Unipart prides itself on its development of people. When new employees start at the company, it’s very clear from day one that everyone – whatever level - is on her or her own “gate to great” journey.

It wasn’t surprising then that at the inaugural Princess Royal Training Awards, Unipart’s training and development scheme received the highest honour and was one of only 33 in the country to receive this prestigious award for the best training and skills development.

Unipart identified that the organisation needed a course to improve the skills of team leaders and managers by bringing together elements of The Unipart Way - the company’s proprietary system for continuous improvement, systems and technologies.

This would give anyone managing people the ability to deliver robust and consistent leadership, and to develop new skills that would enable them to progress confidently in their career.

Unipart developed a tailored, in-house intensive course that can take between 3 – 12 months to complete. It’s a mixture of learning and doing because this approach is has been found to be the best way to learn. It also uses the latest technologies such as The Unipart Way Online - the company’s interactive learning system - to support the programme.

At a high level, the course is structured in three parts:

  • Developing yourself to be able to lead a team effectively
  • Developing other people in your team to enhance performance
  • Learning how to deliver benefits to the customer.

There is also work around understanding learning styles and why it’s important to be flexible to meet individual needs. At every stage of the programme, the individual must show how he or she has demonstrated these skills in order to gain accreditation.

Once they have completed the programme, they are invited to an awards ceremony where they are presented with a certificate from Unipart’s Chairman and Group Chief Executive, John Neill.


There is now an accelerated path in the organisation for progression, and a consistent approach to developing leadership skills.

Unipart can see a positive impact on their bottom line through recruitment savings.

In addition, the company has many tangible examples where new leadership skills have given individuals the confidence to improve:

“It gave me the confidence to look at the processes with my team and we’ve since achieved a 10% volume increase and further productivity savings of over 40%. The tools allowed me to look at the thinking behind the processes.”

The company now has many examples of leaders who attended the programme and have been promoted to further senior roles. This focus on staff development has also contributed to an increase in employee satisfaction and an increase in staff retention.