Sell Campaign 6: Workplace Accreditation Scheme

  1. Plan
  2. Design and Build
  3. Sell
  4. Evaluate

Background and Aim

A competitive element between workplaces acts as a motivation for them to get behind the cycle highway by putting in place elements which fulfil the standard requirements and encourage more active travel to work by employees, as well as improving the ‘green’ or ‘environmental’ face of the organisation.

This campaign gives project staff a structure with which to plan and prioritise activities delivered through other campaigns (for example 3 & 4).

The aim of an Accreditation Scheme is to offer workplaces a standard to aim for within sustainable/active travel in the workplace and a framework on which to plan and build. By engaging with workplaces and encouraging them to develop their active travel by being more bike/ active travel-friendly through a structured, validated accreditation scheme.

Also known as Active Travel Standard/Accreditation, Bike Friendly Businesses, Cycle Friendly Employer Certification (European)

Target audience

Primary audience: organisations/employers in area around the cycle highway/greenway already involved with CHIPS (i.e. took part in Workplace survey)

Secondary audience: other organisations new to CHIPS


  • Develop workplace accreditation scheme and awards/plaques/certificates.
  • Adopt one that already exists eg. European Cycle-friendly Employer Accreditation Scheme
  • Contact organisations to promote the scheme.
  • Sign up ‘leader’ workplaces first to get a good profile.
  • Staff time: Project officer to work with organisations to carry out audit of workplaces and write assessment and improvement plan
  • Communication effort to raise awareness of the scheme through the workplace engagement campaigns.

Outputs and impact

  • Audit identifies facilities, policies and procedures which are lacking (see Campaign 3 and 9)
  • Publicity about the Accreditation eg. hold a launch or event
  • Annual event to award certificates.
  • Number of companies engaged in cycle accreditation scheme
  • Employees think employer more cycle/active travel-friendly
  • Improved image of the company
  • Cycling and active travel seen as important and of benefit to the organisation
  • Better cycle facilities at more workplaces
  • More workplaces adopting the scheme
  • Normalisation of cycling (see Campaign 8)
  • More cyclist commuting and using cycle highway
  • Employees feeling higher workplace satisfaction and wellbeing
  • Benefits to workplaces – healthier, happier workforce (see Campaign 3).

Plan of Action

Step 1

Identify organisations near the cycle highway. Invite organisations to a launch event or workshop in which they can learn more about the Accreditation Scheme.

Promote and share with the organisations information about the Accreditation Scheme, highlighting the benefits to the organisation, e.g. positive publicity & environmental impact – less cars/ congestion; healthier workforce. The information could be in a pack or online. Useful to meet with Human Resources manager face-to-face.

Step 2

Develop links with organisations (work on Campaign 3)

  • Gain commitment from the organisation to take part in the accreditation scheme and identify individual in the organisation to take this scheme forward – possibly Travel Plan Co-ordinator/senior staff member.
  • Work with Travel plan/mobility plan co-ordinator in the workplace using accreditation guidelines to identify areas in need of improvement.
  • Carry out initial assessment for the accreditation.
  • Develop a plan and timeline to implement/achieve these.
  • Develop a timetable of planning meetings, follow-up checks, assessments and accreditation recognition events.
  • Workplace to document evidence and retain this for follow up assessment.
  • Celebration of achievement held annually (or when appropriate locally).


  • Increased number of employees actively travelling to work
  • Survey results
  • Numbers of people taking part in activities/challenges etc.
  • Feedback through personal stories/case studies – see Campaign 8
  • Number of organisations taking part and achieving the standard/accreditation
  • Numbers of organisations achieving high level accreditation

Case studies

Belfast, Northern Ireland

The Cycle Friendly Employer accreditation (CFE-UK) was developed within the EU project ‘Bike2Work’, with Cycling UK the recognised provider for the UK. CFE-UK is the only international standard for workplace cycling, working in partnership with countries across Europe. Site auditing and advisory work is also provided by Sustrans for organisations in Northern Ireland.

Following the launch of the Accreditation Scheme in Northern Ireland in April 2018, Queen’s University Belfast expressed an interest in registering. Many of its staff and students use cycle highways around the River Lagan to its main campus in south Belfast.

Queen’s University demonstrated a very active commitment to improving conditions for cycling, across all sites within the University. As a large employer and one of Belfast’s largest journey generators, Queen’s clearly recognises its contribution to protecting and enhancing its surroundings and wider city environment, as cycling can reduce congestion and improve air quality.

As a result it became the first organisation to achieve GOLD standard in the new accreditation scheme.

Recognised for their success at a Bronze, Silver or Gold standard, organisations must meet a range of measures to demonstrate their cycle-friendliness, including communications, training and incentives for staff as well as physical facilities such as secure cycle parking, showers and changing rooms.

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