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ukactive has today (17 November) announced the launch of its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) self-assessment tool to support its members to improve services for all users.

ukactive’s Vision 2030 strategy set out an ambition for fitness and leisure facilities to engage more than five million new members from a greater diversity of backgrounds, by 2030.

The new self-assessment tool will be instrumental in helping to drive the development of the sector to provide a more inclusive service.

It will be open to organisations across the sector and involves answering 40 questions focused on current practices relating to equality, diversity and inclusion.

After completing the assessment, facilities, providers, and suppliers will receive an instant score to show how inclusive they currently are. This is for their internal use and is not published externally. 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.

The physical activity sector plays an essential role in narrowing the disparities and inequalities faced by people today, whatever their age, ability, or background.

Enabling access, enjoyment and participation within the sector starts with the experiences users have and the commitment the sector makes to furthering meaningful change.

The EDI self-assessment tool will help to understand the sector’s current position on EDI and set a benchmark based on the priority areas for improvement – with a full national sector report of the anonymised scores due for publication in March 2024.

The self-assessment will complement ukactive’s wider EDI programme, which includes:

  • Everyone Can, a programme that aims to narrow the disparities facing disabled people within the physical activity sector;
  • The collaboration with This Girl Can, an initiative helping to engage more women and girls in physical activity and creating safer spaces for them to be active;
  • Life In Our Years, a programme that identifies what over-55s want from the fitness and leisure sector with recommended steps to promote their participation;
  • And the musculoskeletal (MSK) health hubs programme, a pioneering programme transforming leisure centres and facilities into health hubs for those with MSK conditions.

Timothy Mathias, Strategic Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at ukactive, said: “For our sector to grow and perform its fullest role in society, it is fundamental that our services are as inclusive as possible so that physical activity can be accessed and enjoyed by all.

“This self-assessment tool will provide our members with simple measures and advice to improve their approach to equality, diversity and inclusion, and will also help us to track the sector’s progress.

“We want the health, social and wellbeing benefits of an active lifestyle to be felt across the entire population, and this tool gives us the perfect opportunity to understand what more can be done to make our sector as accessible and inclusive as possible.”

Dave Candler, CEO of Swimming Teachers Association (STA), a Strategic Partner for ukactive’s EDI work said: “STA is committed to promoting equality, diversity, and inclusivity in aquatics, and this included working with ukactive back in 2021 to create an industry-first ‘Inclusion Study’. We are proud to continue this work, by supporting ukactive with the launch of their new EDI self-assessment tool today. This research-gathering tool will not only play a significant part in helping individual organisations understand their own relationship with inclusion, but the results will also help shape future policies around inclusion, which is a really positive step forward for the physical activity sector.”

Tom Godwin, Group Operations Director at Future Fit Group, a Strategic Partner for ukactive’s EDI work said: “We are very proud as an organisation to be supporting ukactive in its efforts to keep our sector moving towards being more inclusive, both in terms of workforce, and participation. Following on from the recent inclusion study published by ukactive, which Future Fit were extremely proud to support, this self-assessment tool is a key part of facilitating organisations to self-reflect and continuously improve in the effort to get more people, more active, from all parts of our diverse communities.”

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

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