Sunderland takes online route to deliver diversity and equality training

Sunderland City Council has launched an online training course to ensure that its 14,500 staff are up to speed with diversity and equality issues, in line with obligations under the Equality Standard for Local Government.

Over the next 18 months, staff at the council, including its chief executive, will take an ‘Equality and Diversity’ course developed by training firm Balance Learning.

It highlights the laws and essential concepts of diversity and equality, the standards of conduct and behaviour expected and the implications of equality and diversity on customer service and communications, in line with Equality Standard for local government, which was launched in 2001.

Mike Frankland, training manager at Sunderland City Council, said: “Although the course runs for 90 minutes, people can dip in and out of it at their own convenience, as it remembers the sections they have already visited.

“A greater awareness of diversity will enable our staff to better respond to the needs of our local community.”

Chris Horseman at Balance Learning said: “We piloted the course with a number of councils, but Sunderland has launched it on a large scale, and we have had positive feedback.”

Sunderland City Council has achieved level 3 of the Equality Standard for Local Government, a five-level framework for combating discrimination and treating people equally regardless of their age, disability, gender, race, religion/belief or sexual orientation.

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