National Equality Standard

The Seven Core Standards

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The National Equality Standard (NES) is a developmental diagnostic which consists of seven core standards and a comprehensive set of good practice competencies.

It encourages organisations to set measurable aspirations, to identify success criteria to effectively evaluate EDI activity and measure progress and impact.

The competencies are aligned to three key principles:

  • Visioning and planning
  • Developing and implementing
  • Sustaining and improving

The NES also allows organisations to contextualise the assessment by recognising and reflecting specific EDI priorities that are unique to their businesses. Below are some examples of areas that will be reviewed within each of the seven standards.

National Equality: The seven core standards (please click to enlarge)

EY - National Equality: The seven core standards

National Equality: The seven core standards

EY - National Equality: The seven core standards ×
  • Understanding your business

    Addressing your EDI vision and how you plan and deliver this within the organisation

    EDI core values and strategic initiatives

    Identification of the EDI business case

    EDI communications

    EDI aspirations

  • Culture of inclusion

    Addressing the ways in which your organisation fosters an inclusive culture

    Formal policies and informal practices

    Monitoring and representation

    Employee involvement and empowerment

    Managing behaviour and conduct

  • Leadership that inspires

    Addressing the ways in which leadership inspires others

    Leadership roles and responsibilities

    Progress sharing

    Modelling inclusive practice and behaviours

    Visibility and accountability

  • Talent attraction, management and retention

    Addressing the ways in which talent is attracted, managed and retained

    On-boarding process

    Positive action

    Equal pay

    Appraisal and performance management

  • Understanding your people

    Addressing the needs of your people throughout their employment journey

    Employee needs met with an inclusive approach

    Supporting employees with caring responsibilities

    Providing employee adjustments

    Providing other employee support

  • Review and measurement

    Addressing the ways in which EDI interventions and achievements are reviewed

    Success criteria with clear measurements

    Post-review benefits and opportunities identification

    EDI aspiration progress

    Social Return on Investment (SROI) impact evaluation

  • External recognition

    Addressing the ways in which your organisation engages with external stakeholders around EDI

    Community development

    Customer diversity


    Supply chain monitoring


EY is currently hosting the National Equality Standard website and is working closely with our partner Microsoft to develop an interactive NES portal.