authority recycling facilities to recycle: paper, cardboard, plastic, metal and batteries. Glass is also recycled where possible.
- We separate as much recyclable rubbish from other rubbish in separate bins in the office as we can. This is for A4 and other printing paper, but also hand washing paper, newspapers, and paper matter received by post or from clients.
- Redundant electrical equipment is removed for recycling where possible.
- Used printer drums and toner are recycled in almost all cases.
- Paper is not used where electrical communication is as good an alternative or better.
- Paper is re-used where possible, especially scrap A4 white paper, used on both sides.
- Items to be printed are checked carefully before printing to minimise the risk of error and waste.
- Cleaning is done only twice a week, to minimise energy and material usage. A low energy vacuum cleaner is used.
- Cleaners use environmentally-friendly cleaning materials where possible.
- Each person is responsible for office tidiness and economic but effective tidying.
- We use low energy light bulbs where we can, where not limited by their lower luminescence.
- We use fewer light bulbs, to create ‘just enough’ light in the office.
- We turn off lights when not needed, and we use natural light as much as possible.
- We switch off all electrical appliances when not in use, especially overnight and over weekends.
- We try to avoid leaving items on standby mode during the day or night, unless needed.
- Where we can we use lower power items such as kettles, microwaves, and fridges.
- We use rechargeable batteries where possible.
Corporate and Social Responsibility Policy
- Our CSR policy includes our entire supply chain
- We support the local business community and help our neighbours
- We undertake charitable giving and charitable activities; staff payroll giving is encouraged
- We purchase from sustainable resources where we can
- GPB does not report publicly on the details of its CSR Policy
- Time is allocated by the management team to manage the CSR Policy.