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Equality North East

Equality Standard : Case Studies

Elmfeild Training

Together with some of the UK’s most successful companies Elmfield Training provides employment and career opportunities across a wide range of sectors. Focussing on developing talent, Elmfield Training helps tens of thousands of people get their first job and the chance to gain Apprenticeships and other qualifications.

Emlfields main reason for deciding to choose The Equality Standard ‘Gold’ Award was to gain a recognised accreditation and ensure equality and diversity is embedded throughout the organisation.

The advice and support they received from their advisor was strong throughout the process. They were more than happy with the service and support received, so much so, they would recommend to others as it adds value to the organisation. They did, however, find it challenging.

The main challenges they faced were strengthening of policies and procedures to meet the needs of the organisation as it grew. They also found data analysis demanding, however, through their action plan, which they found very effective and easy to implement, they were able to set manageable targets.

Nevertheless, they did find the whole standard experience really beneficial and interesting. Their assessor’s knowledge was exceptional which made the whole journey more enjoyable. Appropriate challenges where suggested by the assessor during the process and improvements made along the way and once assessment commenced all relevant information was in place. It then became an opportunity for Elmfield to showcase their strengths and implement improvements where necessary. Areas for improvement were identified by the self-assessment highlighting gaps, which would not have been so apparent had they not undertaken this process.

Elmfields achievement of the Equality Standard occurred at a time when they expanded from 35 employees to 680 within a 12 month period. They recognised that their policies and procedures needed to grow with the company and therefore intensely reviewed and improved them. This was a companywide approach and therefore increased employees awareness, not only of the policies but of also of equality, diversity and inclusion.

Elmfield operates fairly and transparently across all levels of the organisation and the standard has ensured that this is reflective in all company policies and procedures. More importantly, staff are now aware that Elmfield considers equality, diversity and inclusion at all times, especially as Elmfield works nationally. Assessors and trainers increased awareness ensures equality, diversity and inclusion when working with minority groups irrespective of ethnicity, age or learning abilities on a day-to-day basis.

“The journey in striving to achieve the equality standard helped the company to focus its attention on the structure of the company policies and procedures and has enabled us to strengthen these substantially. It has also highlighted the need for someone to take ownership of EDI and constantly bring it to the attention of the trainers, assessors and SMT to ensure it is never overlooked or becomes cursory. Subsequently Elmfield recruited an EDI Manager to focus on this role.” Dominique Leather – External Standards Coordinator, Elmfield Training Ltd

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September 5, 2013

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