Should we apply for a Bronze or Silver award?
We would expect your institution to start with a Bronze application before moving on to a Silver. The application form and process is the same for all levels, but the expectations are different. A Bronze award recognises that the institution has a solid foundation for eliminating racial inequalities and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff and students. A Bronze award acknowledges commitment and preparation to act. Applications should be candid about any issues identified and state clearly how they plan to address them. At Bronze level it is anticipated that your institution will have developed specific actions and initiatives, albeit these may not have yet been implemented.
In addition to the requirements for a Bronze award, a Silver award recognises a significant record of activity and achievement by the institution in promoting race equality and in addressing challenges across the whole institution. Applications should demonstrate that equality is well embedded within the institution with strong leadership in promoting the charter principles, and evidence of the impact of race equality activities. Crucially, where progress has been made, the institution should be able to trace the cause.
How long before submitting should we begin the process?
We estimate that for first-time applicants who are at the early stages of considering their race-specific work, it is likely to take 18 months to apply for an award, from the point at which the self assessment team has been convened. Institutions need time to assess what issues might exist and to determine what to do in response. If you have a track record in race equality and have already begun developing actions in response, the process may be quicker. Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter includes both staff and student-focused sections. To achieve a Bronze award your institution will need to meet Bronze standard across the piece (albeit it is likely that some areas will be more developed than others).
How long before submitting should we conduct our survey?
We expect institutions to run the survey before applying to the Charter, and before re-applying every three years. The timing of the survey is important and you will want to spend time analysing the results as part of your self-assessment. We would therefore anticipate you running the survey up to a year ahead of your actual application submission. Institutions that are unsuccessful may want to resubmit before it would be viable for them to rerun the survey. In these instances, the original survey data is valid for two years.
For example, if you run a survey in February 2016 and apply in February 2017, the survey data would be valid for a resubmission in July 2017, or February 2018 (which is two years after the original survey was conducted). After this point institutions should rerun the survey to ensure the results are up-to-date.