Become a standard-bearer of DEI excellence

The Diversity Development Standard, or DDS for short, is our externally recognised diversity accreditation. It’s both a badge of excellence and an ongoing organisational development tool, audited and verified by an independent panel of industry experts. The programme focuses on practical action that can help you achieve a truly diverse workforce. By developing an inclusive culture, in which everyone can flourish, the wellbeing of all staff is supported and maintained. ​

Companies of all sizes use the DDS to gauge whether their operating practices are fit for purpose. This diversity accreditation programme will also help to future-proof your organisation for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) best practice and driving sustainable culture change.

Widen Your Talent Pool

Over 80% of millennials say that an employer’s DEI policies are an important factor when deciding whether to work for them

Employer Inclusion

The most inclusive companies outperform the least by 36% in profitability terms

Introducing the New DDS Online Platform

We are thrilled to launch our new online Diversity Development Standard (DDS) platform. The DDS has been a standard of excellence in diversity and inclusion for over a decade, and our new online portal allows you to measure, track and analyse the progress and impact of your DEI initiatives and access our expert diversity consultants in real-time.

Whether you are just beginning your DEI journey, or already have a clear diversity strategy in place, the DDS online portal will help you take forward your strategy and really move the dial on DEI in your organisation. The portal will also enable you to benchmark your diversity data against industry peers and competitors to understand how your organisation compares.

The new digital platform offers a user-friendly, holistic approach to achieving success with your DEI initiatives, plus you get matched with an expert diversity consultant providing human-led guidance throughout the process.

Undergoing the DDS gives you an official accreditation and ongoing organisational development tool. Our digital solution enables you to dip in and out of your self-assessment, revisit your data, objectives and KPIs. You can also benchmark against industry peers and create dashboards and reports to suit your needs. All evidence is stored in the portal, making renewing your accreditation simple.

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Niche DEI expertise

Draw on 35 years' expertise in targeted diversity consultancy

The DDS is not a box-ticking exercise. It rewards action taken and recommends action needed to meet stringent goals for equitable best practice. If you’re at the beginning of your DEI journey, you’ll find the process clarifies where best to focus your efforts. If you’re further down the road, it will help you identify where the next steps lie. This clearly defined roadmap means you can navigate genuine cultural change one step at a time.

Equitable and inclusive businesses are more innovative and more profitable. We’ll help you focus on the action you can take to achieve a truly diverse and representative workforce and an everyday working culture in which everyone can reach their full potential. We’ll also showcase all the good work you’re doing, incentivising your organisation and your people to do more and go further in their DEI efforts.

Diversity Accreditation DDS
Five stepping-stones to DEI best practice

How does the diversity and inclusion accreditation work in practice?

The DDS assesses your organisation on five elements, each with an overarching goal. You’ll be awarded Gold, Silver, Bronze or Working Towards level for each element, depending on the criteria fulfilled. Then you’ll receive a set of practical recommendations to drive the next phase of DEI improvements.

  • Element 1: Diversity & Wellbeing Foundations
  • Element 2: Recruitment
  • Element 3: External Relations
  • Element 4: Career Development, Pay and Other Awards
  • Element 5: Inclusive Culture

Accreditation levels

Diversity Development Standard awards in gold, silver and bronze
A trusted diversity partner

Working together to push your DEI agenda forward

Throughout the DDS process, one of our dedicated diversity consultants will work closely with you, reviewing your policies and procedures, then conducting qualitative research inside your organisation in the form of confidential interviews and focus groups. This means we will gain a detailed understanding of how, for example, advantage and disadvantage plays out in your daily working practices, plus creative ideas to redress the balance.

You will receive a detailed report with commentary from your diversity consultant on the findings of the audit, your organisation’s strengths and areas for development. With specific tasks and recommended time frames, this SMART action plan will help you develop and implement your DEI initiatives effectively.

Our DDS reporting will then be externally audited by our independent awarding panel, who will have the final say on your accreditation. Once awarded, your Diversity Development Standard accreditation will last for 18 months, after which we will work with you again to review your progress and re-accredit your organisation.

You will also receive access to the online DDS portal during the inception meeting which will help you track the progress and impact of actions from your report, as well as benchmarking against industry peers.

Diversity Development Standard EW Group
The many benefits of diversity accreditation

What areas of our business will the Diversity Development Standard support?

The DDS taps into all aspects of your organisational culture as it develops. Here are just some of the benefits to be derived from the diversity accreditation process:

  • Talent pipeline – win the race for the very best talent, and keep hold of them
  • Staff wellbeing and belonging – get the best out of happier, more productive employees
  • Reputation – promote your commitment to ethical, equitable business
  • Client/customer wins – gain competitive advantages from DEI
  • Leadership and management – build valuable skills, awareness and buy-in
  • Corporate social responsibility – contribute to increasing equity and social mobility as part of a fairer society
What our clients say

The team at EW Group are experts in their field so you know you are in safe hands. The Diversity Development Standard (formally known as DiBA), is a fundamental business tool providing recognition of achievements and recommendations for improvements, while providing a mechanism for employees to have a say in a confidential setting.

Tali Shlomo
HR Director at
Chartered Insurance Institute

Diversity Accreditation FAQs

Why is having diversity and inclusion accreditation important?

A diversity accreditation is a badge of excellence to recognise your company’s achievements and demonstrate your commitment to diversity and inclusion. But more than just a title, DDS certification can be used as a tool to assess whether your organisation’s current policies and practices are sufficient in fostering an inclusive culture at work. Ultimately, it is this culture that supports members of staff from all backgrounds to feel their best and produce their best work.

Who are EW Group’s Awarding Panel?

The DDS Awarding Panel is a subgroup of the EW Group Advisory Board, comprising industry leaders with years of experience in developing corporate equity, diversity and inclusion. The panel is an independent body who take pride in their work to comprehensively audit corporate EDI initiatives and award achievements as appropriate, having the final say on company accreditation and grading.

Learn how our diversity accreditation could benefit your organisation

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