Kaplan Publishing's policy on Linguistic EDI
Statement of Principles
We are committed to diversity, equality and inclusion and strive to deliver content that all users can relate to.
We are here to make a difference to the success of every learner.
Clarity, accessibility and ease of use for our learners are key to our approach.
We will use contemporary examples that are rich, engaging and representative of a diverse workplace.
We will include a representative mix of race and gender at the various levels of seniority within the businesses in our examples to support all our learners in aspiring to achieve their potential within their chosen careers.
Roles played by characters in our examples will demonstrate richness and diversity by the use of different names, backgrounds, ethnicity and gender, with a mix of sexuality, relationships and beliefs where these are relevant to the syllabus.
It must always be obvious who is being referred to in each stage of any example so that we do not detract from clarity and ease of use for each of our learners.
We will actively seek feedback, for example by running focus groups amongst our learners, on our approach and carry out reviews of our policy as a standing agenda item at our Senior Content Specialists’ meetings.
We will seek to devise simple measures that can be used by independent assessors to randomly check our success in the implementation of our Linguistic EDI policy.
1. We will aim for diversity
Clarity, accessibility and ease of use for our learners are key to our approach. We considered the use of gender neutral names and neutral pronouns such as they, rather than he or she. However, it must always be obvious who is being referred to in each stage of any example or we detract from clarity and ease of use for our learners globally.
We reiterate, therefore, our commitment to the use of contemporary examples that are rich, engaging and representative of a diverse workforce and our flexibility in recognising the preferences of the awarding bodies whose syllabuses and examinations are the focus of our learning materials.
The ACCA suggest that their OT item writers select names from here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_popular_given_names to ensure a diverse population and we will use this to help us.
CIMA are happy with the completely neutral XYZ Company, and we will use this too.
However, we must tailor our usage to match the qualification our content relates to, to ensure that learners gain familiarity from our learning content with what they can expect to see in their final assessments.
Our focus, therefore, will be on diversity within each qualification, not neutrality.
2. Use of pronouns
Clarity is key to the successful use of our content by our learners.
Where the example has attributed a gender to the character in the scenario, we will reflect that attribution in the personal pronouns used to describe that character. Where gender is not clear, we will gradually adopt the phrases “he, she or they”, “his, her or their”, “himself, herself or themselves”, replacing “he or she” (and their equivalents).
We will also include some one-person scenarios including the pronoun they but it must always be obvious who is being referred to in each stage of any example so that we do not detract from clarity and ease of use for each of our learners.
Companies will not be referred to with personal pronouns at all but should always be referred to as, for example, “it” rather than “they” in our updated editions.
However, where our content reproduces legislation, standards, real past exam questions and answers and anything else for which we do not own the copyright, we will not make changes to the original. Many of our questions fall into this category and some of our learning content does too, particularly in the areas of financial reporting, auditing, law and taxation.
Learners may encounter a variety of resources during the course of their studies. It should be noted that the approach taken to linguistic EDI in resources created by other organisations may be different from ours and will not necessarily reflect the key points of this policy.
3. Maintaining balance
All our own material MUST reflect diversity and equality and be inclusive in its examples. It must demonstrate a balance of male and female names and a pervading mix of racial diversity across, for example, job roles at all levels.
4. Next steps
We are dedicated to continuous improvement and will implement the changes enshrined in this Draft 7 of our Linguistic EDI policy as we work on the annual updates to our material from the spring of 2022.
We will also continuously review this policy at our Senior Content Specialists’ meetings which are held every two months throughout the year and are attended by all senior team managers.
As part of this rolling review, we will take into account feedback received from the users of our content as well as actively seeking feedback from, for example, user focus groups and community groups such as our LGBTQIA+ and ethnic minority intranet hub members.
In order to measure the success of our focus on balance we will devise some simple measures that can be used by independent assessors to randomly check that our use of names and descriptive language is balanced and representative of our whole user group.
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