Inspira, the leading career management and personal development company in Cumbria has once again been awarded the Merlin Standard.

Inspira is one of two organisations in Cumbria who hold the Standard. The aim of it is to support the development and promotion of sustainable excellence, and positive partnership working within supply chains. It was developed by the Department of Work and Pensions in collaboration with representatives of the welfare sector.

The Standard is assessed in eight categories, in three of these categories – procurement, contracting and funding – Inspira was awarded an Excellent, and scores of Good in the other five.

“We work hard to continuously improve our approach to the supply chains we operate,” said Mark Bowman Chief Executive of Inspira. “The Merlin Standard is an important aspect of the Company’s ethos and way in which we do business, so we are really pleased with the result.”

Inspira delivers work for public bodies like the Department of Work and Pensions, National Citizen Service Trust and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

“We look for contracts that are part of our make-up - fit our values and principles and focus on employability, personal development or career management,” said Mr Bowman.

“Sometimes what commissioners want may not be as simple as what we deliver ourselves. That may be in a geography where we don’t normally deliver or something more specialised such as sector specific or complementary such as outdoor activities.”

As a prime contractor for National Citizens Service Trust across Cumbria and Lancashire, Inspira is responsible for the management and safeguarding of almost 6000 young people throughout the year.

“We have tier two suppliers who deliver an end to end service for us,” continued Mark, “and we also have tier three suppliers who deliver things that are more specialised – such as outdoor activities,” continued Mr Bowman. “We design and develop our supply chains by ensuring we know our partners well, and that we always adhere to a robust approach from design through to performance management, quality assurance and review.”   

Inspira currently works with a variety of supply chain partners across Cumbria and Lancashire including training providers, youth groups and organisations, and housing associations.