Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) commendation

We offer an additional commendation for employers who receive an Award and have demonstrated a significant commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

This commendation is assessed through the submitted application and supporting evidence and is announced at the ceremony each year.

DEI Commendations

What do we mean by diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI)?


Recognising, respecting and valuing the differences between people, both in the workplace, and in wider society.


Recognising that all individuals have different circumstances and giving people what they need, to achieve an equal outcome.


Including and supporting disadvantaged people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalised, so they feel respected, valued, supported, and can thrive.

Why are diversity, equity and inclusion important to the Princess Royal Training Awards?

At the City & Guilds Foundation, we believe that everyone should have an opportunity to grow within their workplace and contribute to business success.

A more diverse and inclusive workforce can also boost business. Research from McKinsey & Company showed that ethnically diverse companies are likely to financially outperform non-diverse companies by 35%. Gender diverse companies also outperform less diverse companies by 15%.

WenLin Chinese School receiving the plaque from HRH The Princess Royal

How can I achieve a special commendation for diversity, equity and inclusion?

Any organisation who achieves the Princess Royal Training Awards standard can be considered for a special commendation as long as you have the evidence to show how your training is as accessible to all your people as possible and how you are making your people feel valued and included.

Assessors will be looking for exemplars of best practice in this field as demonstrated in Hallmark 2, Part 1 where applicants need to demonstrate that appropriate consideration has been given to diversity, equity and inclusion in the planning and delivery of their training programme, as well as how the programme is evaluated to verify it has reached all target groups. The chief assessor will make the final decision as to who can receive a special commendation.

2023 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion commendations

Acacium Group Logo

Acacium Group

Ensuring training is inclusive for all

Pharmaceuticals and healthcare | 1000+ employees | London

Acacium built DEI considerations into their Better Together programme from the start, with mandatory training for all managers to explore the fundamentals of DEI, bias and inclusive leadership. Six DEI support networks are present in their “Better Together Everyday Inclusion Hub”.

Amey Group


Upskilling women into leadership roles

Construction and engineering | 1000+ employees | London

Amey PLC has committed to achieve 33% female representation in its workforce by 2025 and 40% by 2030. It created a W@A network in 2016 and its role is to promote gender inclusion in the business, through attracting, developing and supporting women at Amey at all stages of their career. Since the programme launched in 2017, 58 women have attended and the organisation has seen an increase of 5% female representation from 25% to 30%. There has been a 4% increase in women in senior leadership roles from 14% to 18%.



Meeting a regional skills gap by upskilling unemployed people

Technology | 50-249 employees | Norwich

Netmatters shows a clear commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion through its successful Scion Coalition Scheme which takes unemployed candidates from the job centre and trains them to become junior developers in the tech industry. There is also a focus on encouraging females by revising marketing materials to reflect diversity in what is usually a male dominated career.



Providing life-changing opportunities for marginalised people

Professional services | <50 employees | Thrapston

Rockleigh Ltd has made significant efforts to support trainees and staff who were previously unemployed and those with learning disabilities. The business has accommodated dyslexia and ADHD and tailored learning and support accordingly. The business is highly inclusive e.g., it has employed an ex-addict to give him another chance and has been rewarded with a valued employee. Trainees often have no qualifications and are supported to be able to achieve the necessary qualifications to become fully fledged arborists.

Taye Training

Taye Training

Upskilling staff across the social care and criminal justice sectors

Education and training | <50 employees + 53 consultants | York

Taye Training delivers training to front-line staff in the social care and criminal justice areas endeavours to recruit facilitators who ‘reflect the diversity of the communities we work with.’ Evidence showed that 10% of the 53 participants trained to date were from the LGBTQI community, 23% were from a BAME background, 12 delegates were neurodivergent and 20 were disabled. The Director herself was once homeless.

2022 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion commendations

Greene King logo

Greene King

Enhancing social mobility through apprenticeships

Hospitality | 39,000 employees | Bury St Edmunds

Greene King’s apprenticeship programme is designed to make career opportunities accessible to all employees, with a focus on ‘hard-to-reach’ individuals and communities. 27% of employees who have achieved their apprenticeship live in the most deprived areas. The company is also committed to recruiting and training 300 prison leavers, supporting a further 100 people with special educational needs and piloting an apprenticeship for prison leavers.

IBM UK Ltd logo


Creating a diverse workforce

Technology | 1000+ employees | London

IBM demonstrated a commitment to enhancing inclusion through increasingly diverse routes to entry within their early professionals’ skills development programme. The subsequent improvement in the diversity of EPs is impressive, with an overall male/female ratio of 50/50 against a tech sector norm of 18% female, and 25% of apprentices now Black, Asian or minority ethnic. IBM’s EP communities include Black, Asian and minority ethnic, LBGT+ and DiversAbility, creating a totally inclusive working environment which enables everyone to perform to their full potential.

Labcorp logo


Inspiring a more inclusive tech sector

Pharmaceuticals and healthcare |  1000+ employees | Leeds

With clear goals in place for enhancing diversity, LabCorp’s apprenticeship programme aimed to tackle the under-representation of minority ethnic groups and people with learning difficulties (LD). The programme has achieved 18% Black, Asian or minority ethnic apprentices and 23% of LD apprentices, exceeding national averages of 13.8% and 2.16% respectively, with fifty-six languages also being catered for within the college.

Labcorp logo


Developing female leadership

Pharmaceuticals and healthcare | 1000+ employees | Maidenhead

Having identified a lack of women in leadership roles, despite making up 60% of the workforce, Labcorp focused on addressing gender imbalances. Through a bespoke interactive and practical virtual classroom programme completed by 22 women to date, the company has witnessed more leadership roles and promotions amongst participants, as well as lower attrition rates, a decreased gender pay gap and increased confidence.

Sheppey Matters logo

Sheppey Matters

Providing inclusive training for the local community

Charities and not-for-profit | <50 employees | Sheerness

This health and well-being charity provides unique opportunities for disadvantaged individuals with physical and mental health issues to deliver quality broadcasting to its 10,000 listeners. Delivering training to 30 adult and 300 youth volunteers per year, the inclusive culture is embedded across all areas of this organisation.

UK Electronics Skills Organisation logo

UK Electronics Skills Organisation

Introducing students to electronic design

Charities and not-for-profit | <50 employees | Wiltshire

This educational charity demonstrates a strong commitment to inclusion and diversity through a scholarship programme which encourages women and students with a range of social, economic and Black, Asian and minority ethnic barriers into STEM careers. 17% of scholarships awarded have been to females, 21% to individuals from Black, Asian or minority ethnic groups, 71% to the state sector educated and 23% to those who are the first in their family to attend university.

2021 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion commendations



Actively supporting females into the tech industry

Technology | 1000+ employees | Manchester

The BJSS Academy was created to promote IT and STEM career options for everyone regardless of their background. Passion, drive and talent for technology are prioritised over formal qualifications for entry. Since 2017, over 250 recruits have started at the Academy with a retention rate of 91.9% and its last intake comprised of 34% females, in an industry where women typically represent less than 20% of the workforce.

Diverse FM Community Media

Diverse FM Community Media

Providing opportunities for all

Education and training | <50 employees | Luton

Diverse FM Community Media actively targets people in areas of social deprivation to train in radio broadcasting, simultaneously addressing social isolation, building positive relationships and helping learners to overcome challenges. It welcomes people who are disadvantaged, at risk of offending or not in education, employment or training. Over 75 people now work as volunteers, enabling 24/7 broadcasting and the long-term sustainability of the station.

IBM UK Ltd logo


Skilling interns to create the future workforce

Technology | 1000+ employees | Warwick

IBM’s intern programme demonstrates a clear commitment to inclusion through its drive to attract diverse talent, with a target of a 50/50 gender mix and a significant proportion from non-business or IT degree disciplines. There are also specific intern programme promotions into ethnic minority communities and a support site for LGBTQ+ Early Professionals within the business. 99% of interns surveyed consider IBM to be inclusive.

Mojatu Foundation

Mojatu Foundation

Initiating change through educating about FGM

Education and training | <50 employees | Nottingham

Mojatu Foundation’s transformational work within the community has led to raised awareness about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and a programme which has trained 44 Ambassadors to help engage and educate communities about the consequences and dangers of FGM. The programme’s success has led to replica programmes in other regions.

Sparta Global

Sparta Global

Encouraging the tech sector to be more diverse

Education and training | 250-999 employees | London

Sparta Global identified an organisational need for language training, establishing a programme which has impacted behaviours, policy and practice and led to increased recruitment of females and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is also proactively sharing its training with its client group as part of a wider strategy to encourage the technology sector to be more diverse and reflective of society.

Video: How IBM recruits a diverse workforce

2020 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion commendations

Dovecote Park

Dovecote Park

Increasing production efficiency through apprenticeships

Food and beverages | 250-999 employees | Pontefract

Dovecote Park introduced a new apprenticeship programme which exceeded its targets to raise the number of female butchers and increase the levels of English for all staff. Training non-native speakers in English has enhanced employee cohesion and improved staff morale through more effective communication. Staff retention levels have subsequently increased.

Gateway Community Media

Gateway Community Media

Upskilling the unemployed and hard-to-reach

Media and publishing | <50 employees | Basildon

This community radio station and not-for-profit organisation created an in-house media course to provide long-term unemployed and hard-to-reach individuals with transferable skills. The hugely inclusive programme has helped over 500 people to gain the accreditation, enabling young people and adults to progress to education or employment who might otherwise have failed and had nowhere else to go.

Springhill Hospice

Springhill Hospice

Increasing the confidence to deliver palliative care support

Charities and not-for-profit | 50-249 employees | North West

This North West-based hospice created a unique programme to upskill its own staff along with the wider community in palliative care support, actively encouraging applications from under-represented groups and supporting all learners to thrive. Over 800 individuals have completed the free-of-charge training resulting in much greater levels of skills, knowledge and confidence when working with patients offering end-of-life support.

2019 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion commendations

Cyfle Building Skills Ltd

Cyfle Building Skills Ltd

Demonstrating dedication to apprentice well-being

Construction | 50-249 employees | Ammanford

Cyfle Building Skills provides a unique collaborative apprenticeship training model within construction, whilst remaining committed to the well-being of its apprentices. With suicide amongst the under-40s being the largest killer in construction, Cyfle is proactive in its mental health support, providing ongoing monitoring and support mechanisms and a dedicated counsellor to help apprentices with health concerns.

Go North East

Go North East

Enhancing opportunities for the unemployed

Travel, Transport & Logistics | 1000+ employees | Gateshead

Go North East developed a training programme to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and inclusiveness of its recruitment process. Focused on targeting the unemployed, the programme sought to provide essential skills to enhance opportunities to become bus drivers. Equality and diversity are the essence of the programme and are fully integrated throughout.

2018 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion commendations

Labcorp logo

East Coast FM

Promoting inclusion through tailored training

Telecoms | 50-249 employees | East Lothian

East Coast FM began working with New Beginnings, a community-based organisation for disabled adults, to create a 2-hour weekly live radio show produced and presented by people with Additional Support Needs (ASN) and their carers. Through tailored training for each participant, the resulting ‘Happy Talk’ show has been broadcast every Friday since July 2017 with a regular and increasing number of listeners and contributors.

GSK logo


Fostering female leadership opportunities

Pharmaceuticals and healthcare | 1000+ employees | Brentford

After recognising the low level and slower rate of leadership roles being achieved by female colleagues, GSK introduced a programme to accelerate high-performing female staff members into leadership and senior leadership roles. Since 2013, 49% of programme participants have been promoted compared to 29% of men and 31% of all women, and 88% of participants have remained at the company.

Somer Valley FM

Somer Valley FM

Boosting the prospects of marginalised groups

Telecoms | 50-249 employees | Radstock

Dedicated to supporting young people to avoid them becoming NEET, Somer Valley FM welcomes excluded or marginalised individuals, and people from all age groups, genders, backgrounds and abilities to become involved at the station. Individual training programmes ensure that each person develops the skills they need at a pace that suits them, with outcomes demonstrating a powerful impact on both individuals and the community.

2017 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion commendations

East Coast FM

East Coast FM

Encouraging a culture of inclusion

Telecoms | 0-49 employees | East Lothian

East Coast FM’s ‘School Bell’ training programme provides a true cascade model where participants become the trainers once technically competent. The wholly inclusive nature of the organisation is extremely powerful, coupled with a willingness to support any volunteer whatever their circumstances. This hard work is now paying dividends with the organisation seeing many of its volunteers taking up careers in the BBC and other media organisations.

North West Ambulance Service

North West Ambulance Service

Empowering women into leadership

Pharmaceuticals and healthcare | 1000+ employees | Bolton

Through the development of a programme designed to facilitate women’s access to leadership positions, North West Ambulance Service has achieved a transformation in the nature and style of leadership across the Trust. The launch of a Talent Academy has driven staff development, women’s empowerment and succession planning and multiple measures have been adopted to support and encourage staff from different demographics, including BME and LGBT staff.

How to apply

Learn more about the application process and the steps to take to put together a great submission.

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