National policies and certification good practices: the CASPER State of the Art analysis is out!

The CASPER team proudly presents the “State of the Art Analysis: mapping the awarding certification landscape in Higher Education and Research” (D3.3). This report is the outcome of the research effort of a network of more than 30 international researchers. Such effort was coordinated, curated, and developed by the team with the contribution of and . The research spanned across 33 countries (the 27 EU countries plus Australia, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America) to uncover good practices in certification and awarding schemes for gender equality, especially in the context of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Research organisations. Moreover, the research focused on obtaining an overview of the main policies and measures adopted at the national level to integrate gender equality in Research and Higher Education.

The result is a reference-rich analysis of the landscape in which a potential European-level certification or award scheme (CAS) for gender equality in Research could develop. With 114 CAS for gender equality and diversity which target research organisations, private businesses and public administrations examined in detail, the report provides an easily navigable collection of interesting practices, divided by country of origin, with a special focus on cross-national schemes.

The report shows that the European one is a favourable environment for the development of a CAS, with an overall positive trend in the adoption of CAS for HEIs and Research in the last years. Nonetheless, it also presents an uneven landscape, where countries have different levels of implementation of gender equality policies in research and Higher Education together with different priorities on the matter. While an overall analysis is provided in the first part of the report, the various levels of integration of gender equality in the countries’ national policies and mechanisms are described in detail in the report’s Country Sheets. The sheets analyse the national contexts providing insight on the main policies, structures, and practices which regulate the integration of gender equality in their research and Higher Education frameworks.

The report’s overall analysis gives a general perspective on the existing certifications and awards practices. Among its findings, there is the tendency of CAS focusing on HE and Research to use self-assessment as the entry point in the application process, often with internal gender analysis as a first step. Such an approach seems to be encouraged to promote internal change, as this analysis often works as a base for progressive improvement, which is often assessed by external experts or peers. Regarding assessment criteria for awarding CAS, the presence of adequate training, recruitment, anti-harassment, and work-life balance policies are the most common examples. An intersectional approach to gender equality, which is also promoted by the latest European policies’ developments, is present only in a (however relevant) minority of CAS.

In conclusion, the State of the Art report is a rich and comprehensive document that informs the CASPER scenarios with current framework knowledge and good practices to take inspiration from; it is also an stimulating read for researchers interested in national policies regarding gender equality in Research and Higher Education; and finally, it is an up-to-date, informative collection of available CAS on gender equality, diversity, and inclusion.

You can freely read and download the State of the Art Report at:

Nason, Giulia, and Maria Sangiuliano. 2020. “State of the Art Analysis: Mapping the Awarding Certification Landscape in Higher Education and Research,” June.



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