Civil Service Diversity & Equality team wins Disability Confident Award

Civil Service

May 27
16:07 2014

The work of the Civil Service in supporting disabled people in the workplace has been recognised with a major new award.

The inaugural RIDI awards honour disability confident employers who are removing barriers, increasing understanding and ensuring disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their career aspirations. At the 14 May ceremony the Civil Service Diversity & Equality Team won the Disability Confident Campaign award, for their work promoting the campaign across the Civil Service.

The judges said the Civil Service teams was an outstanding entry by an organisation employing nearly half a million employees. The co-ordinated approach, pan-government, to achieve a fantastic 8.6% self-declaration [of disability] is an example to all employers.

The team created many cross-departmental initiatives which provide practical support for all employees. Examples include:

  • new learning products such as disability awareness and unconscious bias
  • disability guidance for managers
  • testing a disability passport to help disabled members of staff move between departments
  • developing the Positive Action Pathway Levelling The Playing Field programme helping disabled and disadvantaged employees to realise their full potential
  • supporting online learning with face-to-face workshops
  • creating modules to help managers understand and support colleagues with hidden disabilities

The Civil Service recognises that despite this award and our existing efforts, there is more to do and so we will continue to push ahead with our ambitions to find new ways to support disabled employees.

Welcoming the award, Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said:

To win the global race we need the best civil servants delivering exceptional public services. But we know we must do more to ensure we recruit, retain and promote the best, whoever they are. Everyone should have the opportunity to excel in their chosen careers and we are reviewing talent management in the Civil Service to ensure this is the case.

Sir Bob Kerslake, Head of the Civil Service, said:

I am delighted to congratulate the Civil Service Diversity & Equality Team on their success in the RIDI awards. We want a Civil Service that delivers the best for Britain, and to do this we need a diverse and inclusive workforce. The Civil Service has made great progress, including nearly trebling the proportion of civil servants with a disability since 2001, but we need to go further. Awards like this are recognition of the fact that civil servants across departments are rising to the challenge and making a difference.

Janet Hill, Director, Civil Service Diversity & Equality said:

With 8.6% of civil servants declaring a disability, the Disability Confidence Campaign is of real relevance to our workforce. This award is fantastic recognition of the comprehensive programme of activity and products the team have worked so hard to develop and deliver in partnership with many others across government, improving opportunities for disabled people in the Civil Service.

A participant on the Positive Action Pathway commented, The programme has made me realise what my dream is and how I will get there in the future. It has also enabled me to speak up and be proud I have disabilities.

Mike Penning, Minister for Disabled People said:

Im really pleased that weve had this chance to recognise the effort employers and their talent providers are making to improve opportunities for disabled people. Its clear there is still some way to go, but Id like to offer my personal congratulations to the winners for their actions in getting more disabled people into work.

Debbie Alder, HR Director General said:

I am delighted that the Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Team has been recognised externally for their fantastic work in support of the Disability Confident Campaign.

Notes to editors

  1. There has been an increase in the proportion of civil servants declaring a disability, from 8.3% in 2012 to 8.6% in 2013. Over time, representation of disabled people in the Civil Service has almost trebled from 3.1% in 2001.
  2. The Positive Action Pathway Levelling The Playing Field (designed and delivered by the Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Team in partnership with Civil Service Learning and Civil Service Resourcing) provides a one-year programme for under-represented employees, including those with disabilities to build their skills and confidence to realise their potential and progress to the next grade. The new disability awareness e-Learning is supplemented by a one-day face-to-face workshop to consolidate online learning, as well as introduce modules to help managers understand and support colleagues with hidden, non-visible disabilities.
  3. To find out about the Disability Confident campaign, visit: and
  4. You can learn more about the RIDI awards at
  5. During the summer of 2014 we are due to publish a refreshed Civil Service Diversity Strategy.

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