Treating everyone we deal with fairly and equally is central to the work we do. In fact our aim to be an accessible organisation has been there from the very start.
When the Equality Act came into force on October 2010, we asked an independent equality and diversity expert to help us put together our formal equality and diversity documents. These included our equality and diversity policy, an "equality standard" of our aims and a three year action plan to help us get there. In 2012 – a year earlier than predicted – we completed our action plan, and had our progress assessed.
Since then we have continued to have our initiatives and actions in relation to diversity and equality independently reviewed, to make sure our approach is relevant to the changing needs of our customers and stakeholders.
In 2010 we achieved the "Gold Standard" by Committed2Equality – in recognition of our positive work culture and our commitment to the fair and equal treatment of everyone we deal with. An award we continue to hold today.
And since 2013 we’ve held “Leaders in Diversity” status – awarded to us by the National Centre for Diversity – for demonstrating excellence as an ambassador and role model for other organisations to follow.
Now, in 2016 we know there is always more we can do to make sure our approach remains up to date and relevant to the changing needs of our people, our customers and our stakeholders. In drawing up our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, we have taken into account the positive progress we’ve already made since 2010, and the work we carry out to reach and be accessible to everyone who needs our help.
Our focus for the next three years is covered in our action plan and in it we describe the key actions we plan to take, to support our equality standard and our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.