Disability Confident

This guide summarises the Government’s Disability Confident initiative available through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

It explains the different levels of the programme, the benefits of participation, and the requirements for becoming a Disability Confident Leader—the highest level of the scheme. 

What is Disability Confident? 

Disability Confident is a scheme run by the Government. It was introduced in 2013 to replace the previous Two Ticks positive about disabled people scheme and was updated in 2019.  

Disability Confident encourages employers “…to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain, and develop disabled people.” 

By signing up to the scheme, employers are acknowledging the value of disabled employees. The website explains how the Disability Confident scheme helps employers recruit and retain great people, and: 

  • Challenges attitudes and increases understanding of disability; 
  • Draws from the widest possible pool of talent; 
  • Secures high-quality staff who are skilled, loyal, and hard working; and 
  • Improves employee morale and commitment by demonstrating fair treatment. 

How does Disability Confident work? 

There are three different levels of Disability Confident:  

Any employer joining the scheme starts at Disability Confident Committed (Level 1). They can then progress through the different levels by signing up to certain commitments outlined within the Disability Confident guidance. 

While employers can sign up to Levels 1 and 2 without support from a third-party consultant, an external organisation that is registered with the DWP must review and validate an organisation’s Level 3 self-assessment to allow the employer to register as a Disability Confident Leader. 

How do employers reach Level 3: Disability Confident Leader status? 

To progress to Level 3, employers must achieve Level 2: Disability Confident Employer status. They must then: 

  • Complete the validation template (which is available to download online) and have this self-assessment reviewed and validated by an external, independent person (who is not a DWP employee). 
  • Prepare a leadership narrative explaining the steps you’ve already taken—as well as those you will be taking—to demonstrate your commitment as a Disability Confident Leader. This is a high-level summary of what the organisation is doing to demonstrate its commitment as a Disability Confident Leader. As there is no option to save and return to the online registration form, it is recommended that this is prepared separately and in advance (in a document creation tool like Microsoft Word or Google Docs). 
  • Confirm your organisation is employing disabled people. 
  • Use the Voluntary Reporting Framework to report on disability, mental health, and wellbeing. 

What support can enei provide? 

An enei Diversity and Inclusion Lead can review the completed validation template to determine if an organisation meets the required standard for employing individuals with disabilities. They can also provide feedback to indicate where additional work or clarity may be required. When the required standard is met, the Diversity and Inclusion Lead will provide the additional information needed to register/re-register as a Level 3: Disability Confident Leader. 

Organisations seeking to incorporate any aspects of disability inclusion can request support from enei. This can come in the form of information, advice, events, and training. It can also include guiding employers through the different levels of the Disability Confident scheme.  As Disability Confident Leaders, enei can act as independent validators for those progressing to—or requiring re-accreditation at—Level 3. 

To find out more or to discuss the type of support you require, please contact your account manager or send an e-mail to info@enei.org.uk

The information contained within this resource was accurate at the time of its publication. It was created in April 2023.

These additional enei resources are for members only. To become a member, please e-mail info@enei.org.uk.

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