Embedding Diversity & Inclusion in ISO Standards

One reason we champion international standards at Assent is their ability to make the world a better place and it’s for this reason we watch out for new standards that support positive societal changes. 

Standards often lead the way in developing consensus-based best practices whereas legislation takes more time. This means that when legislation around the world does catch up, standards already provide the requirements and guidelines that organisations can use as a framework for complying with new laws and regulations.

ISO 30415 provides guidance and methods to support ‘Human resource management — Diversity and Inclusion’, which we initially considered as a tool to support organisations in their hiring practices. We now, however, understand that the guidelines in this standard apply across all areas of an organisation and it cuts across many other ISO standards too.

International standards play an important role in helping organisations work towards UN Sustainable Development Goals. ISO has mapped the standards it publishes against each of the goals to help.

What is ISO 30415?

The international standard for Human Resource Diversity and Inclusion, ISO 30415 is a guidance standard that organisations can use to develop an inclusive culture.

The largest part of the standard covers the human resources lifecycle and demonstrates how organisations can achieve their goals through actions, measures and outcomes at each stage of the cycle.

However the standard also provides guidance on the following:

  • Design, development and delivery of products and services
  • Procurement & Supply Chain relationships
  • External stakeholder relationships

Each following the familiar “actions, measures and outcomes” approach.
Due to its intent as a guidance standard, ISO Certification Bodies are unlikely to offer a certification scheme for ISO 30415, however, Annex A of the standard provides a self-assessment checklist that organisations can use to assess their progress towards their diversity and inclusion actions.

How does ISO 30415 Support Other ISO Standards?

Annex SL based standards such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 27001, ISO 45001 and ISO 22301, include human resource requirements, whether directly or indirectly referenced. The value of human resources is recognised as critical to the success of the management system(s) and the organisation’s goals.  


Therefore embedding ISO 30415 actions, measures and outcomes into your HR processes, from recruitment to exit interview can enhance and reinforce your organisation’s management systems.

In addition, the Quality Management standard, ISO 9001, includes many requirements for products and services which are designed, developed and delivered by an organisation, however this generally takes a process approach to ensuring that customer’s needs and expectations are met. 

There are clear parallels where the Diversity & Inclusion in Product and Service Design guidance of ISO 30415 can be incorporated into your ISO 9001 Quality Management SystemContact our ISO Consultants to discuss this.


What can Organisations do?

ISO standards support continual improvement and it is recognised that no organisation is perfect, however there are steps you can take on your journey to being a diverse and inclusive organisation

Support for D&I comes from the Top

Engage the leadership of your organisation and assign roles and responsibilities throughout all levels of the organisation.

Establish Your D&I Framework.

ISO 30415 can help with this.

Robert Clements
Robert Clements
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