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By Timothy Mathias, Strategic Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, ukactive

Do you think your organisation is doing enough to be as inclusive as it can be? Do you think there are things it does well? Is there anymore that you think can be done to support EDI?

In our mission to get ‘more people, more active, more often’ we at ukactive have asked the same questions, establishing our clear role in helping the sector to provide a more inclusive service. We set this out clearly within our Vision 2030 strategy which outlines the ambition for fitness and leisure facilities to engage more than five million new members from a greater diversity of backgrounds, by 2030.

Alongside this strategy and our wider suite of EDI resources, guidance, insight and campaigns, our recent celebration at the ukactive Awards this year in Leeds, demonstrated how the industry is committed to the EDI agenda. From across the sector, entries for the highly competitive EDI Award showcased the full breadth of campaigns, programmes and strategies proactively targeting groups and communities, and demonstrating high impact for those who have the most to gain from physical activity and participation in accessible and inclusive provisions.

That is why, working with our Strategic Partners Future Fit and Swimming Teacher’s Association, we have launched an equality, diversity and inclusion self-assessment tool to support ukactive members to improve services for all users. It’s open to organisations from across the sector and involves answering 40 questions focused on current practices relating to equality, diversity and inclusion. After completing the assessment, taking about 15-20 minutes – facilities, providers, and suppliers will receive an instant score to show how inclusive they currently are. They will then be signposted to recommendations to help improve EDI practices.

The scores are created through a weighting and ranking of key criteria on areas such as governance and leadership, data and insight, programming, provisions and partnerships, and workforce and training. These scores then get returned to you, the inputter, directly and instantly and are not shared with anyone else.


So, what does ‘good’ look like, and what will an organisation demonstrate in order to achieve a high EDI score?

Organisations achieving the highest level of attainment within the self-assessment toolkit are known as an ‘EDI Leader’.

These organisations will have an authentic and meaningful approach to inclusion that contributes to the wider business plan, has celebratory and supportive leadership, proactive programmes that address any underrepresentation, a trained and capable workforce that approaches difference positively, and a business than can respond effectively to different needs. These ‘EDI Leaders’ will utilise data and insight that allows for an understanding of who is and who isn’t using their services and provisions and has informed decision making to effectively respond to this.

Inclusion and EDI does not need to be costly and a good, sound approach that allows an organisation to respond and react while also being pro-active in this space does not require any huge investment or cost.

However, no organisation in our industry can afford to overlook or dismiss EDI.  We are a ‘people’ industry after all – invested in helping people get healthier, feel better and live longer and happier lives.

The physical activity sector plays an essential role in narrowing the disparities and inequalities faced by people today, whatever their age, ability, or background. Our role at ukactive is to best support the industry’s grow and ensure the sector can provide services that are accessible to all members of society.  For this to happen we have to ensure our services and provision are equally accessed, enjoyed and participated by all so that the benefits of physical activity are felt across the entire population.

To complete the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion self-assessment and receive your individual report click here

Responses to the EDI self-assessment tool will help to create a benchmark for the sector’s current position on EDI that will form a full national sector report of the anonymised scores due for publication in March 2024.

For more information, contact Timothy Mathias, Strategic Lead for EDI at ukactive: