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5 Feb 2020
10:00 – 15:30

Washington, Tyne & Wear

HMRC - Benefits and Credits

Making improvement an organisational habit rather than a series of projects is the ultimate aim for many improvers. Although there is no simple solution to realising this aim, HMRC is one of the most successful examples of continuous improvement in the public sector.


Back in 2001, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs set about tackling a significant challenge: their workforce was to be reduced by 20% and the remaining staff would have to deal with the workload. With the help of consultancies, a blended approach of Lean and OD-informed leadership (labelled Pacesetter) was decided on and implemented. In 2011, an interim National Audit Office report estimated the benefits of the programme to be £400 million in resource savings and £860 million in increased revenues.

Due to cutbacks in investment post-2008, HMRC was forced to become self-sufficient in their approach. They ran their own academies, developed their own practitioners. Now it’s not known as a programme, it’s known as ‘continuous improvement.’ As part of their ongoing staff development, new staff are taken to a ‘Gold Standard’ site to learn about this approach. These sites are considered exemplars of continuous improvement.

What you’ll learn

Through this visit, Q members will have access to the ‘Gold Standard’ site of HMRC Benefits and Credits in the North East. You’ll learn about their approach to continuous improvement and staff engagement that has evolved over the last 17 years as well as understanding how you can track your own progress in continuous improvement maturity

Aims and objectives

The aim of this visit is to introduce you to ways of making improvement an organisational habit. By the end of the session you will have:

  • Learned how Benefits and Credits – and the wider HMRC – have implemented and developed their approach to continuous improvement over the last 17 years.
  • Seen first-hand how continuous improvement approaches have been adapted to suit areas with complex and variable work.
  • An understanding of the measures and mechanisms used to assess continuous improvement maturity, including behaviours and culture.
  • Reflected on this learning and consider replicating these insights within your own work contexts.

Who would benefit from attending?

This visit would suit all Q members but would be particularly applicable to those who are seeking to change organisation behaviours and habits. A basic understanding of Lean and/or continuous improvement would be beneficial but is not essential.

Event capacity

There are 20 places, available on a first-come, first-served basis. This event is free for you but there may be travel costs associated with it. If you think you may not be able to take up your place please do let us know so that we can offer it to another Q member as soon as possible.


The closest station and airport are located in Newcastle.

More detailed travel information will be sent when your place is confirmed.

While the cost of the visit itself is covered, expenses will not be.

We encourage you to ask your organisation for professional/study leave to attend, if this is available to you, as CPD points are available.


This event is for Q members only. If you are a Q member please log in to see booking information.