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UCC is first Irish HE institution to acquire Ibec’s 'KeepWell Mark'

24 Jul 2018
UCC President, Professor Patrick O'Shea holding the award with Mr Danny McCoy, CEO Ibec to his left. To Mr Mc Coy's left is Ms Sylvia Curran, Staff Wellbeing and Development Advisor, UCC, organiser of the programme with HR staff and guests at the award ceremony. Photo: Rob Lamb

UCC has become the first third-level educational institution in the country to acquire Ibec’s KeepWell Mark in recognition of the University’s long-standing dedication to well-being and welfare for its workforce of almost 3,000 people.

A National workplace wellbeing accreditation from Ibec the KeepWell Mark demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to improving the lives of those who work for it.

Through a rigorous auditing process, and by benchmarking against a set of recognised standards across eight critical business practice areas and on-site assessments, adjudication on the KeepWell Mark accreditation is determined.

As well as formulating a strategic plan (2017 – 2022) which refers to improving induction, employee wellbeing and professional development programmes the University also provides a wide range of classes, workshops and initiatives for staff members. A second staff well-being plan is also being developed.

These include Samba and Art Relief classes, Yoga and Mindfulness sessions and workshops on themes such as Stress Management, Personal Finance and Sleep. Staff members can take part in regular physical activity classes, often led by staff, while regular health checks are conducted.

“UCC is delighted to be the first university to receive the KeepWell Mark. Not only does it confirm our commitment to the wellbeing of our colleagues here on campus but it also helps to ensure that the principles of health and well-being extend beyond the workplace and into the lives of our families and communities,” said UCC President Patrick O’Shea.

He added: “UCC is already a national centre of excellence for research, innovation and education, but today we are very pleased to be recognised as a national leader in ensuring the well-being of our people.”

And Ibec CEO Danny McCoy, who visited UCC today to present the University with its accolade, said: “‘Ibec believes in the importance of health and prosperity in the workplace. That’s why we’ve introduced The KeepWell Mark, an evidence-based accreditation that recognises and celebrates organisations that put the wellbeing of employees at the forefront of company policy. I am delighted to present University College Cork with the Ibec KeepWell Mark and in doing so to also recognise that you are the first third level institution in Ireland to achieve this accreditation.”

Sylvia Curran, Staff Wellbeing and Development Advisor at UCC, said: “We are committed to enhancing staff health and well-being and have taken the responsibility for the planning, design and delivery of an appropriate organisational staff wellbeing plan to ensure these needs are addressed. All these activities and initiatives are developed with the primary focus on the health and wellbeing of our people. I am extremely proud that the long-term commitment UCC has invested in staff health and wellbeing is being formally recognised through this prestigious national award.”

And Barry O’Brien, UCC’s Human Resources Director, added: “This achievement is a culmination of the expertise, collaboration, energy and enthusiasm which permeates right across the university.  This award further validates UCC’s position as the number one employer of choice in the Higher Education sector.”

For more on this story contact:

Sylvia Curran, Staff Wellbeing and Development Advisor, UCC Email:

University College Cork

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