What are the benefits of an equality and diversity qualification?

Woman studying and smiling

EW Group Project Manager, Catherine Manser, explores why more employees are enrolling on courses to gain an equality and diversity qualification, and weighs up the benefits they offer to organisations’ diversity achievements.

The diversity and inclusion (D&I) landscape has evolved significantly in recent times. More organisations than ever before are taking positive steps to build fairer and more inclusive cultures. They are combating racism in the workplace, addressing unconscious bias, and taking considered measures to guarantee their diversity initiatives work. D&I job postings are on the increase – up by 106% in 2019 in the UK – as growing levels of senior buy-in have led to greater opportunity for building fairer and more inclusive systems that work for all. And the business case for D&I is clearer than ever.

As organisations develop more ambitious D&I strategies, there is an increased awareness that those with in-house diversity responsibilities will benefit from taking an equality and diversity qualification, such as our ILM Level 4 Award.

In this overview, we explore the benefits equality and diversity qualifications can offer you and your organisation and speak to past delegates of EW Group’s ILM Level 4 Award about how gaining the accreditation has helped them advance D&I in their workplaces.

What is the ILM Level 4 Award?

We have been running our Managing Equality and Diversity in an Organisation diversity qualification for over ten years. With three decades of experience working with managers and leaders to progress their organisations’ diversity and inclusion agendas, this course is ideal for anyone hoping to widen their understanding of diversity best practice and develop their toolkit for managing diversity at work.

Our equality and diversity qualification is certified by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), the globally recognised professional membership body.

Run on a quarterly basis, the course brings together employees from a cross-section of industries and organisations, all with a shared interest in advancing the conversation around privilege and inequality in the workplace.

What should I expect from a diversity qualification?

While the focus of many equality and diversity qualifications are similar, the level of trainer support and expert knowledge of diversity law and best management practice can vary widely. Our diversity qualification offers expert knowledge in the context of managing and progressing the diversity agenda. It also gives you access to close trainer and peer-to-peer support, further contributing towards your business and diversity management acumen. The course is made up of:

  • Pre-course Coaching Call between you and the EW Group Diversity Specialist delivering the course, to understand your current progress and challenges around D&I
  • Group Workshops covering the core areas for managing your organisation’s diversity and inclusion journey
  • Written Assignment that enables you to apply what you have learned on the course to your organisation’s current performance and your recommendations for its next steps to advance D&I
  • Post-course Coaching Call to support you in submitting and passing the written assignment, in order to gain your ILM Level 4 diversity qualification
  • Networking with other D&I Leads enrolled on the course to share advice, progress and challenges and ongoing support via an online channel overseen by the EW Group facilitator

With guidance and feedback from the course trainer, your assignment will act as an action plan for what your organisation can do next on its diversity journey. No wonder 78% of employers soon saw a return on the investment of sending their employees on an ILM programme through increased leadership and management skills.

“The facilitator was amazing and really helped me get a clear understanding of the content and how to put it into practice.”
Dante Frederick, Diversity & Inclusion Partner at Govia Thameslink Railway

What will an equality and diversity qualification teach me?

The course covers the key skills relevant to anyone involved in their organisation’s D&I strategy and performance, including being able to:

Who should complete our diversity qualification?

The course is well suited to anyone with a responsibility for equality, diversity and inclusion in organisational contexts, including:

  • HR Managers
  • Diversity and Inclusion Officers, Leads or Champions
  • Recruitment Managers
  • Those working in Organisational Development
  • Policy Advisors
  • Customer Service teams

But for many organisations, D&I does not sit within these roles or departments. In research that we conducted, we found that D&I is becoming less constrained to certain departments, like HR or L&D, and is instead increasingly sitting in the wider organisation, with more employees involved in and contributing towards progress. So, why not equip with them with the best practice of managing and progressing diversity and inclusion?

“Understanding the legislation and its application is an important first step in the implementation of sound D&I action plans. I would highly recommend this course, not only to individuals who hold specific D&I roles within their organisations but to anyone who wants to better understand how they can influence D&I strategy and progression within their teams.”
Nicki Pritchard, Managing Partner at Anderson Quigley

To amplify their team’s confidence and ability to manage diversity in a workplace context, some organisations choose to run our equality and diversity qualification in-house to a group of their employees. We have recently delivered the course to leaders and managers at NCG, a leading further education group, as part of their revised D&I strategy and commitment from their senior management team.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the course. The feedback has been extremely positive, relative and interesting, and the qualification aspect provides real depth and insight into the course and allows the participants to reflect and put into practice the learning taken from the course content.”
Joe McGraw, Director of People and Development at NCG

Why should I take the course?

From identifying the next D&I steps for your organisation to running one-to-one coaching calls with an experienced diversity and inclusion consultant, the course offers a range of benefits to delegates.

“Relating our learning to our own organisations has helped me to better understand what we are doing well but more importantly what needs improving and how I can manage this in our future D&I strategy.”
Nicki Pritchard, Managing Partner at Anderson Quigley

Other reasons for considering enrolling on the equality and diversity qualification:

  • As D&I continues to grow and evolve, equipping your employees with as many techniques and approaches to managing your diversity agenda will enrich your success
  • 88 percent of organisations say that they have stronger managers and leaders as a result of working with ILM
  • Network with other diversity champions, managers and leaders
  • The foundations of our diversity qualification are built on our thirty years of working with managers and leaders to progress diversity agendas, overcome challenges and secure buy-in

“The Award helped to progress our D&I agenda without a doubt, providing a real platform for the attendees to put their learning into practice.”
Joe McGraw, Director of People and Development at NCG

Access our award-winning e-learning as pre-course material and an extensive bank of D&I resources, including articles, blogs and podcasts

  • Gain a global certification that recognises your management skills in a diversity and inclusion context
  • 9 in 10 employers say their business was positively impacted by ILM training programmes
  • Distinguish yourself from other applicants of diversity-related jobs by gaining a diversity qualification

“I have already used my understanding of D&I best practices and overview of our organisation’s D&I processes to move things forward in the business.”
Dante Frederick, Diversity & Inclusion Partner at Govia Thameslink Railway

Learn more about gaining an equality and diversity qualification

ILM Level 4