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Guidance on the collection of diversity monitoring data

The collection of data about staff and student identity characteristics is a rapidly evolving area of work that can provide important insights into the demographic diversity of a population. Advance HE refers to this strand of work as diversity monitoring. The design of diversity monitoring questions is often contested and needs to align with reporting requirements while also ensuring that staff and students can, as far as possible, describe themselves in ways that reflect how they identify.

We updated our guidance in April 2022 to give more clarity when collecting data that relates to sex as a protected characteristic and the Equality Act 2010, and when collecting data for work to create a wider inclusive culture. Advance HE has worked closely with solicitors and sector stakeholders in revising the guidance and ensuring it is inclusive and legally compliant.

Update April 2024: we have updated text and removed a hyperlink redirecting people to the ONS webpage 'Sex and gender within the context of data collected for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)' regarding the definitions provided in our sex and gender identity section. This is because ONS removed those definitions from the latest release of this publication, adding an exploratory note according to which 'the government definitions, which were included in the 2019 article, are no longer current and do not reflect a current cross-government agreed position'.

Access the guidance below.

Guidance on the collection of diversity monitoring data
Guidance on the collection of diversity monitoring data View Document
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