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Training for Equality in Local Government


Sunderland City Council is rolling out an equality and diversiy training programme to all its staff over the next 18 months.

All 14,500 staff at the council, including the chief executive, will work through a 90 minute online training course, called 'Equality and Diversity', developed by interactive learning company Balance Learning.

'Equality and Diversity' 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 communication.

Mike Frankland, training manager at the council, said the software "enables us to keep a record - and provide proof - that the mandatory training has been undertaken and understood. We can also identify any extra support that employees may need to improve their understanding of the issues.”

All users take a built-in interactive test when they complete the course.

“So far, the average post-test score is around 80%, which shows that the course is successfully promoting a high level of understanding of the key issues,” said Mr Frankland. “Another advantage of the course is that it encourages staff to further engage with IT. When they achieve a high test score, it really boosts their confidence.”

“The e-learning course has proved to be a very efficient and cost effective way of reaching everyone and getting consistent messages out across the entire organisation,” he said. “The greater awareness of diversity, which the course provides, will enable our staff to better respond to the needs of our local community.”

Under the Equality Standard for Local Government, local authorities have to deliver - and prove - that they have provided mandatory training on diversity for all staff.


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