Making Connections

Equality Training - is it worth the money?

Published 23 Jul 2008
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With Samantha Latif at Equality and Diversity Services Ltd

Equality and diversity training has to be the one of the most prevalent training concepts around at the moment, and probably – I suspect – one of the most contentious. With "political correctness gone mad" we are living in a time when people can often feel insecure about how to speak and react in the working environment.

When we discuss equality and diversity it feels as though it often is relevant to someone else or a third party. The facts, however, are that equality issues affect all of us.

Look at how the UK is made up – with an ageing population comes an ageing workforce, multi-faith and ethnicity are growing in the UK, more women are returning to work full time after having children. Disability affects 1 in 7 of the adult population and an estimated 1 in 20 people identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual. We are a rapidly changing population which is good – so why be frightened or threatened?

Awareness and educating people is the solution, the key. We are not so different from one another when we find out what people's daily issues are.

The most important thing to remember about any training programme is that it needs to be right for your organisation and most importantly your people. An organisation can only succeed with equality issues if awareness of equality operates at the centre of its policy making.

To start a transformation of delivery it is important to engage everyone: manual staff, line managers and senior policy makers.

Is it value for money? Many organisations spend huge amounts of money on training without evaluating if it has actually made a difference. Was the investment worth it?

Our research suggests that approximately 20% of employers regularly monitor and assess their training. It is important therefore to have a harder bottom line related measure not a perception.

The trainers who deliver your courses – are they reflective of the population? Ask them the question: Your tutors or staff, how many are made up of minority groups? Or are they well meaning people who work in a hypocritical culture? These are the questions we need to be asking when looking for reputable training. Is it tailored? Is it relevant? Is it accredited? Most importantly – is it worth the money?

For more advice on equality and diversity training contact Samantha Latif at Equality and Diversity Services Ltd by emailing sam.

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