Equality, diversity and inclusion

We aim to recruit graduates who are representative of the communities they will serve, which is why equality, diversity and inclusion are important to us.

Potential candidates in logo

Local government represents diverse communities across the country and our goal is to recruit graduates to Pathways to Planning who are representative of the communities they will serve. Regardless of background, anyone with a passion to make a difference in their communities as a planner can apply. We are particularly keen to encourage those who identify as Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic to apply, alongside women, as typically underrepresented groups within planning.

What have we done about it?

The Pathways to Planning team believes that the best way to recruit a diverse group of graduates is to involve a diverse range of professionals within the design of its recruitment and assessment process.

We strongly encourage applicants who require reasonable adjustments to please complete the relevant section of their application form. A member of our support team will then get in touch to discuss how we can support you in the application process. Some stages of the process are difficult to amend retrospectively, so we strongly encourage candidates to get in touch before starting an assessment if we can make any adjustments to the assessment process. Information about candidates is held confidentially and will not impact their application in any way outside of our team making reasonable adjustments.

To learn more about how we have been working to build a fair assessment process, please find information below about each stage of the process.


To embed diversity in the heart of Pathways to Planning, we’ve designed the core assessment criteria – our competencies – in collaboration with the Young Planners Network and the BAME Planners Network, with a good gender balance between representatives. These competencies can be found on our website, with written descriptions for each heading. They are the only assessment tool that we will use in our recruitment process: we will not be using candidates’ work experience, university of study, degree subject, or any other measure to influence the application process.

Situational judgement test

The Young Planners Network, the BAME Planners Network and graduate trainees from the National Graduate Development Programme for local government (NGDP) have contributed to the formation of our situational judgement questionnaire by contributing examples of their lived experience on the job to form the backbone of the test. These scenarios were mapped on to our competency framework by an occupational psychologist and then tested with a varied group of graduate volunteers to assess the viability and fairness of each question. We will closely analyse the outcomes of the situational judgement test using anonymised equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) data to check for any adverse impact within the assessment.

The situational judgement test is not timed, but if any candidates require the test in a different format or have an accessibility concern about this assessment, our team are available to offer advise and any required alternatives. Email [email protected].

Video interview

Our video interview questions have been drafted against our competencies and tested with a diverse group of graduates to ensure they are fair and clear. The interviews will be assessed using a framework which has been designed by an occupational psychologist to ensure questions are marked in a fair and equal way regardless of a candidate's background. Video interviews will be marked by professional assessors as audio files only, to help remove unconscious bias from the process. Before setting the pass/fail score for this assessment, our team will closely analyse anonymised EDI data to check for any adverse impact.

The video interview is a timed assessment, so we strongly encourage candidates with reasonable adjustments to get in touch with us at the earliest possible opportunity to ensure they are given extra time to complete this assessment. We provide extra time to read the questions, extra time to respond to the questions, and an additional opportunity to re-record your answer for all candidates who require reasonable adjustments. You can declare reasonable adjustments on your application form or email [email protected] at any point prior to the deadline for your interview. Please get in touch before you start the assessment as we may not be able to provide additional time in retrospect.

If you have concerns about the accessibility of the video interview, please contact [email protected] and we will arrange an alternative mode of delivery for this assessment based on your requirements.

Assessment centre

Our assessment centre materials are currently out to tender for professional organisations. Bidders will have to demonstrate a plan for how they will avoid adverse impact on any protected characteristics in order to win the contract for this work. We are committed to involving a diverse range of representatives in the testing phase of the assessment centre material development. Further information on the development of these resources and how they will be used will be updated in due course.