Diversity and inclusion partners programme

Partners and alumni
The diversity and inclusion partners programme supports participating trusts to progress and develop their equality performance over a period of 12 months, and is closely aligned to the Equality Delivery System (EDS2). 

The programme is delivered across four modules - standards, capacity, delivery and evaluation. It provides partners with detailed strategic policy support, the opportunity to undertake personal development and a forum to share good practice and network with fellow colleagues in the NHS, and other diversity and inclusion subject matter experts. The modules are held quarterly in the form of a one day event which bring together diversity and inclusion partners from across the country.

Find out which organisations are participating in the 2019/20 programme. 

What does being a diversity and inclusion partner mean?

The programme supports participating trusts to progress and develop their equality performance and to build capacity. At the same time it provides an opportunity for partners to share advice, guidance and demonstrate good practice in equality and diversity management to the wider NHS.

Watch our short video and hear from current partners participating in the programme.



Partners are supported in a number of ways:

  • Continuous improvement around equality and diversity within their own organisation.
  • Raising awareness of what constitutes sustainable, outcome-focused improvement in managing equality and diversity across their region.
  • Acting as a thermometer by which NHS Employers can determine the key issues facing the wider NHS, so that advice and guidance is relevant and up to date.
  • Contributing to the development of emerging good practice and providing a channel for collecting case studies from which others can learn, within the wider context of NHS initiatives.
  • Contributing to a broader understanding of equality and diversity, across both the NHS and the wider public sector, in the context of quality, innovation, productivity and disease prevention.

What are the benefits of being a partner?

We work closely with our partners and support them to embed equality and diversity in their organisation. There are a number of other key benefits for NHS organisations in becoming a partner.

  • Increased profile of your organisation at network events, conferences and through the NHS Employers website and communications.
  • Advice, guidance and assistance from NHS Employers in meeting the minimum requirements of the Equality Act 2010.
  • Free access to training, development, coaching and mentoring for the partner lead person on the use of the tools and techniques within the programme.
  • Opportunities to discuss, network and test out new concepts within the safe environment of partner meetings.
  • Opportunity to influence national policy direction.
  • In some cases, indirect benefits of NHS Employers’ membership of national forums, such as the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion.

Application process

Applications will re-open at the end of 2019 for the 2020-21 programme.  If you have any questions about the partners programme please email the team at diversityandinclusion@nhsemployers.org.

Partners alumni programme

The partners alumni is a self‐managed network of past and present organisations that have been members of the diversity and inclusion partners programme. The aim of the partners alumni is to enhance the ability of leaders within the alumni to think more strategically about diversity and inclusion issues, and to use their learning in practical applications within the workplace.


NHSE partners programme logo

Partner programme modules 2018/19

Read summaries of the diversity and inclusion partners programme modules and access speaker presentations and resources.

Diversity and Inclusion NHS Employers logo

Partner programme modules 2019/20

Read summaries of the diversity and inclusion partners programme modules and access speaker presentations and resources. 

Diversity and Inclusion NHS Employers logo

Diversity and inclusion partners alumni

Learn more about the partners alumni and participating organisations.

Related News

International Day of People with Disabilities 2019

Tuesday 3 December is International Day of People with Disabilities, read our blogs and access resources which support disability in the workplace.

View article

Have your say on resources for supporting social workers

Share your views on resources for managers supporting social workers in mental health services at this upcoming workshop.

View article

Why Register?

Great reasons to register with NHS Employers

  • A personalised website
    Manage your profile and select topics of interest to you
  • Access your dashboard
    Bookmark useful content to help you quickly find what you're looking for
  • Get involved
    Contribute to our Talking Points discussions, comment on and rate our webpages
  • Keep up to date
    Receive the latest newsletters and media summaries

Log In