Hundreds of companies, big and small, across Europe demonstrate their enthusiasm to encourage cycling and a commitment to their staff. What does it takes to become an EU accredited Cycle Friendly Employer?
The Cycle Friendly Employer (CFE) accreditation scheme is a benchmark for workplace cycling. It allows businesses to not only demonstrate what they currently do for their staff, but to access advice, information and resources to improve provision for cycling at their workplace.
The scheme is delivered in 17 countries across Europe – Ireland being the most recently joined member – where thousands of employees have benefited from forward-thinking businesses who have already signed up to the scheme, to promote active travel in their workplaces.
James Palser, who runs the CFE scheme in the UK, told us: “If it seems daunting, it need not be. The process of becoming accredited is actually really simple, and the minimum requirements for a company to meet the bronze standard are not as difficult to achieve as many first think.”
To achieve bronze, a company is expected to have made a start on developing a cycle culture at the business. “The results may not be visible yet, but if the commitment is there to support staff to change their travel choices, that’s the most important step”.
A healthy employee is a happy employee, and a happy workforce is a workforce that can achieve its full potential.
How does it work?
The Cycle Friendly Employer accreditation will assess your business across six categories and give you a score, receiving a bronze, silver or gold rating.
These categories cover a range of criteria including; the facilities you have for your staff (this could include cycle parking), your communications and information for employees, incentives for staff to cycle, parking management, and events you host, enabling staff to cycle.
James explains: “Each measure is given a score, and for each category there is a minimum score that is required to achieve the accreditation. In category one for example, businesses are expected to have regular communication with their staff to promote cycling, and to take part in a national campaign (such as Bike Week or Cycle To Work day). Do these, and you will receive enough points for your business to pass in this category at a bronze level.”
What do I need to do next?
The first step to becoming accredited is to take our free self-assessment, which takes only minutes to complete. A member of the team will then be in touch to discuss arranging an audit with you, and to let you know what you need to do to provide the evidence we need to see for your accreditation.
It’s really that simple.
Once a business has been accredited as bronze, Cycling Solutions Ireland delivers a detailed report that outlines not just what you have already achieved, but will also outline how other measures can be met so you can move on up to silver. We’ll provide a detailed plan of how to deliver this, in addition to the bespoke support you require to ensure more of your colleagues cycle to work.
The lockdown in Ireland has stunted a lot of business activity, but we are still delivering audits up and down the country. If you have any questions about the accreditation please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Michael to set about organising your own company audit.