On 20 June 2023, the British Standards Institution (BSI) published PAS (Publicly Available Specification) 1948:2023 — Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the Workplace: Code of Practice.
PAS 1948:2023 came into effect on 30 June 2023. As a code of practice, it is not meant to be regarded as a British Standard and instead should be interpreted as guidance or recommendations.
Impact on the workplace
PAS 1948:2023 was sponsored by the All-In Diversity Project, a not-for-profit initiative that benchmarks diversity, equality and inclusion. The measures are designed to be taken up by anyone with exposure to DEI decision making, ranging from board members and organisational leaders to human resource professionals and communications, marketing, and branding and technology teams. It can also apply to trade union and employee association representatives, as well as advisors, auditors, and investors.
This PAS offers practical guidance designed to help organisations prioritise their people by creating an increasingly diverse and inclusive workplace culture. PAS 1948:2023 includes strategies to help organisations that wish to demonstrate leadership commitment or adjust recruitment practices.
Within the PAS, there is an examination of:
- Scope and applicability: Despite its applicability to organisations of all sizes, sectors, and locations, the PAS emphasises that practices chosen for implementation should align with local laws and regulations.
- Moral, legal, and financial imperatives: The PAS examines the fundamental need to provide equal access and opportunities for all individuals. It also looks at the conventions to eliminate discrimination made by international labour organisations. Finally, the document stresses the economic benefits of diverse teams, which outperform homogeneous ones over time and contribute to competitive advantages.
- Abstract concepts associated with DEI: Areas include understanding and implementing diversity of thought, dimensions of diversity, intercultural competence, and cognitive diversity.
It also looks at how organisations can address behaviour that is inconsistent with DEI principles, as well as how to engage and support underrepresented social and cultural groups through initiatives like employee resource groups or other types of peer networks.
Other areas of focus in PAS 1948:2023 include:
- Identifying appropriate DEI learning and development needs;
- Creating inclusive brands, customer engagement, and workplace culture;
- Incorporating DEI principles into an organisation’s internal policies, practices, and processes;
- Establishing the organisational benefits of creating and maintaining an effective culture of DEI; and
- Setting achievable targets and objectives and measuring progress.
The PAS does not cover local, national, or international employment law or regulation, but includes standards and principles statements issued by organisations, research institutes, government agencies, and other bodies. It can be used as a practical implementation guide for frameworks including ISO 30415:2021, Human resource management – Diversity and inclusion, BS 76000:2015, Human resource – Valuing people, and ISO 45003:2021 Occupational health and safety management — Psychological health and safety at work — Guidelines for managing psychosocial risks.
PAS 1948:2023 was published on 20 June 2023, and this article was created on 30 August 2023.
- All-In Diversity Project
- BSI, BS 76000:2015 Human Resource. Valuing People
- BSI, PAS 1948:2023, Diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. Code of practice, 20 June 2023
- ISO 30415:2021 Human resource management — Diversity and inclusion, May 2021
- ISO 45003:2021 Occupational health and safety management — Psychological health and safety at work — Guidelines for managing psychosocial risks, June 2021
- People Management, BSI releases new EDI standard to help employers ‘prioritise people’ by Elizabeth Howlett, 23 June 2023