Civil Service Race Forum

Civil Service Race Forum logo

The Civil Service Race Forum (CS Race Forum) is a collaborative group of staff networks working towards advancing diversity and equality for Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) minorities in the Civil Service and its agencies.

The CS Race Forum is open to all Civil Service diversity staff networks, as well as other staff networks from the public, private and third sectors that lead on race issues.

Our aims are to:

  • identify race equality issues that affect civil servants and promote the resolution of these issues
  • work collaboratively to test concepts, evidence and approaches that advance racial diversity and equality
  • be a source of information and expertise about leading diversity practices, materials, products and tools
  • liaise with stakeholders across sectors with a view to sharing resources and/or ideas regarding issues of race equality
  • develop and support capability across Whitehall departments' and agencies' Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff networks and their champions and sponsors
  • provide support for each other's wellbeing in the workplace
  • support the delivery of Civil Service Reform, capabilities and other Civil Service-wide plans
  • act in an advisory role to the leadership of the Civil Service on issues and policies addressing racial diversity and equality

The five principles of Civil Service Race Forum

  1. We will be honest with ourselves, with our sponsors and champions and with our stakeholders.
  2. We will do things once, so our efforts can be shared widely for local adaption and adoption.
  3. We will take an evidence-based approach and promote leading practice wherever it is found.
  4. We will act and speak with one voice.
  5. We will uphold the Civil Service standards.


The CS Race Forum is made up of an Executive and Secretariat team.

All joining networks will automatically be offered a place on the Executive as either a full member (for staff networks of central government departments, agencies or non-departmental public bodies with civil servants), or as an associate member (for all other public, private and third sector organisations). It is the expectation that the place on the Executive will be taken up by the Network Chair or their nominated representative. Both full member networks and associate members will share equal status and voting rights.

Following the outcome of the CS Race Forum 2016-17 elections on 23 September, Rob Neil (Ministry of Justice) was duly elected as the new Chair, and Harsha Savani (Department for Work and Pensions) as the new Deputy Chair, both to serve for a one-year term of office. A new Executive team will be selected and in place by 31 October.

Quarterly Full Members' Meetings

CS Race Forum hold quarterly meetings open to all Steering Group and Executive members of staff networks, as well as Race Champions and/or Diversity Champions.

These meetings are an opportunity to share best practice, meet other members of the forum and hear from guest speakers.

Priority Areas for September 2015 - September 2016

Current priority areas (below) are under review.

Behaviour & Culture – Lead Network: MOD

  • Support the Civil Service to identify new and developing evidence which strengthens the case for diversity.
  • Supporting Civil Service leaders to articulate the business case for diversity.
  • Deliver the diversity awareness programme, ‘Building Bridges’ including event to mark Black History Month.

Talent – Lead Network: BAME Faststream

  • Supporting Departmental initiatives aimed at improving declaration rates.
  • Help to inform/shape, promote/market Civil Service and Departmental positive action and personal development programmes.
  • Supporting outreach initiatives aimed at promoting the Civil Service as a career choice.

Leadership – Lead Network: DECC

  • Engaging with the Head of the Civil Service, Civil Service Diversity Champion, Civil Service Race Champion and other senior leaders to offer challenge and ensure racial equality remains on the agenda.
  • Using the forum to identify hotspots/issues & bringing them to the attention of Civil Service leaders.
  • Supporting Diversity Champions to remain visible and active about racial equality.
  • Deliver the ‘Diverse Leaders’ Programme.
  • Deliver in partnership with DfT & KPMG an inclusive leadership conference on 4 December 2015  
  • Deliver in partnership with DfT & KPMG a diversity debate on 4 December 2015
  • Support the projects being taken forward by the CS Race Champions Forum

Capability – Lead Network: DH

  • Building network capability through the sharing of best networks practice.
  • Promoting the work of networks and champions through collaboration and external recognition.
    • Entering networks/Champions/Civil Service for diversity awards.
  • To build an e-resource library/e-forum to share best practice and information amongst Race Champions and race staff networks.
  • Encourage take up of diversity and inclusion learning.
  • Deliver the Civil Service Race Forum Away Day on 25 September 2015
  • Establish by June 2016 a series of quarterly meetings to enable capacity building within departmental networks through the sharing of knowledge and best practice.
(Insolvency Agency/DECC)
  • Establish a secretariat team to support the work of the Civil Service Race Forum.  
  • Supporting the collaboration and networking of BAME SCS across the Civil Service.

Civil Service Race Forum Summer 2016 newsletter

Read the Summer 2016 newsletter here.

Forthcoming Events

CS Race Forum Executive Committee Meeting: 23 February 2017. For further information, please contact Rob Neil:

United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Race Discrimination Day: CS Race Forum Conference : 21 March 2017 @10am at Westminster Central Hall. For further information email

CS Race Forum Full Members’ Meeting: 26 April 2017, 3pm at HMRC. For further information, please contact Maureen Martin: Maureen.Martin@HMRC.GSI.GOV.UK.

Contact for general enquiries