As an individual improves in each competency, they progress along a development path: becoming both more practiced and proficient, and also capable of dealing with more complex situations where inclusion comes into play. Each person’s progression path will be different, depending on their situation and the learning opportunities they use.

If you do not have a framework for measuring progress in place at your workplace, you might find this template helpful:

Developmental Stage 1. Ready 2. Understand 3. Respond 4. Perform 5. Coach & Support 6. Lead & Transform
Skill Level



knowledge alone apply      conceptually, perform tentatively perform confidently help others create initiatives, change systems

Stage 1 Ready: the learner is aware of where they are not yet competent.

Stage 2 Understand: the learner has learned the theory (perhaps by personal reading, or after conversation with a mentor, or by attending a formal course), but has not yet had the chance to put it into practice. Their competence is primarily conceptual, they are far from fully competent.

Stage 3 Respond: the learner takes the first tentative steps to apply the theory to their real-life situation. In many cases this will be at a largely conceptual level (for example identifying issues or adjusting one’s communications) and making the first careful and hesitant attempts to put the learning into practice when interacting with real people.

Stage 4 Perform: the learner now performs routinely, putting into practice what has been learned and acting with confidence.

Stage 5 Coach & Support: the individual shares their experience of D&I skills by helping others to gain them, perhaps by acting as a mentor. Not all people in the colleague role will reach this stage, although many supervisors and managers may do so. At this stage the competencies in the second sphere (“within my team”) will be developed more fully than at the earlier stages.

Stage 6 Lead & Transform: only the two roles of HR/D&I Professional and Champion are likely to reach this stage (and possibly some managers): creating D&I initiatives and changing the systems and culture to promote D&I. At this stage the competencies in the third sphere (“within my organization, workplace and community”) will be developed more fully than at the earlier stages.