Built environment bodies commit to three-year action plan to improve equity, diversity and inclusion

Find out more about our joint action plan to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive sector.

28 July 2022

In a move towards ensuring the built environment is more representative of the society it serves, we’ve joined together with five other leading membership bodies to launch a 45-point action plan (PDF), so that we can, together create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive sector.  

The action plan has been developed by a dedicated working group, with representatives from:  

  • The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)  
  • The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)  
  • The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) 
  • The Landscape Institute (LI) 
  • The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)  
  • The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)  

It sets out how all six organisations, collectively representing 350,000 members, will work together to deliver the three objectives (Data collection; Improving understanding of transition from education into employment; and EDI standards) of the Memorandum of Understanding (PDF), signed on 26 April 2022. 

The plan details outcomes, target deadlines, required resources and responsibilities, enabling each organisation to clearly track progress and accountability.  

Example actions include: 

Data collection 

By the end of 2022, organisations will agree on a set of consistent core questions and data points to collect across the UK, alongside consistent messaging to encourage the collective membership to share demographic data. This will enable organisations to publish data on the diversity of membership in a consistent manner by April 2024, thereby formulating a clear picture across the built environment to identify gaps and inform targeted actions.  

Improving understanding of transition from education into employment 

Throughout 2023, groups of recently qualified students will be convened to consult on experiences, alongside 50 employers with graduate programmes to better understand the challenges they face with recruiting and retaining a diverse graduate workforce. Sourcing this evidence will help to improve collective understanding of retention rates and awarding gaps in education. 

EDI standards 

Organisations will survey and report on the EDI CPD training they currently offer by November 2022 to identify gaps. This feeds into the goal of creating a consistent core EDI curricular for the collective membership by February 2024.  

The action plan also places emphasis on the ongoing role of the governance and leadership to ensure success. It stresses the significance of aligning visions and strategies with EDI principles, values, beliefs, and the lived experience of the people working within the sector.   

RIBA CEO, Alan Vallance said:   

“I am really encouraged by the momentum of this critical cross-sector programme to tackle the systemic barriers that perpetuate discrimination and underrepresentation. This comprehensive, robust action plan provides us with a roadmap for change, against which we can collectively track our progress. It clearly relies on the senior level support from across each of the organisations – RIBA has made this commitment clear. I am inspired by this collaborative approach and confident that we can continue to drive forward change at a faster and more effective rate.” 

The six membership bodies will now work together to deliver the action plan over the next three years, with annual progress reviews from senior leadership taking place every February. 

As ever, we remain committed to listening and learning so that we can move forward more effectively in our EDI work. 

If you have any queries, feedback or ideas, please contact inclusion@riba.org.   

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