It all starts with the course

In 2011, the Organisation for Responsible Businesses launched the Responsible Business Standard (RBS), an onsite auditable certification designed specifically for small businesses.

Working with our Advisory Board, the hard copy workbook which covered the requirements of the RBS has been extensively updated and remodelled to form the basis of a superb online course.

Whether you intend to apply for any of the certification options or not, it all starts with the Responsible Business/Social Value Course.

This is a BIG, ROBUST course with a pragmatic approach to operating an organisation efficiently and responsibly.

Although specifically designed for small businesses from a sole trader upwards, the course is suitable for any size or type of organisation, including those at pre-launch and start up stages. Anyone working through the course will benefit from the extensive information provided, wrapped up in a stripped-back approach that necessities a soul-searching process to identify if an organisation is operating ethically and responsibly and genuinely making a positive contribution to society.

As part of our commitment to small businesses, access to the course starts at an introductory rate of only £19 per annum for a start-up / sole trader, set up on a recurring basis but with the option to cancel at any time.

The tiered price-point structure means that larger businesses will pay proportionately more according to the number of full-time pro-rata employees.

But whatever the size of your business, and therefore whatever price you pay, we can guarantee this course will deliver excellent value for money providing it is used properly.

As you will see from the course content list below, the main body of the course covers 6 sections, and in each section, we look at legislation and best practice as appropriate.

Course content overview

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Individual for CPD

The course, in conjunction with the CPD Certification option, has been accredited by The CPD Group for 20 credit hours CPD. This entails completing the complete course, even if you do not have any employees yourself, then submitting a 700+ word essay.

Anyone taking the course purely for CPD purposes can purchase the course at the special introductory individual rate of £19 per annum, which can be cancelled at any time. However, please be aware that if you subsequently decide to take any of the other certification options, you will need to have a course subscription in place appropriate to the size of your business.

The Monitored Self-Assessment Course, for example, can also be used for CPD Certification and may be abetter option for some people.

We hope the course provides you with an insight into a better way of doing business and that if you provide any type of business advice, you will embrace these principles when working with your clients and encourage them to consider people and planet in business decisions.

If this approach resonates with you, we therefore urge you to make the following pledge and can then provide you with a specific Business Advisors Certificate at no extra charge:

“I pledge to operate my business in an honest an ethical manner; to consider people and the environment when making business decisions; and endeavour to make a positive contribution to the local community and society at large. As part of this pledge, I am committed to sharing responsible business practices with my clients and encouraging them to operate their businesses accordingly.”

Pre-start and Start-ups

Starting a new business can seem daunting. There is so much to do, so much to consider. The old expression ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ is particularly pertinent!

Jo Shaer, co-founder and MD of Lollipop Local said:

“My solicitor congratulated me on how well set up my business is. He commented that not many MDs have paid attention to the details that can be so crucial when the brown stuff hits the fan. I smiled smugly but I knew that a lot of the credit should be going to ORB… after completing the first section [of the course] I had already started to see the value.”

This course highlights practical and legislative aspects you need to consider, including providing many useful resources, whilst also ensuring you do not lose sight of your passion and the personal ethics and values that should be embedded at the very heart of your new business.

If you are developing or re-assessing your Business Plan, you will find the course an exceptionally useful tool.

This is a BIG, ROBUST course and naturally, some of the topics may not apply to you. Nonetheless, we recommend you do read through and consider each aspect as this process will enhance the thought process of how to start and develop a business.

Take the Workplace section, for example. You may be launching without any employees and have decided you want to remain a sole proprietor – and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, as a small business owner, you may well collaborate with other businesses in the same or complementary fields, and the sub-contracting section will therefore be relevant. Or perhaps you are launching a charity or social enterprise in which case you may have volunteers. And even if it is just you, think of yourself as your own employee and how you embrace health and safety and other aspects of your own wellbeing!

You can choose to work through the course in a linear fashion or drop in and out of various sections and topics as you wish.

Registration for the course is on a recurring annual payment basis ensuring you are always able to refer to the course and re-assess your operations as your business develops. However, you can cancel at any time.

Once your business has been established for at least 12 months, you may even wish to consider the certification options available.

Micro-businesses

We are passionate about micro-businesses. 96% of private businesses in the UK fall into this category which is defined by having 0-9 employees and, quite frankly, we feel that not enough is being done to:

  • Provide ongoing support to help business owners in this sector develop robust, efficient, profitable, sustainable businesses;
  • Ignite the power for social change in the small business community.

On the basis that Doing Good is Good for Business, this course will help businesses be the best they possibly can: a businesses that is successful and profitable, but also makes a positive contribution to our society; a business that truly demonstrates it cares about people and this fragile planet of ours.

For far too long, the conversation about responsible business, or CSR as it is often called, has ignored micro-businesses. We are committed to changing that.

Although there is no commitment to do so, we hope you will work through the course and, once completed, proceed to one of the certification options.

WE WANT TO SHOUT OUT ABOUT HOW WONDERFUL AND HOW IMPORTANT MICRO-BUSINESSES ARE IN OUR SOCIETY. WE INVITE YOU TO WORK WITH US TO CHANGE THE WORLD – ONE SMALL BUSINESS AT A TIME!

This is a BIG, ROBUST course and naturally some of the topics will not apply to every business. Even for micro-businesses, there is a vast difference between a company with no employees and one with 9. (This is also reflected in the respective course prices.) Nonetheless, we recommend you do read through and consider each aspect. You can choose to work through the course in a linear fashion or drop in and out of various sections and topics as you wish.

Consider the Workplace section, for example. You may not have any employees and have even decided you wish to remain a sole proprietor – and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! However, as a micro-business owner you may well collaborate with other businesses in the same or complementary fields, and the sub-contracting section will therefore be relevant. Or perhaps you are launching a charity or social enterprise in which case you may have volunteers. And even if it is just you, think of yourself as your own employee and how you embrace health and safety and other aspects of your own wellbeing!

Registration for the course is on a recurring annual payment basis ensuring you are always able to refer to the course and re-assess your operations. However, you can cancel at any time.

As we are committed to supporting micro-businesses, we have substantially discounted course rates with companies with no employees paying the lowest rate.

 

Small businesses (10-49 employees)

The Organisation for Responsible Businesses launched the Responsible Business Standard (RBS) in 2011 as an onsite auditable certification designed specifically for small businesses.

We have now converted the RBS to a superb online course with certification options which, although beneficial for any size and type of organisation, is still primarily focused on the small business community (including micro-businesses, as detailed above.)

As a business gradually employs more people and moves out of the micro stage, another set of challenges often become evident.

It becomes i essential for the business owners/MD to increasingly delegate responsibility for certain aspects of operations to other employees. And gradually, an additional level of supervisors and/or managers may be required.

As well as addressing the problem of ‘letting go,’ it is also imperative that:

  • Honest and open communication is the norm at every level;
  • All employees understand and are aligned with the company culture;
  • New supervisors and managers not only understand ‘the job,’ but also have the appropriate people management training and skills.

On the basis that Doing Good is Good for Business, this course will help businesses be the best they possibly can: a businesses that is successful and profitable, but also makes a positive contribution to our society; a business that truly demonstrates it cares about people and this fragile planet of ours.

For a growing small business, this course will also help to ensure there is no mission creep: i.e. your business is still meeting the standard of operations you aspire to and the values you hold dear.

Registration for the course is on a recurring annual payment basis ensuring you are always able to refer to the course and re-assess your operations. However, you can cancel at any time.

In order to keep the rates as low as possible for the smallest businesses, prices are on a tiered basis with two different rates for small businesses for: 10-29 employees and 30-49 employees.

There is also a special rate of £15 per person if you wish to give additional employees access to the course. To action this option, purchase the required number of additional courses with the main course option and you will automatically be contacted for a manual list of relevant employees.

 

 

Medium-sized businesses (50-249 employees)

As a business grows, it can become increasingly difficult to ensure there is no mission creep: i.e. the organisation is still meeting the standard of operations and values required by the business owners/senior executives/board of directors and other stakeholders.

On the basis that Doing Good is Good for Business, this course will help businesses be the best they possibly can: a businesses that is successful and profitable, but also makes a positive contribution to our society; a business that truly demonstrates it cares about people and this fragile planet of ours.

Most importantly, it offers the chance to reflect on all aspects of the business to ensure standards are maintained, consider what can be done to improve, and what steps need to be taken.

Registration for the course is on a recurring annual payment basis ensuring you are always able to refer to the course and re-assess your operations. However, you can cancel at any time.

The cost of course access operates on a tiered basis, with two different rates for medium-sized businesses: 50-124 employees and 125-249 employees.

There is also a special rate of £15 per person if you wish to give additional employees access to the course. To action this option, purchase the required number of additional courses with the main course option and you will automatically be contacted for a manual list of relevant employees.

 

Large businesses (250+ employees)

The is a BIG, ROBUST course designed specifically for small businesses but nonetheless suitable for any size or type of organisation.

So why, might you ask, is it appropriate for large businesses?

Anyone working through the course will benefit from the extensive information provided, wrapped up in a stripped-back approach that necessities a soul-searching process to identify if an organisation is operating ethically and responsibly and genuinely making a positive contribution to society.

As an organisation get bigger, it becomes increasingly challenging to ensure that the business is fully compliant, all systems are operating efficiently, and company values are upheld right across the organisation.

Going back to basics can sometimes be the best way of being able to fully assess the reality of the situation; of asking yourself and colleagues the appropriate questions; of really considering if the business is the best it can possibly be and what steps need to be taken to ensure the organisation makes a positive contribution to our society; a business that truly demonstrates it cares about people and this fragile planet of ours.

Whatever responsible business/CSR certification you intend to apply for, including options such as CSR-A and B-Corp, this course will provide an excellent first stage option to ensure you are certification ready.

Working with colleagues during this process is essential. You may therefore wish to give additional employees or associates access to the course at the special rate of £15 per person. To action this option, purchase the required number of additional courses with the main course option and you will automatically be contacted for a manual list of relevant employees.