Awards and Accreditations

We are proud to be an employer of choice and has been recognised in a variety of surveys and awards.  See below for more, and also visit the US Online website and our Accolades page.

In addition, the University attained Fairtrade status in September 2006. Fairtrade goods are available in all campus shops, café and restaurants on campus. The Greggs outlet in the Gateway became the first Fairtrade Greggs in the UK - something they have since rolled out across the UK. The University also helped the City of Sunderland gain Fairtrade status in 2007.

CIPD Award for Equality & Diversity in the Workplace

The University was recognised at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Awards 2008 in the field of Equality & Diversity in the WorkplaceFactors contributing to the award included:

  • Our approach to embedding gender equality;
  • Our being at the forefront of the Equal Pay agenda;
  • Our positive support on Sexual Orientation, leading to the creation of staff and student lgbt groups;
  • Our women-friendly prayer facilities and a supportive policy on Religion and Belief;
  • Our winning council funding to assist Refugee Academics;
  • Our staff survey results showing that 68% of staff agree the diversity of the University enriches their experience.

Mindful Employer

The University is a Mindful Employer that is Positive About Mental Health.  See our Stress and Mental Wellbeing for more about the support and guidance we offer to our staff.

Equal Pay Audits cited by the Equality and Human Rights Commission

The University conducts annual Equal Pay Audits to provide an overview of pay equality across the institution. We are cited as best practice on equal pay documentation and the web pages of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Investors in People Silver Award

The University has been awarded the Investors in People Silver accreditation, demonstrating continued commitment to realising the potential of our 1,700 staff.

The assessment sought views from staff and their managers on Sunderland and London campuses on a range of aspects including the University strategy for leading, managing and developing people effectively; promoting equality of opportunity; improving performance; planning learning and development; and people being involved in decision making, and builds on the University having achieved Bronze accreditation in 2012.
Director of Human Resources Andrea Walters particularly praised the hard work of the contact group of representatives from Faculties, Services and London Campus for their contribution and support, and the invaluable contribution of those who met with the assessor.

She added: “We are delighted to have achieved the Silver accreditation as recognition of the good progress we are making. This is very positive news and, importantly, the assessors findings confirm that many staff across the institution feel positive about the direction we are moving in and are proud to work for the University of Sunderland.”

Investors in People is the UK’s leading accreditation for business improvement through people management, and provides a wealth of resources for businesses to innovate, improve and grow, with a focus on good people making great business.

Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People, said: “Achieving the Investors in People Silver standard is something that any organisation should be truly proud of. It is the sign of a company which is very committed to good people management practice and we’d like to congratulate the University of Sunderland on their achievement.”

Steve Burrows, Managing Director of Investors in People North of England said:“This is a fantastic achievement for the University of Sunderland and I would like to congratulate the team on their success. We believe that good people make a great business and as a proven organisational development framework, Investors in People is designed to help organisations and their people to realise potential, enhance performance and meet goals. With their Silver accreditation, Sunderland is certainly working to realise their people potential.”

For more information about Investors in People please visit

About Investors in People

  • Investors in People makes people management excellence count. They exist to help businesses realise the potential of their people, improve standards and gain the accreditation to prove it.
  • Through the respected Standard, business insight and the IIP bank of tools and resources, organisations of all shapes and sizes can put their people first – and discover a brighter business future.
  • Over the last 20 years, IIP has helped more than 100,000 businesses around the world improve, using their Accreditation Framework to boost working culture, increase employee engagement and encourage game-changing leadership.
  • Investors in People is owned and managed by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, an executive non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

This page was published on 22 December 2016