As the representative body for environmental sciences, IES proactively seeks to enhance diversity and inclusion across the sector, act as agents for change, and lead by example for the betterment of our society, economy and environment.
In May they published their Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Plan, setting out our priorities for enhancing representation and promoting equality both internally and across the sector. With continued monitoring, annual reviews and a full plan evaluation in 2023, we can ensure we are delivering on our commitments and maintaining momentum in building greater opportunities for any individual irrespective of their background or circumstances.
One of the five key organisational areas of focus between 2020 and 2023 was Education and Accreditation – the area overseen by CHES. The following goals are outlined in the plan.
1. Develop best practice guidance for diversity and inclusion in environmental science education by 2022
Questions on equality, diversity and inclusion have been embedded in the CHES accreditation framework since 2018 as part of a data collection exercise. Responses will be analysed to identify best practice and attainment gaps which can be translated into guidance, in consultation with relevant organisations working in this area. Examples of best practice may include, but are not restricted to, inclusive teaching or learning policies, specific awards or endorsements, or reasonable adjustments.
2. Proactively expand CHES accreditation scheme to international institutions by 2022
The current accreditation scheme focuses primarily on UK institutions due to necessary alignment with the ES3 Benchmark Statement.
3. Utilise best practice guidance for equality, diversity and inclusion to provide tailored feedback to institutions applying for accreditation by 2023
At present the questions included in the application for accreditation are for data collection purposes only. Once best practice guidance is available, information provided in response to these questions should be formally assessed and used to inform the outcome of the application.
4. Organise and deliver workshops to educate institutions in enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion in environmental education by 2023
Using best practice and support from relevant organisations, training workshops will be developed to increase awareness and consideration for equality, diversity and inclusion in environmental further and higher education. This will support institutions in addressing key barriers and attainment gaps, and implementing equitable policies and practices.
We look forward to working with our educational partners to achieve these goals.