IEDP accreditation is currently £350 +VAT for Professional Certification and £850 + VAT for Professional Registration. Group discounts of 10% are available if more than five applicants come from one organisation at the same time.

The IEDP board is very keen that the cost of our accreditation is set at a level at which people who are excellent equality and diversity practitioners are able to afford to take part in the process. However,we are also keen for the process to be rigorous and because of that it is inevitably labour intensive in terms of the accreditation panels, the co-ordination of the panels, marking of the tests and the administrative support. So we need the cost to be realistic to reflect that.

We are a not for profit organisation, all Board members are volunteers who pay their own travel costs, e.g. travelling to London from Norfolk, Belfast, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Wales and Birmingham. In order to put together accreditation panels on a regular basis, we are going to need to at least pay expenses; ideally we would like to pay people for their time.

It is the intention of the Institute to be the organisation of choice for our sector. Some equality practitioners are members of Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) which specialises in employment related equality. Probably the closest comparator to our accreditation is the associate or chartered membership of the CIPD through their experience assessment route, which is considerably more expensive.

At the moment we are actively seeking corporate sponsorship so that we can offer bursaries to equality and diversity practitioners who would like to go through IEDP accreditation but are not being funded by their employer to do so and are unable to pay for it themselves. Anyone who knows of an organisation who may be prepared to support the IEDP in this way, or another source of funding we could tap into, please let us know.

Developing a credible accreditation scheme for equality and diversity practitioners was one of the main drivers behind the foundation of the IEDP.

Many professionals working in the equality and human rights field come into the role through interest and commitment. Some have relevant qualifications, such as in law or human resource management, but these are not specialised and often do not cover the current scope of the legislation.  Although specialised qualifications are now available at all levels, many practitioners do not in fact pursue them, even though they often engage in substantial professional development. 

Informally, we have known for many years that this is the case. It was more formally recognised in 2007 by research carried out by the Learning and Skills Council, funded by the European Social Fund, into the infrastructure to support equality and diversity practice. The resultant report ‘Equality and Diversity: Practitioners Project’ recommended that an association should be established and that a competency framework should be developed to help professionals to achieve consistently high standards. Click here for the full report.

Following this the Institute of Equality and Diversity Practitioners was formally launched in 2009.

Development  2009 - 2011

Since the formation of the Institute, the competency framework which forms the basis of the IEDP accreditation has been developed by the Institute in close consultation with its members. 

During the period March to May 2009 members were consulted about the possible competency framework put forward by the LSC research project.  Serious concerns were raised.  In September 2009 a Working Group on Standards and Products was established with a remit which included developing the competency framework. 

A second framework was drawn up, taking account of the consultation outcomes, and again members were consulted about the proposal with a response deadline of 30th April 2010.  Click here for the outcomes of this consultation

Further work was done on the framework and was presented to the AGM in July 2010 for ratification. 

Having established the framework, there was a considerable amount of detailed work to do in developing the:

  • Code of Professional Conduct
  • descriptors for each domain for different levels of membership
  • evidence that would be sought from applicants
  • guidance for applicants
  • accreditation procedure.

By May 2011 this development work was sufficiently advanced for a pilot scheme to be launched, with clear provision for evaluation and review.

All the associated documents were placed on the website and members were invited to apply for a free pilot.

The piloted was complete during summer of 2011 and four of the applicants became the first registered members of the Institute. Following evaluation of the process, further refinement was completed and the scheme became available for members’ use.


This page is an extract from the guidance handbook (available on the members’ area of the site). It gives answers to some FAQs about the IEDP accreditation process.

Why is it worth applying for IEDP accreditation?

There are many reasons, which we have listed in the What's in it for me? section above. These include improving your employment prospects, strengthening your bids for contracts, increasing your competence and confidence.

Who can apply for IEDP accreditation?

Any IEDP member with a professional role or active involvement in the equality, diversity and human rights agenda can apply. The two different levels (Professional Certification or Professional Registration) mean that applicants can be relative novices or very experienced practitioners.

What sort of people should apply for Professional Certification?

They should have a sound knowledge of equality, diversity and human rights and be spending some of their time working in the field, in either a paid or voluntary capacity. For instance, they could be managers who have been asked to take on the equality brief, even though this is not their background; or they could be active part-time in the voluntary sector supporting individuals in respect of one protected characteristic.

What sort of people should apply for Professional Registration?

They should have an in-depth knowledge of equality, diversity and human rights and are likely to be working full-time in the field, probably paid in either an independent capacity or as an employee. For instance, they could a member of the equality and diversity team in a large organisation; they could be making their living as an independent consultant; or they could be leading in a voluntary or community group.

Can I apply for Professional Registration without having achieved Professional Certification first?

Yes, you just need to be sure that you can provide the required quantity and quality of evidence.

What if I am no longer working in the equality, diversity or human rights field?

You could still apply based on your previous work and your continuing commitment to the equality, diversity and human rights agenda, as long as you have kept up-to-date through, for example, reading and professional networks, which you can evidence through your CPD record.

How far back can evidence come from?

Evidence for the four Domains can be drawn from any date providing it is shown to be relevant to the domain descriptors and current legislation and practice. The CPD Record needs to refer to the last three years.

How do I decide what evidence to put forward?

Apart from the obligatory evidence, this is for you to decide. It will be matter of carefully reading the competency descriptors and the evidence requirements and then selecting the best match between them and your evidence. The guidance document and the sample submission document should help with this, and you can discuss it with your mentor.

Can I include a relevant qualification as evidence?

Yes, but don't just put a certificate in, you must provide details of the course content and assignments and show how they meet the requirements of the competency descriptors.

Do I have to provide evidence for every bullet point in the competency descriptors?

No, but your evidence must be related to a reasonable number of them in each domain so that the panel is sure that your practice is at the level you have applied for.

Where can I get assistance with the application?

All applicants are allocated a mentor from among our Registered Members. See next question for more detail.

How much help does the mentor provide?

Mentors communicate with you by email and telephone. Initially they will discuss with you the appropriate level for you to apply for and the sources of evidence you will be able to draw from. Later they will talk to you about your selection of evidence and your submission document. They will want to see a sample of your submission document to check that you are completing it in the way that is required, but they do not go through the whole of it.

What provision is there if I have additional needs?

You will be put in touch with a member of the board who will discuss your needs and plan how they can be met.

How do I acquire the knowledge for the compulsory Domain 2 test?

You can consult books, individuals and websites. You will have ten days from when you are sent it to when you have to return it, so you can research the answers during that time.

What if much of my evidence is not owned by me and is confidential?

All evidence is treated in confidence, kept securely and will not be placed in the public domain. Alternatively you may wish to contact the owners of the evidence, explain what you are doing, why it is important to use evidence from them and ask their permission.

How much does it cost?

Professional Certification costs £350 and Professional Registration costs £850. Each accreditation is valid for three years and renewal is much cheaper and only involves the submission of an up-dated CPD record, some reflective writing about recent work and some feedback.

How much time will it take to prepare the submission?

This will vary greatly, depending upon the level you are applying for and the nature of the evidence you are drawing from. For most people it will be sensible to plan ahead and start collecting evidence several months before the assessment date. Then it is probably best to allocate time within a few weeks, a month at the most, to pull everything together, so that you don’t lose your focus.

Who is on the panel?

The assessment panels are made up of four people drawn from:

  • Members of the IEDP board
  • Registered Members of the Institute
  • Someone from a higher education institution, and
  • Someone representing an employer.

All panel members are selected by the board and known for their strong commitment to equality, diversity and human rights.

Do I get any feedback from the process?

Yes, every applicant receives feedback from the panel identifying particular strengths and, where applicable, aspects that could be further developed.

What happens if I am not successful?

We will give you feedback about the strengths and aspects for improvement of your submission. You may be asked to provide some additional evidence or you may be asked to re-submit with more substantial additions. In both cases, it will be made clear what is required and you will be allocated another mentor to help you with this. Timescales are set and provide ample time for the additional work. 

There are lots of different things to remember. How can I make sure I include everything I need to?

Use the Professional Certification checklist on page 24 of the guidance, or the Professional Registration checklist on page 25 to check that you have met all the requirements.


This page is some extracts from the guidance handbook (available on the members’ area of the site). It explains the various steps of the assessment process and what support is available to applicants.

The assessment process involves a series of steps over a period of three to four months.There is a more detailed step-by-step description of the process in the guidance handbook; this is a summary of the main points:

Step 1

Check the dates which are advertised in the IEDP Newsletter and on our website, make sure your IEDP membership is up-to-date and identify the source of funding for the fee.

Step 2

If you are interested, send in an Expression of Interest form to the IEDP office by the advertised date. The IEDP will then allocate you a mentor for advice and support. This will be a Registered Member, so it will be someone who has successfully achieved Professional Registration.

Step 3

Read all the documents in the assessment package available in the members’ area of the website. Decide which level you are applying for, with advice from your mentor, and plan the timescale.

Step 4

Confirm your application with the IEDP and supply the fee or agree the arrangements for its payment by your employer

Step 5

Start collecting your evidence and drafting the submission document, especially any evidence that involves other people, such as feedback from third parties.

Step 6

The test will be sent out by e-mail on an agreed date, and you will have ten days to complete it. During this time you can research any points you feel unsure about, but please ensure that you complete the test in your own words.

Step 7

Send back the completed test electronically to the agreed address

Step 8

Have a go at filling in your submission document for one or two pieces of evidence and send it to your mentor who will check you are completing it correctly. Having taken on board their feedback, complete a separate submission form for each piece of evidence.

Step 9

Complete your portfolio of evidence, which must include:

  • All pieces of evidence
  • Submission documents for each piece of evidence
  • CPD record for the last three years
  • The names and contact details of two referees who may be contacted to verify the integrity of the sample

Send the portfolio in hard copy to the IEDP office in time to meet the agreed deadline.

Step 10

The assessment panel will meet to look at your evidence and consider your application

Step 11

You will receive individual feedback from the assessment panel

All evidence will be treated in strict confidence and not placed in the public domain. Evidence may be anonymised, if the applicant prefers, in order to eliminate any potential bias. All evidence will be returned to the applicant afterwards. Provision will be made for full accessibility to the process through the use of different formats.

Documents required from the applicant

The following documents are required to be available to the assessment panel in hard copy:

  • Summary of evidence submitted
  • Submission document for each piece of evidence
  • Portfolio of supporting evidence (hard copy where possible, otherwise on CD or memory stick)
  • Record of Continuing Professional Development

Assessment panel

Assessment will be carried out by a panel which will normally consist of:

  • a panel coordinator who is a member of the IEDP Board
  • Registered Members of the Institute
  • one equality officer from a medium/large employer
  • one academic from higher education

A validator is also often present.

During the meeting the panel will look carefully at the submission documents, the portfolio of evidence, the CPD record and the test. Where further evidence or corroboration is required feedback may be sought from third parties.

The panel will meet approximately quarterly and the calendar of essential dates will be posted on the Institute website as well as in the newsletter.

Applicants will receive the panel’s response and feedback within one month of the meeting of the panel.

Validation and appeals

A validator has been identified who

  • is not a member of the panel or board
  • will sample the work of the panel in order to provide assurance that the panel correctly assesses the evidence against the standards and allocates appropriate levels of membership.

The Board will establish a sub-committee, separate from the panel, to consider any appeals.


This page is an extract from the Guidance Handbook (available on the members’ area of the site). It outlines some of the advantages of gaining IEDP accreditation.

These are some of the benefits of IEDP accreditation:

  • Improve your prospects and employability
  • Gain peer recognition as an equality and diversity professional
  • Improve your organisational development and change skills to help your organisation diversify its market and customer base
  • Strengthen your bids for public contracts and grants
  • Improve your confidence and competence
  • Be part of a recognised and regulated profession
  • Produce tangible evidence of equality good practice
  • Assessment of prior learning and experience

In addition at Professional Certification level:

  • Receive a certificate of accreditation

and at Professional Registration level

  • Receive a certificate of accreditation as a Registered member of the Institute
  • Inclusion in the list of Registered Members on the Institute website. (Click here for the current list of IEDP Registered Members)
  • Entitlement to use the post-nominal IEDPR
  • Become a mentor for future applicants

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