ACCA supports launch of Social Mobility Toolkit for the Professions | ACCA Global
ACCA - The global body for professional accountants
Monitoring and data capture are essential to opening up the professions, and this toolkit offers advice and guidance about how this can be done. The toolkit also offers suggestions for widening access, from good careers advice to mentoring programmes. By working together, and by sharing best practice, the professions can be a force for change when it comes to social mobility
—Neil Stevenson, executive director - brand, ACCA

Mechanism receives backing from ACCA, UK Government and bodies representing over 1.2 million UK practitioners

The Social Mobility Toolkit for the Professions, the first common framework to measure the progress of social mobility within the professions, has been launched today on behalf of Professions for Good.

The toolkit, researched by Spada on behalf of Professions for Good, surveyed 300 professionals and drew on the expertise of fifty representatives from universities, membership bodies, NGOs, regulators and Government departments. It provides practical recommendations for employer organisations of all sizes, professional bodies and regulators on how they can track and foster social mobility.

The 52-page toolkit examines the economic, business and moral case for social mobility; the state of social mobility in the UK and the recent policy initiatives in this area by the current Government. It also provides best-practice advice on how to collect and process data on social mobility and how organisations can diversify the socio-economic profile of their members and employees.  

The Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science, commented: 

'The Government is committed to investing in a fairer future where social mobility is unlocked and everyone with the potential can access the professions, regardless of their background. A significant proportion of new jobs that are expected to be created in our economy over the next decade are professional ones. We can't afford to let the talent of our people go un-utilised. 

'I am delighted that Professions for Good have today published their guidance on how to recruit from the whole of the UK's talent pool to ensure we achieve our goal of a fairer society for everyone'.

Neil Stevenson, executive director, brand at ACCA, said:

'As the global body for professional accountants, one of ACCA's core purposes is to offer opportunity to people of talent regardless of their background, and keeping track of this core purpose is important to us. Monitoring and data capture are essential to opening up the professions, and this toolkit offers advice and guidance about how this can be done. The toolkit also offers suggestions for widening access, from good careers advice to mentoring programmes. By working together, and by sharing best practice, the professions can be a force for change when it comes to social mobility'.

Louis Armstrong, Chairman of Professions for Good, added: 

'The professions are a major UK success story, but more can be done to attract individuals from every strata of society.

'Over the past six months, we have conducted intensive research and consulted with professional bodies, employers, Government departments, educational institutes and charities. The toolkit is ready. It now needs to be used. We will review its uptake and report on progress regularly. Over time we will all benefit: individuals when aspirations can be fulfilled and the professions as they access the widest range of talent available'. 

The toolkit has its origins in the 2009 ‘Unleashing Aspirations’ report by Alan Milburn, which highlighted the barriers to entry and social mobility within the UK professions, and the detrimental effect this has on the professions and society at large.  

In its aftermath, the Department for Business, Innovation of Skills’ Gateways to the Professions Collaborative Forum and Panel on Fair Access to the Professions recommended the development of a ‘Social Mobility Toolkit’ for use by the professions. In order to mobilise the professions, Professions for Good and Spada were commissioned to develop today’s toolkit.

By collecting sample indicative data every three years, the professions will be able to track their progress against the Coalition Government’s Social Mobility Strategy, and report to the relevant regulatory bodies and the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.

  1. Social Mobility Toolkit
    Download the Social Mobility Toolkit for the Professions, from the 'Related Links' section to the left of this article. The research conducted by Spada, on behalf of Professions for Good, was funded by the Legal Services Board and the General Medical Council with additional support from the Chartered Insurance Institute and British Dental Association.