International Academy for Appreciative Inquiry

The academy is an exciting new joint venture between Appreciating People and Alder Advice. It is  a partnership to: develop and expand the use of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) to improve public and 3rd sector services both in UK and wider afield, to improve AI training and development opportunities and  to provide peer support opportunities for individuals and organisations that see the potential to use AI based approaches to improve their effectiveness. 

The academy is a natural development which reflects a long-standing association and a commitment from the directors of the two organisations to work together, and support each other, whilst retaining their separate brand identities. Appreciating People have contributed to projects led by Alder Advice and vice versa. There are strong synergies between the work of Alder Advice and Appreciating People in relation to asset-based approaches and Appreciative Inquiry. For example:

  • Both have:
    • A strong belief in the value ofthese methods;
    • Staff who trained with the leading European development organisationfor Appreciative Inquiry (Lincoln Workshop Series);
    • Deep and broad experience in usingAppreciative Inquiry principles and techniques. 
  • While the training and development experience of Appreciating People and their experience in developing publications (e.g. guides to asset-based working and workbooks) is complemented by Alder Advice’sexperience as advisers on organisational learning, improvement and transformation.

What will the academy provide?

The Academy will expand the existing Appreciating People’s “Taste of AI” and advanced practitioner programmes and explore the creation of new and specialized AI training opportunities. Current thinking includes: appreciative practice, appreciative supervision, appreciative team building, appreciative team learning, appreciative community and staff engagement. We also want to help create and support the develpment of self-sustaining communiities of appreciative practice so that individuals, teams and social services departments can embedd appreciatice approaches intio business as usual and can continue to benefit from the positive change that appreciative approaches engender.

More about the Partners

Alder Advice brings Appreciative Inquiry trained advisers, consultants and trainers along with innovative AI based approaches to the Academy. Together these enable adult social care, health and housing organisations to:

  • Improve the services they commission, provide or regulate,
  • Develop, motivate and retain their staff, and
  • Create new partnerships

Appreciating People brings significant AI training experience across the UK Public and voluntary sectors to the academy. This experience includes creation of an AI training approach supporting self-sustaining AI practice within organisations, development of a range of practical AI training resources sold across the world and the provision of international AI training courses.

Alder Advice was formed in 2009. It is a group of independent social care, health and housing professionals chosen because of the breadth and depth of their personal experience, up to date knowledge, consulting skills and strong value base. Alder Advice provides support in three different forms:

  • Alder consultancy, mentoring and coaching. This is always strengths based and it can include hands-on assistance where appropriate,
  • Alder Development. Offers bespoke learning programmes designed to transfer learning to our customers to help them build internal capacity/capability, and
  • Alder Interims. Are available to work as part of local teams on temporary assignments where this makes sense.

Alder Advice believes that every person, team and organisation has assets and strengths and that these should be recognised and can be developed to create a better future. This core belief underpins its work at all levels e.g. with individual service users, individual staff, teams, whole organisations and groups of organisations working as partners. Once strengths are understood and appreciated, Alder Advice can help its customers build on them to deliver the improvement opportunities available.

This appreciative approach is an essential component of Alder Advice’s values, which together with partnership working, supports working together as the best way to learn and grow.


Appreciating People was formed in 2006. It is an organisation development and Appreciative Inquiry training consultancy specialising in asset-based and whole system organisation development, principally through the philosophy and methodology of Appreciative Inquiry (AI). Appreciating People are one of the UK leaders in Appreciative Inquiry and asset-based approaches to organisation development. The company now based in Forres, Scotland works nationally and internationally.

Appreciating People supports organisations, and communities to maximize their assets and strengths and build on “what works, supporting organization development, resilience, adaptability, innovation and wellbeing across public, private and community sectors”.

Appreciating People is recognized as one of UK’s leading Appreciative Inquiry expert practices, especially within the public and community sectors. It has a reputation for innovation. Clients include hospitals and other NHS trusts, national UK faith organisations and voluntary/community groups.

How to find out more?

If you want to find out more contact either:

Dan Short or call him on 07748-180-390

Rob Griffiths or call him on 07814-144-973

Tim Slack or call him on 01309 671584