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Built environment bodies unite to improve inclusion and diversity

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

27 April 2022

In a move towards ensuring the built environment is more representative of the society it serves, we’ve joined together with five other professional bodies to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (PDF), or MoU – an agreement that commits us all to creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive sector. 

The agreement has been adopted by:  

  • 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) 

As organisations, we will embrace the expertise and energy of our combined 350,000+ members and specialist groups to unilaterally move forward in addressing the systemic barriers that perpetuate discrimination and underrepresentation. 

RIBA CEO Alan Vallance said: 

“I am really pleased that we are committing to working collaboratively with colleagues across the sector to ensure we deliver on our EDI commitments. By combining our efforts to address the systemic barriers that perpetuate discrimination and underrepresentation, we can drive forward change at a faster and more effective rate.” 

Initially, our work will focus on three key areas:  

  1. Data collection - To create a consistent approach and standard model that will allow meaningful comparison between and across respective memberships’ and help to formulate a clear picture of the built environment sector more widely. 
  2. Improve understanding of the transition from education into employment - To develop a robust, evidence-based understanding of the disparity between the diversity of students that start on institute accredited courses and the talent that makes it into the workforce. To build on existing good practices from individual institutes to improve our collective understanding of retention rates and awarding gaps on accredited courses. 
  3. EDI competencies – To develop understanding and guidance for the sector, supporting organisations, individuals, and institutes to improve and maintain professional standards.       

Over the next few months, we will work together to produce a detailed plan of work – setting out how we will tackle each of the objectives and start making progress to deliver a more inclusive sector. Our collectively agreed action plan will be published later this year.  

To coincide with this announcement, we have also published our annual inclusion transparency report. This is an important annual reflection on our EDI progress to date, our evolving strategy, and our goals for the future. Read the full inclusion transparency report.

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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