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Built environment bodies commit to three year action plan to improve equity, diversity and inclusion

Six leading membership bodies from across the built environment sector have today launched a
45-point action plan to jointly improve equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). 

The action plan has been developed by a dedicated working group, with representatives from: 

  • The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)  
  • The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) 
  • The Landscape Institute (LI) 
  • The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)  
  • The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)  
  • The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) 

It sets out how the six organisations, collectively representing 350,000 members, will collaborate to deliver the three objectives (Data collection; Improving understanding of transition from education into employment; and EDI standards) of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed on 26 April 2022.

The plan details clear outcomes, target deadlines, required resources and responsibilities, enabling the organisations to clearly track progress and accountability. 

Example actions include:

  • Data Collection

By the end of 2022, organisations will agree on a set of consistent core questions and data points to collect across the UK, alongside consistent messaging to encourage the collective membership to share demographic data. This will enable organisations to publish data on the diversity of membership in a consistent manner by April 2024, thereby formulating a clear picture across the built environment to identify gaps and inform targeted actions. 

  • Improving understanding of transition from education into employment

Throughout 2023, groups of recently-qualified students will be convened to consult on experiences, alongside 50 employers with graduate programmes to better understand the challenges they face with recruiting and retaining a diverse graduate workforce. Sourcing this evidence will help to improve collective understanding of retention rates and awarding gaps in education.

  • EDI standards

Organisations will survey and report on the EDI CPD training they currently offer by November 2022 to identify gaps. This feeds into the goal of creating a consistent core EDI curricular for the collective membership by February 2024. 

The action also puts at the forefront the role of good governance and leadership to ensure success. It stresses the significance of aligning visions and strategies with EDI principles, values, beliefs, and the lived experience of the people working within the sector.  

The six membership bodies will now work together to deliver the action plan over the next three years, with annual progress reviews from senior leadership taking place every February. 


 Victoria Hills, Chief Executive of the RTPI said: 

“To make meaningful change we need a plan, and we need to take concerted, purposeful action.  I am really pleased that just three months after agreeing the MoU with our built environment sector friends, we are now able to anchor it with these clear, realistic, and timetabled actions.  These actions will help us to better understand our profession and the sector better and crucially help us to develop the targeted interventions that will deliver a fair and inclusive culture

Improving the quality of the data we collect on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) sits at the heart of this action plan. Trusted Good, robust data is essential to make progress on EDI goals. Transparency and accountability are both pillars for improving EDI and these cannot be achieved without data. With this Action Plan we will be able to make change and adhere to principles of transparency and accountability.”

The Action Plan is part of the RTPI’s CHANGE strategy to create a more inclusive and diverse profession. Find out more here

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