How to sign up to the Disability Confident employer scheme

Guidance about signing up for the Disability Confident scheme, and how it can help your business.

The Disability Confident scheme supports employers to make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to your workplace.

Disability Confident employers of all sizes are:

  • challenging attitudes towards disability
  • increasing understanding of disability
  • removing barriers to disabled people and those with long-term health conditions
  • ensuring that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations

This guide is also available in easy read format.

Why you should become Disability Confident

Being Disability Confident could help you discover someone your business just can’t do without.

Whether an employee has become disabled during their working life, or you’re looking for new recruits, being Disability Confident can help your people fulfil their potential and contribute fully to your team’s success.

By being Disability Confident, you’ll also be seen as leading the way in your business sector and beyond, helping to positively change attitudes, behaviours and cultures.

Disability Confident helps businesses:

  • draw from the widest possible pool of talent
  • secure and retain high quality staff who are skilled, loyal and hard working
  • save time and money on the costs of recruitment and training by reducing staff turnover
  • keep valuable skills and experience
  • reduce the levels and costs of sickness absences
  • improve employee morale and commitment by demonstrating that they treat all employees fairly

How to become Disability Confident

The scheme has 3 levels designed to support you at every step on your Disability Confident journey. You must complete each level before moving on to the next.

Our guidance explains which commitments you must agree to and which actions you need to take at each level.

Level 1: Disability Confident Committed

To be recognised as Disability Confident Committed, you must agree to the Disability Confident commitments and identify at least one action that you’ll carry out to make a difference for disabled people.

The commitments are:

  • inclusive and accessible recruitment
  • communicating vacancies
  • offering an interview to disabled people
  • providing reasonable adjustments
  • supporting existing employees

The activities include (you must identify at least one):

  • work experience
  • work trials
  • paid employment
  • apprenticeships
  • job shadowing
  • traineeships
  • internships
  • student placements
  • sector-based work academy placements

Your business may be doing these things already. If so, the scheme is a great way of letting everyone know that you’re serious about equal opportunities for disabled people.

Once you’ve signed up as Disability Confident Committed you’ll receive:

  • confirmation of your membership and a Disability Confident certificate in recognition of your achievement
  • a Disability Confident Committed (level 1) badge that you can use on your business stationery, social media and communications for 3 years
  • information to help you continue your journey to becoming a Disability Confident Employer

Level 2: Disability Confident Employer

Once you’ve signed up for level 1 you can progress to level 2, a Disability Confident Employer, by self-assessing your organisation around 2 themes:

  • getting the right people for your business
  • keeping and developing your people

Disability Confident Employers are recognised as going the extra mile to make sure disabled people get a fair chance.

Having confirmed you’ve completed your online self-assessment, you’ll be registered as a Disability Confident Employer for 3 years. You’ll receive:

  • confirmation of the completion of your self-assessment to become a Disability Confident Employer
  • a certificate in recognition of your achievement
  • a Disability Confident Employer (level 2) badge that you can use on your business stationery, social media and communications for 3 years
  • information on how to become a Disability Confident Leader

Level 3: Disability Confident Leader

By becoming a Disability Confident Leader, you’ll be acting as a champion within your local and business communities.

To reach this level you’ll need to:

  • have your self-assessment validated by someone outside of your business (not including DWP employees in jobcentres)
  • provide a short narrative to show what you have done or will be doing to support your status as a Disability Confident Leader
  • confirm you are employing disabled people
  • report on disability, mental health and wellbeing, by referring to the Voluntary Reporting Framework

Once you’re recognised as a Disability Confident Leader, you’ll be sent:

  • confirmation of the completion and validation of your self-assessment to become a Disability Confident Leader
  • a certificate in recognition of your achievement
  • a Disability Confident Leader (level 3) badge that you can use on your business stationery, social media and communications for 3 years

Advice on employing disabled people

Read our guidance on employing disabled people and people with health conditions.

Discover the help and support for young disabled people to find and stay in work.

Read help and advice from ACAS for employers and employees on disability discrimination.

Get advice on creating inclusive communications.

Published 14 July 2016
Last updated 25 November 2019 + show all updates
  1. Replaced the bullet points in section 'Level 3: Disability Confident Leader' to reflect the updated level 3 requirements.

  2. Added information about workplace adjustments events in March 2018 to the 'Disability Confident activities' section.

  3. Added a new section about Disability Confident activities.

  4. Added Welsh versions of the Disability Confident employer packs for levels 1, 2 and 3.

  5. Added links to level 2 and 3 sign up forms. Updated the PDF employer packs. Added links to lists of service providers and businesses that have signed up.

  6. Published updated versions of the level 1, level 2 and level 3 employer packs.

  7. First published.