An insider guide to the ILM Level 4 Award in Managing Equality and Diversity in an Organisation
Earlier this year I decided to take the ILM Level 4 Award in Managing Equality and Diversity in an Organisation. Now that I’ve completed the course, I wanted to share some of my learning, and the ways in which I’ve benefitted in my day-to-day work since.
I’ve had the word ‘Diversity’ in my job title since 2011. But I’d say I’ve been involved in the field for far longer: thinking about representation and the experiences of people very different from me. I’ve also always had a longstanding fascination with how power and advantage work in everyday society, inside and outside the workplace.
Once you start working with diversity explicitly in your job role, though, you have a very specific framework to work to – this is primarily driven by the Equality Act 2010. The legislation is an important guide, of course, but you also now have to own – directly – the challenge of how to make a difference to the outcomes for underrepresented groups. This is tough stuff.
Why I chose to take the ILM Level 4 Award qualification
I had two reasons for embarking on the ILM Level 4 Award programme:
1. I wanted ‘diversity’ explicitly there in the title of one of my qualifications.
2. There is always more to learn, and often it’s great to be learning in a structured way and to actively learn from others in an open, cross-sector environment.
Bookended by pre- and post-course coaching calls with the course leader, the programme centres around a full-day learning and development workshop. For me this took place in London when the city was in the middle of the Beast from the East, so I have strong memories of tramping through deep snow to get to the bus, which then took forever. I was so pleased I kept going, because the day itself was brilliant.
Our group of ILM Level 4 delegates came from many different organisations and sectors: from broadcast radio to higher education, from health and housing to high-street retail.
The workshop covered how we could use the Equality Act to drive forward best practice in our work, whether we worked in the public or private sectors. This approach was also combined with practical examples of different ways of analysing organisations to enable positive culture change. From my perspective, the more tools you have at your disposal the better, and the course certainly gave us plenty.
Applying the learning – putting the ILM Level 4 Award qualification into practice
After the workshop and coaching parts of the programme, you’re then asked to write a work-based assignment so you can apply what you’ve learned to your current role. The assignment is in two parts:
1. Taking a look at your organisation and thinking critically about its implementation of good practice around diversity and inclusion, using the Equality Act as your framework
2. Using some of the tools and techniques explored in the course to assess where your business is, and to come up with an action plan.
It’s a creative task with real-world value: you’re thinking about practical, in-house implementation of the frameworks you’ve reviewed and the skills you’ve developed as part of the qualification. After all, there’s nothing like telling a story to make you remember what you’ve learned.
I would highly recommend this course to anyone working in diversity, whether explicitly in your job title or as a crucial part of your role. It gives you a world-renowned qualification, yes, but it also enables you to conduct an in-depth analysis of where your company stands when it comes to diversity and inclusion, and to develop an action plan to make change happen.
And in terms of personal development, your manager is going to be seriously impressed by your subject matter expertise, your analytical skills, and the direction you’re taking diversity in where you work.
Interested in joining one of our open courses to gain your ILM Level 4 Award qualification? Click here for more information on our upcoming courses in your area.
Teresa Norman is a Diversity and Talent Management Consultant for EW Group. Teresa’s work covers both strategic work and delivery. Her specialisms include policy development, investigations, research, coaching, facilitation and talent management – with a focus on working at an organisational level to build inclusive cultures. Teresa’s expertise has meant she’s EW Groups go-to for research having delivered many reports for EW Group’s extensive client base, including co-authoring the report, ‘A Regional Approach to Talent Management‘ for the NHS London Leadership Academy.