APMG International partner with STAR® Manager to set new Global Standards for People Management

The head of one of the world’s leading accreditation and certification bodies says that the shift to remote working has fundamentally changed how people need to be managed.

Richard Pharro, CEO of APMG International, is calling for a fundamental change to people management best practices and believes a new programme developed in the UK will soon be to people management what Agile is to project management.

STAR® Manager, a programme developed by performance improvement consultancy, Notion, has been proven in research by London School of Economics and Political Science to deliver statistically significant improvements in engagement, productivity and capability within as little as six months.

The co-creators of STAR® Manager, Laura Ashley-Timms and Dominic Ashley-Timms are on a mission to transform 1 million STAR® managers by 2025 to help unlock £110bn for the UK economy wrought through improvements in the standard of our leadership and management that sees us currently lagging behind the rest of the G7.

To support their ambition, they have partnered with APMG, an independent Accreditation Body and global leader for best practice solutions, meaning the programme will be recognised globally as a standard for people management.
Having worked with companies such as Royal Mail, Sainsbury’s and National Express, the effectiveness of STAR® which embeds an enquiry-led approach to management, highlights the problems with current ‘command and control’ practices in the UK.

On the partnership, CEO Richard Pharro, said:

“Notion’s STAR® Manager programme has the potential to be to people management what agile is to project management.”

The recent state of permacrisis means organisations are at a critical point. They need to find effective, sustainable and personable solutions for challenges such as financial stability, productivity and employee engagement quickly and with a demonstrable return on investment.

Notion’s STAR® Manager programme has the potential to be to people management what agile is to project management.


The brilliance of the programme lies in the fact it can be used impactfully by anybody. And as demonstrated by the research and case studies, when there are STAR® managers in your organisation, everybody is working to their best potential because they are actively encouraged to ask powerful questions to find the answers resulting in significant improvement in business performance.”

“The brilliance of the programme lies in the fact it can be used impactfully by anybody.” 

On the current state of management, Richard added:

The world of work has changed forever as a result of the global pandemic. With a more diverse and distributed workforce, it’s hard to see how current command and control management techniques can be sustained or be effective, especially over tools such as Zoom.

Managers need to have more trust and belief in the people around them. They need to provide their team with the space and support they require to develop their own solutions to workplace problems. By enabling autonomy, you increase a sense of purpose. And the best way to do this is by asking powerful questions, as demonstrated by STAR®.

By moving away from command and control and ultimately micromanagement, managers can focus on the people and projects that are able to deliver a real difference to an organisation.

STAR® is the management tool for the distributed workforce.

Laura Ashley-Timms, COO of Notion, co-creator of STAR® and co-author of The Answer is a Question, said:

We are delighted to have partnered with APMG. The company is renowned internationally for their high standards of accreditation and the quality of their portfolio, and share our values for excellence and innovation.

Our ambition is to transform 1 million STAR® managers by 2025 and this partnership will catapult us towards that goal by enabling access to the training through APMG’s established global network of best-in-class training partners allowing anyone to become a certified STAR® manager.

In the absence of common practice, we want our proven ideas and approaches to positively impact line management capability in the same way that Agile did for project management. We’re confident that together with APMG we can make that happen.”

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We’d love to team up with strategic partners to help achieve our vision of transforming 1 million STAR® managers by 2025.

We partner with organisations all over the world, combining our unique experiences to create mutually beneficial and collaborative relationships. If you’d like to explore teaming up with us on this journey please do say hello and we’ll schedule an informal call.