Paul Neale FIAM is the founder of Not For Profit Business Services Ltd having previously started, and become Chief Executive of, a major association management division in a firm of Chartered Accountants for a significant number of years.

He is a past President of the Institute of Association Management (IofAM) and a Trustee and Treasurer of a charity dealing with crime prevention based in North London. He was on the main Committee and Treasurer of the European Society of Association Executives (ESAE) for over 10 years, a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), an individual member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and has been on the international task force of the AMC Institute (AMCI) based in North America.

He holds the position of Director or Company Secretary for a number of clients. He qualified as a Chartered Secretary but is no longer in membership.

This is his account of the founding of the IEDP: 

'The need for a professional body was identified by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) in their report entitled Equality and Diversity Practitioners Project, December 2007. Of the 500 practitioner respondents, almost 75% said that they need better infrastructure support. The research, funded by the EU, identified that practitioners need the means to develop necessary competencies and skills to deliver the evolving requirements to promote equality within and between all communities but the LSC had no plans to actually set up an organisation to deliver it.

I took this on board and as a practical response to the report’s recommendations and practitioners’ needs, the Institute was registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee on 14th May 2008. It was to provide the additional capacity building and support that these practitioners required and so the Institute of Equality and Diversity Practitioners was launched in January 2009.'


I am pleased to say that I have been a Director and Company Secretary since the very beginning.


Our current Corporate Members are:

Not For Profit Business Services Ltd.









May 2008: Steering Group

Independent research by Focus Consultancy and the Learning and Skills Council, funded by the European Union, recommended the creation of a professional body for practitioners in the equality, diversity and human rights sector. 

In May 2008, Paul Neale, Chief Executive of Kingston Smith Association Management  took the initiative, inviting people who responded to the LSC’s consultation to help form the Institute. Over the next ten months, a steering group established the aims and objectives for the Institute, grew the membership to nearly 80 practitioners and planned the formal launch.

January 2009: Formal launch of the Institute

The Institute of Equality and Diversity Practitioners was launched in Birmingham on 26 January 2009. The launch established the UK's first professional body of equality, diversity and human rights practitioners.

The Institute was delighted to welcome over 70 delegates to the event. Our guest speakers were Jonathan Rees, Director General, Government Equalities Office and Nicola Brewer, Chief Executive, Equality and Human Rights Commission. The event was chaired by Linda Bellos OBE.

May 2009: Election of Board Members

The Institute held its first formal elections for Board membership in May 2009. There were eighteen places on the Board. Nomination forms were sent by email to all members on 27 April, with a return deadline of 15 May 2009.

Eight valid nominations were received. These were all from members of the steering group that worked to establish the Institute. Since fewer than eighteen nominations were received, all nominees were eligible to be appointed to the Board without a contested election. 

The appointment of the Board Members was ratified at the Inaugural General Meeting by the Institute’s members.

June 2009: Inaugural General Meeting

The Institute of Equality and Diversity Practitioners held its Inaugural General Meeting on 12 June 2009.  The meeting was sponsored and hosted by Ernst & Young, global business consultants. It was open to all Associate Members of the Institute.

A ‘Question Time’ session on the Equality Bill 2009 was followed by a members' networking event. Our guest panellists were:

  • Fleur Bothwick, Director of Diversity and Inclusiveness, Ernst and Young
  • Paul Campayne, Head of Diversity Works for London
  • Karen Chouhan, Co-ordinator and Director Research and Policy, Equanomics UK
  • Michael Rubenstein, Editor of ‘Equal Opportunities Review’

Registered Members are those who have been accredited by the IEDP and have achieved Professional Registration. Click here for more information about IEDP Accreditation.

Here is an alphabetical list of current registered members. Registered members who so wish have supplied further details about themselves and their work:


Elaine Bolton

James Caspell - please click here for more information

Zobia Kalim - please click here for more information

Debby Lewis - please click here for more information

Caren Ransom

Juliet Simmons

Michele Taylor - please click here for more information

Drew Wilkins - please click here for more information

Ruth Wilson - please click here for more information



Others who have previously achieved IEDP professional registration:

Linda Bellos 


Teresa Berridge

Stuart Bray 

Liesel Dickinson

Simon Hill

Kate Hinton 

John Jackson

Mary Ann Nossent 

Dipen Rajyaguru

Shearon Williams 

Eelke Zoestbergen




The Institute's mission is to ensure that all practitioners who work in the equality, diversity and human rights sector have access to high quality learning, accreditation, professional development and networking opportunities.

The Institute aims to ensure that the highest standards of equality, diversity and human rights professional practice are demonstrated by our members. 

We are an independent body run by professionals, open to all with a professional role or active interest in equality, diversity, inclusion and human rights. Click here for our definition of 'equality and diversity professional'

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) underpin the Institute’s work.

Article 1 of the UDHR says, 'All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood'.

Because the UDHR and the ECHR are now over 50 years old, some of the language they use is quite outdated. However, they are both ‘living documents'. As society and attitudes change, the United Nations and the Council of Europe have changed and developed the ways in which the UDHR and ECHR are interpreted. For example, gender neutral language has replaced the gender specific language of the original documents, influencing and reflecting the drafting of modern legal documents.


The UK's Institute of Equality and Diversity Professionals was formally launched in Birmingham on 26 January 2009. This was largely in response to research carried out by the then Learning and Skills Council which identified the need for such an organisation.

The Institute promotes excellence in equality, diversity and human rights professional practice. The Institute is an independent professional body, run by our members. All activities are funded by individual and corporate member subscriptions and by corporate sponsorship. 

The Board has commissioned Not For Profit Business Services to provide the Institute with a full secretarial service, enabling Board members to concentrate on core objectives instead of using valuable time on administrative matters.

Definition of 'Equality and Diversity Professional'

Our definition of an 'equality and diversity professional' is a broad one. It includes (but is not limited to):

  • Specialist practitioners who work in the sector, for example as employees, consultants, trainers and academics
  • Board members with an equalities portfolio
  • Managers who must deliver equality and human rights outcomes as part of their main tasks
  • Unpaid volunteers who advise public, private and third sector businesses on delivering equality and human rights outcomes

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