Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) plays an important role in the character and culture of your group. It shows your members, potential members and the world in general that you are taking action to ensure you are an open, inclusive and welcoming group.
Often EDI polices focus on discrimination based on the nine protected characteristics set out in the 2010 Equality Act. This is really important – and should form a key art of your policy and plan. But it is also useful to consider inclusion beyond these terms. There might be things that your group does unintentionally that put people off joining that have nothing to with protected characteristics. These can be hard to identify – but spending some time thinking about what these might be and if you can make reasonable adjustments can be really beneficial to your group.
We have some general Access and Inclusion resources to find our more:
- Access and inclusion: Creating an accessible and inclusive group
- Access and inclusion: Planning and running accessible and inclusive activities
- Access and inclusion: Inclusive communications
Why have an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy and Plan?
An EDI policy can have lots of great benefits for your group and the people associated with it:
- Any group that is providing a service (music making groups, promoting groups, festivals etc) is required by law to offer this without discrimination. An EDI policy will identify the actions you need to take to avoid this possibility.
- It helps focus your approach and thinking:
- you might already naturally be doing lots of things to help make your group welcoming and inclusive. Taking some time to think about your approach to EDI can help you to identify those things, make sure you are making the most of them, and identify areas where you could be doing more.
- creating a policy and plan will help bring the message home and encourage anyone connected with the organisation to think about equality, diversity and inclusion.
- Recruitment and retention: spending some time thinking about how to make your group welcoming and inclusive can open the group up to new potential members or encourage others to stay.
- Funding; although it’s not a legal requirement many funders ask for an EDI policy
- Help dealing with problems: if there are ever any complaints or disputes relating to discrimination having a policy in place will provide a clear framework to ensure they are handled fairly and effectively.
What should be in a policy?
Polices should be quite simple documents and you don’t need a huge amount of detail. The key factors are:
- Your commitment to EDI
- Who is responsible
- Your aims in relation to EDI
- Basic principles of how you will meet your commitment and aims.
- Some formal procedures – e.g. how to deal with complaints relating to EDI
- Review of the policy
- Groups who use DBS checks / PVG disclosures should include an ex-offenders policy. We have included this as an additional section in the template.
We have a template policy to help get your started.
What should be in a plan?
An EDI plan is where you provide more detail about how you will meet the commitments and aims set out in the policy:
- Expand on the aims set out in your policy
- Detail practical steps you are already taking, and plan to take, to help meet those aims
- Some timeframes and ways of measuring your progress
- Build a regular review to think about was it working and what more you can do.
We have not provided a template plan as each plan needs to be specific to each group. It doesn’t need to be very long - you might only need 2 pages of A4 to set out your plan - focus on what is realistic, practical and achievable.
Our access and inclusion resources listed at the top of this page will help you think about the practical steps to include in a plan.
We hope you find this Making Music resource useful. If you have any comments or suggestions about the guidance please contact us. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this guidance is accurate and up to date, Making Music do not warrant, nor accept any liability or responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the content, or for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in it.