Diversity Development Standard

EW Group's externally assessed
Diversity Accreditation

The Diversity Development Standard (DDS) is our recognised equality standard which is assessed and verified externally by diversity specialists. This development accreditation fits together with your business goals, being a stepping stone to further improve your D&I performance. The DDS stems directly from EW Group’s 28 years of experience delivering diversity and inclusion consultancy and carrying out diversity audits and analysis for a cross-sector of clients.

What is the Diversity Development Standard? And who is it for?

The Diversity Development Standard is an externally audited accreditation for employers looking for verification that their current practices are fit for purpose in driving cultural change. It recognises excellence by providing a benchmark of best practice in diversity, inclusion and wellbeing, and can be used as a development tool to drive continuous improvement through its three award levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold).

The Standard focuses on action you can take in order to achieve a truly diverse workforce, develop inclusive cultures in which everyone can flourish, support, develop and maintain the wellbeing of staff. In short, it helps employers be the best they can be and to demonstrate that this work is ongoing.

Diversity Development Standard Logo with Gold, Silver and Bronze grading

How does it work?

Employers are assessed on five elements – each with an overarching goal – and are awarded gold, silver and bronze level depending on the criteria they fulfil. Assessment outputs include practical recommendations for continuous improvement:

  • Element One: Diversity and wellbeing foundations – the building blocks.
  • Element Two:  Recruitment – making sure that there is equality of opportunity for applicants and that pay is equitable.
  • Element Three: External Relations – ensuing that your external engagement reflects the values of diversity and concern for wellbeing.
  • Element Four: Ensuring that pay and other awards are fair and free of bias.
  • Element Five: Inclusive culture – creating the right environment so that each member of staff can reach their potential.

Your Chief Executive will need to make a commitment to achieving the Standard. An EW Consultant will then work closely with you, reviewing your policies and procedures and conduct qualitative research in your organisation.  They will then write a report, which gives an outline ranking and recommendations of how you could take diversity and wellbeing forward.

Assessments are then audited by an independent awarding panel of industry experts, who will ensure that there is enough evidence to justify the recommendation and offer advice to the organisation.  Your accreditation lasts for three years but if you feel you have made progress and you feel you are ready for the higher levels, come back to us.   To be awarded gold, you would be leading inclusion in your sector.

Who is on the panel of diversity specialists?

Our equality standard is assessed by an external panel of diversity and inclusion experts who have a range of backgrounds and experience. The panel includes an architect of the Equality Act 2010, David Ruebain.

David has amounted vast experience progressing diversity and inclusion from a legal framework. When he was Director of Legal Policy at the Equality and Human Rights Commission of Great Britain, David was critical in the creation and advancement of the Equality Act 2010. Prior to this, he acted as Chief Executive of the Equality Challenge Unit, providing policy and research guidance for advancing D&I within British higher and further education.


Get in touch to find out more about DDS.

What areas of my business will it help?

  • The organisation’s reputation – you can use this equality Award to promote your commitment to diversity and wellbeing.
  • It can help you win business – particularly if you are part of a supply chain where clients ask for commitment to diversity and inclusion as part of any successful bid.
  • Leadership and management – by undertaking the process, your leaders and managers develop even more commitment to inclusion and wellbeing and a greater understanding of what it means.
  • Your employees – they benefit from the increased focus of inclusion and wellbeing.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility – by focussing on social mobility, you help to contribute towards a fairer, more equal society.
  • Candidates – we know that job seekers from under-represented groups and millennials look at a company’s commitment to diversity and the wider society. The Award is a succinct way of demonstrating your commitment.

What makes it different?

The Diversity Development Standard covers wellbeing, mental health and social mobility under the D&I theme.  We know that addressing all these areas makes a difference to the bottom line.  Diverse and inclusive organisations are more innovative and profitable. Organisations where staff’s well-being and mental health are looked after have less sick leave and more engaged staff.  We also know that addressing all these issues is complex and hard work.  Where should you focus your efforts?  Working through the Standard gives you clear guidance on actions that will create powerful change.  If you are at the beginning of your journey, you will find it clarifies where to put your efforts. If your organisation is well on in its journey, it will help you work out how to take the next step.

The Standard is not a box ticking exercise – instead it awards and recommends based on action taken and action needed to meet goals. By measuring the ongoing impact of formal D&I activities – such as training and employee resource groups – alongside the subtle cultural shifts from the resulting momentum, the Standard enables us to track and report on creative solutions to pressure points and realising the return on investment that you’re making. The clearly defined road map takes employers through the process of driving cultural change one step at a time. It provides recognition for all the good work you are doing and provides a means of incentivising the organisation to do more. The Award will celebrate and encourage innovation.

Chat to us about how the DDS could benefit you.