Supporting progress in D&I

Katherine Kirk and Amy Schofield of the BINDT Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group attended an Education and Training, Course Accreditation and Examinations workshop at the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) in September. The event aimed to support diversity and inclusion (D&I) progress across science and engineering professional bodies that use the RAEng D&I Progression Framework.

Interesting discussions took place concerning the steps Professional Engineering Institutes (PEIs) can take to create a more inclusive culture in relation to training and examination processes to ensure that learners can demonstrate their best performance. Sarah Sharples, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Nottingham, and Tom Welton, Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Imperial College London, both provided a range of examples of good practice of D&I from the perspective of higher education institutions. 
These included:
  • Appreciating the importance of inclusion for an effective learning experience;
  • Addressing barriers to career progression for women and minority groups;
  • Ensuring language adaptations are more inclusive, for example within the classroom, training notes, promotional literature, etc;
  • Understanding the value of unconscious bias training, but also acknowledging that D&I is much more than this;
  • Increasing awareness of adjustments that can be made within the learning and examination processes to minimise or remove disadvantages experienced by learners;
  • Supporting individuals from low socio-economic backgrounds, for example by looking at the hidden costs associated with undertaking training, such as materials or books;
  • Taking into consideration the impact of cultural differences on learning and examination processes;
  • Changing the requirements for becoming an assessor in order to enable a more diverse range of assessors; and
  • Understanding the importance of collecting data and measuring change within industry to determine how effective initiatives to improve D&I have been.

Thinking about changes made since signing the Diversity Concordat in 2015, it was refreshing to hear that BINDT is making good progress in implementing many of the good practice examples to support D&I within NDT in line with the RAEng D&I Progression Framework, including language adaptations, improving board diversity, career break 
opportunities and raising awareness of unconscious bias, to name but a few. However, there are still many other initiatives to be considered moving forward to ensure that progression is continued.    

The workshop echoed a similar theme to that of the plenary lecture, ‘Changing 100 small things’, given at BINDT’s NDT conference in 2019 by Katherine Kirk:  ‘doing D&I’ can seem a little overwhelming and a bit of a 
minefield at first glance but, if we can commit to making a number of small changes, we can actually make a significant impact over time. 

So, is there anything BINDT can do to create a more inclusive environment for its members? Is there any information that would be useful to help members in implementing changes within their workplaces?

We would value your thoughts and any ideas you may have regarding D&I. We are also looking for members to join the D&I Advisory Group. If you are interested, email:

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