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1st2 Achieve Training is committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity amongst our workforce. Our aim is that our workforce will be truly representative of all sections of society, and each employee feels respected and able to give their best.

The purpose of this policy is to provide equality and fairness for all in our employment and not to discriminate on the grounds of gender, marital status, race, ethnic origin, colour, nationality, national origin, disability, sexuality, religion, or age.

We oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination.


All employees, whether part-time, full-time, or temporary, will be treated fairly and with respect. Selection for employment, promotion, training or any other benefit will be based on aptitude and ability. All employees will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential, and the talents and resources of the workforce will be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of the organisation.


Our commitment:

  • To create an environment in which individual differences and the contributions of all our staff are recognised and valued.

  • Every employee is entitled to a working environment that promotes dignity and respect for all. No form of intimidation, bullying or harassment will be tolerated.

  • Training, development, and progression opportunities are available to all staff.

  • Equality in the workplace is good management practice and makes sound business sense.

  • We will review all our employment practices and procedures to ensure fairness.

  • Breaches of our equality policy will be regarded as misconduct and could lead to disciplinary proceedings.




Any strategy or intervention on gender equality and women’s empowerment must begin with an accurate understanding of the experiences of men and women, and a proper interpretation of their realities.


1.1. An enabling environment within the company for gender equality


  • Development of indicators and targets within 1st2 Achieve Training to explicitly ensure that the company is addressing the practical and strategic gender needs of both women and men.

  • Ensure the use of gender indicators to manage and track the performance and progress of women in 1st2 Achieve Training.

  • Ensure that opportunities for development and empowerment are created and awarded to female candidates in particular.

  • Creation of an environment that is non-discriminatory with regard to the access to opportunities, resources and information.

  • Create a mechanism to ensure the auditing and ongoing monitoring and assessment of all policies and procedures to test for gender appropriateness through bi-annual Senior Leadership Team reporting.


1.2. Human Resource Policies to promote gender equality within 1st2 Achieve Training


  • Audit and critically assess current Human Resource policies, procedures and practices to ensure that they are gender sensitive, fair and non-discriminatory.

  • Amend and/or adopt new Human Resource policies and procedures that will fast-track the transformation of the organisation towards achieving gender equality.

  • Develop and implement specific and targeted interventions or programmes that aim to improve the condition and status of current and future female employees, inclusive of: - Mentorships - Coaching - Cross skilling and rotations.


1.3. Gender equality through Human Resource Practices


Discrimination in recruitment, remuneration, inflexible working conditions, as well as insufficient services such as childcare, continue to restrict employment and advancement opportunities for women. Negative attitudes also stand in the way of women's advancement. Discrimination can manifest itself differently across the spectrum of organisational practices.


The following areas of human resource or people development practice should be addressed:


1.3.1. Recruitment


  • Include gender awareness in all job specifications.

  • Specifications that will discourage certain groups from applying are not acceptable.

  • Include those areas where women have generally greater expertise in order to encourage them to apply.



  • Use media that is accessible to women, for example, radio, community radio, magazines or newspapers that are popular among the particular group.

  • Encourage women to apply through appropriately worded advertising.

  • Reach out to relevant women’s groups, networks, and systems to widen recruitment possibilities.



  • All questions must focus on the requirements for the job.

  • Comparable questions must be posed to female and male incumbents.

  • Ensure that gender aware and gender competent persons sit on the selection panel.

  • Use gender awareness as criteria for selection, particularly for senior management to ensure gender mainstreaming in the company.

  • Subjective and sexist criteria are not acceptable, for example, marital status, dress, physical attributes. These often have no relation to the job.

  • If psychometric tests are used, ensure that these are not racially, culturally or gender biased.


1.3.2. Remuneration and grading


  • There must be equal pay for work of equal value. Women are entitled to benefits, for example, a married woman can choose to be on her own medical aid, not on her husband’s and she can put him on her medical aid as her spouse if she wishes.

  • Performance management and appraisal must be equitable and not subtly discriminate against women.

  • Job descriptions must reflect the full complexity of the job.

  • Job evaluation processes and methodologies must be fair and equitable. Subjective criteria and considerations must be eliminated.

  • Recognise and reward skills that an employee gains through work, life, and informal training. Because many women may not have had the same access to formal training as men, there is a need to look at other skills that women bring to the workplace. Performance evaluation should not penalise women for trying to balance their family and professional responsibilities.


1.3.3 Promotion and Advancement


  • Promotion must be based on a valid set of clearly articulated criteria.

  • Recognise women's greater role in family responsibilities and do not use these as an excuse to restrict their career opportunities.

  • Where the above happens, it should be accompanied by training, counselling and mentoring to avoid "tokenism".


1.3.3. Training and Development


  • Increase training expenditure on women at organisational levels where they are under-represented.

  • Actively train women for jobs that have traditionally been men’s preserve, e.g., technical fields (construction).

  • Implement gender sensitivity and awareness workshops for all in the organisation. Ensure that training times, facilities, and opportunities are appropriate and friendly to women’s participation.


1.3.4. Family-friendly Practices


  • Ensure enough leave and benefit provisions for women and men to balance family and professional responsibilities, e.g., paid maternity/paternity leave.

  • Ensure women are not penalised for trying to balance professional and family responsibilities, e.g., not promoting a woman whose child is ill or has a disability.

  • Conscientiously address parenthood issues, in particular the parenthood penalty, often experienced by women, vs the parenthood advantage, often experienced by men. Global studies have shown that working couples start families in the peak earning years of their work cycle, and that men increase work time in response to a birth or in response to their spouse reducing work time after a child is born. The penalty is largely driven by women’s lost work experience and reduced hours following the birth of a child.

  • Eliminate sexist practices and, in particular, those that make women appear like sex objects.




Equality and Diversity


  • The Senior Leadership Team fully supports this policy and has been agreed upon with employee representatives.

  • The policy will be monitored and reviewed annually.

  • We will implement the intentions of this policy via an annual action plan.




Learners and potential learners who feel they have received unfair treatment under the terms of this policy should raise the matter through the Complaints Procedure. If, for any reason, this route is not appropriate, the matter may be referred directly to the Director.




The admission procedures will be open, non-discriminatory and learner friendly.

1st2 Achieve will develop services that are welcoming, safe, and designed to address the unique needs of individuals, e.g., learning support and classroom support.

Guidance, assessment, support, and counselling will be available to all learners to promote their opportunity to follow courses of their choice.

All learners and potential learners will receive impartial guidance to enable learners to study at a level appropriate to them.




1st2 Achieve will research the needs of prospective learners in our partners and wider community and the needs of under-represented groups to ensure appropriate course provision and support.

1st2 Achieve Training’s commitment to equality will be clearly stated in all publications, and publicity material will be provided in appropriate languages and media as required.




1st2 Achieve will seek to provide a range of learning programmes delivered in ways to suit all learners, including those who have not previously succeeded in education.

The curriculum, its delivery and resources used will be free from bias, stereotyping, discrimination, and harassment and will seek to foster good relations between people who share protected characteristics and those who do not.

The lesson observation procedure will identify good practices or areas for development.

1st2 Achieve will seek to give credit for prior learning and experience and identify opportunities for progression.

1st2 Achieve will deliver learning through flexible means which cater for a wide range of learning styles and will take account of the student’s perceived needs.




1st2 Achieve will continue to develop a physical environment that is welcoming, safe, and designed to address the unique needs of individuals.

1st2 Achieve will continually improve physical access to its services.

All signs, communication and instructions will be clear and simple and free from discrimination.




The policy has been approved by the Senior Leadership Team and the 1ST2 Achieve Training Quality & Standards Board.


The policy will be reviewed on an annual basis unless circumstances arise requiring the policy to be reviewed earlier.


Board signatory: M Edwards

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