British Standard for diversity and inclusion launched

BSI, the business standards company, has launched a new standard for employers to provide guidance for good practice on valuing their employees through diversity and inclusion.

The standard, BS 76005 Valuing people through diversity and inclusion – code of practice for organizations, provides recommendations for undertaking, reviewing, assessing and undertaking a competent and principled approach to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

The recommendations cover people management and development, and the evolution of more inclusive policies, procedures, practices and behaviours within organizations supporting diversity. The building of productive relationships with others – be they customers, clients or people within communities – is also a key recommendation in the standard. 

BS 76005 is relevant to all organizations, whatever their size, sector and level of maturity. The standard recognizes that each organization is different and that decision-makers are best placed to determine the most appropriate approach according to their organization’s context.

In the standard, “valuing people” is not confined to the calculation of directly quantifiable monetary value; the term is used in recognition that “value”, defined as the inherent and unique merit and worth of people, connotes the actual – or potential – contribution that people at all levels in the organization make as a result of their capabilities, knowledge, skills, networks, experience, attitudes and insights.

The phrase “working on behalf of an organization” is deliberately used throughout to acknowledge those who might be working on behalf of organizations through agencies, sub-contractors and self-employment arrangements.

Anne Hayes, Head of Governance and Resilience at BSI, said: “Diversity and inclusivity in the workplace is no longer a peripheral issue for organizations – it is fast gaining acceptance in boardrooms across the UK as an issue which must be taken seriously. Taking steps to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace is in the interest of all organizations, whether they have ten employees or ten thousand. 

“BS 76005 provides a holistic approach to diversity and inclusion which enables organizations to demonstrate a real commitment to valuing people at every level. Fundamentally, this standard is intended to facilitate the fairness and dignity of all at work.”

The standard reflects the belief that recognizing and respecting the value of people beyond the minimum rights stated in law has long-term personal, organizational and societal benefits. Indeed, the standard assumes knowledge and adherence to appropriate legislation in relation to anti-discrimination and the protection of individuals identified by certain characteristics. Consequently, it takes an approach to inclusivity and diversity which goes beyond the protections in the Equality Act 2010.

BS 76005 is informed by and supports the principles contained in BS 76000 Human resource - valuing people - management system - requirements and guidance, an existing standard which specifies high-level strategic reequirements for a management system for valuing people. As well as HR leaders, the standard is expected to be particularly useful to team managers, and indeed any stakeholder interested in promoting diversity in the workplace.

The following organizations were involved in the development of BS 76005: Business Disability Forum; Business in the Community; Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development; National Centre for Diversity; Women's Engineering Society; University of Worchester. Experts in management and stakeholder relations were also involved in the development of the standard, as well as individual experts from ACAS and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion.