Diversity and inclusion

Our diversity and inclusion commitment

Our people are our main asset. We believe that a diverse and inclusive workforce is integral to our success as an organisation. We are committed to building a working environment where everyone we employ is valued and has an equal opportunity to flourish and succeed, regardless of their background.

To further this aim in 2016 we launched two new recruitment initiatives:

  • Contextual recruitment – We appreciate that everyone’s background is different and this can have an impact on educational achievement. Rare’s contextual recruitment allows us to identify people who may have narrowly missed our entrance requirement of 300 UCAS points, but still done exceptionally well to achieve a score of 280 UCAS points in the context of their educational and personal circumstances. We may adjust our entrance requirements for people identified in this way and believe it will be a valuable means of fostering social mobility and widening access to the accountancy profession.
  • Blind recruitment – In 2015 the government announced its support for ‘blind’ recruitment, a practice which removes names from applications in order to reduce the potential for discrimination. Other organisations were encouraged to follow suit and the NAO is proud to do so while taking the extra step of removing other details like the names of universities and schools attended. We have confidence in the fairness of our recruitment process but value this opportunity to underline our commitment to eliminating the potential for bias in all its forms.

We place a high value on diversity and inclusion and we have an ambitious diversity and inclusion strategy which reflects this. The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) is the senior Champion for diversity and inclusion at the National Audit Office (NAO) and chair of the Diversity Delivery Board, showing visible personal commitment to driving forward our diversity agenda.

We value people as individuals – including the unique perspective, insight, talents and contribution each brings. We combine this with working collaboratively in a supportive work environment. By embracing and promoting equality and diversity in all we do we will attract and retain the most talented people, making us a stronger and more effective organisation, better able to help our stakeholders deliver lasting improvement in public services.

Diversity networks

We have a number of employee networks, each of which has a Leadership Team sponsor. The networks work collaboratively with HR to support our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy by providing valuable insights into the business, advising on relevant policy development and keeping key issues on the Leadership Team agenda. All networks meet on a regular basis and membership is open to all.

The NAO diversity networks are:

  • DisAbility – supports disabled NAO staff by removing barriers and promoting a disability confident NAO
  • Ethnic Minorities’ – aims to ensure that the NAO celebrates and makes the most effective use of the diversity of its staff
  • LGBT – aims to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender staff on matters relating to sexual orientation
  • Religion and Belief – promotes liaison, understanding and collaboration between NAO colleagues on all aspects of faith and belief, including non-belief
  • Women’s – provides independent peer support and opportunities to share knowledge and experience around promotion and talent management programmes
  • Social Mobility – aims to ensure the NAO is accessible to and inclusive of people from low-income backgrounds

Our diversity networks are very proud of their association with a range of external partners, including Stonewall, Civil Service Rainbow Alliance and Civil Service Social Mobility Network, who provide us with access to new research and best practice on diversity and inclusion.

See our main website for more information on diversity and inclusion at the NAO, and read our Diversity & Inclusion Strategy 2015-2018 (pdf – 196KB).