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The Premier League Equality Standard

The Premier League Equality Standard (PLES) was launched in 2015 and provides a framework to help Clubs progress equality and diversity across all areas of their business including the work of their Community Trust (or equivalent).

A senior member of staff in each Club assumes the role of designated Equality Lead Officer and is responsible, with executive support and the Club’s Equality Working Group, for driving work on equality and diversity forward.

All Premier League Clubs, and some EFL Clubs, are currently working towards achieving a level of the Standard, which range from Preliminary, through Intermediate to Advanced. 

Throughout the PLES process Clubs submit extensive evidence to show that they are meeting a range of equality-related requirements. These requirements become progressively more challenging as Clubs move between the levels of achievement.

The independent evaluation, assessment and verification process:

- A rigorous independent evaluation and assessment of a Club’s evidence is undertaken which also includes mandatory Club visits. The independent Assessor meets with a range of Club personnel including equality leads, board members, and others involved with the club such as supporter groups

- An independent PLES Panel, made up of Panel Members appointed for their expertise and experience in equality and diversity across a range of industries, represents the final stage of the assessment process

- At Panel Member assessment meetings senior club representatives present the work they have undertaken to progress equality and diversity and participate in a 60-minute question-and-answer session with the Panel

- The independent Panel then determines whether the requirements of the Standard have been met and whether a Club should be awarded a level of the Standard.

The Equality Standard encompasses two broad areas:

- A Club’s culture, policies, leadership and people

- Developing Club services – the work Clubs do to encourage people from all communities to participate in all their activities.

PLES encompasses all areas of inequality and discrimination which are linked to the nine protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010: 

- Age
- Sex
- Disability
- Sexual orientation
- Ethnic group
- Religion and belief
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity

Click the link below to download a PDF version of the Premier League Equality Standard Overview.

Premier League Equality Standard Overview
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See: Full Premier League Equality Standard Overview (Download PDF,