Bank of Ireland becomes first Irish business to gain ‘Disability Smart Standard’ accreditation

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Disability Smart Standard benchmarks and recognises disability-inclusive organisations, with accreditation issued to Bank of Ireland (BoI) following audit by Business Disability Forum (BDF)


17 February 2021 –
Bank of Ireland is proud to have become the first Irish company to achieve the prestigious ‘Disability Smart Standard’, a workplace accreditation recognising the Bank’s commitment to disability inclusion.

The Disability Smart Standard is an audit developed by the Business Disability Forum to help organisations measure and improve on performance for disabled customers, clients or service users, and employees.

Bank of Ireland achieved ‘Bronze’ status in its first-ever evaluation under the Disability Smart Audit framework, which assesses organisations across ten key business areas ranging from their commitment to disability inclusion, their recruitment process, access to products and services, and how they make adjustments to remove or reduce barriers for employees in the workplace.

Bank of Ireland scored an average of 75% across all ten business areas assessed as part of the Disability Standard audit and scored highly in the areas of Commitment, Adjustments, Recruitment and Premises.

The audit commended Bank of Ireland for its engagement with the NCBI, who the Bank worked closely with on user testing for its new mobile banking app. These tests helped Bank of Ireland to ensure its app is easily accessible for customers with vision impairments.

The report also praised the Bank’s Reasonable Adjustments Guide and Passport for being clear and easy to follow. The Guide outlines the process individuals and managers follow to make workplace adjustments required by people with hidden or visible disabilities. The Passport ensures a record is maintained, meaning when the individual changes jobs, relocates or is assigned a new manager within the organisation, their required adjustments are clearly understood and can be facilitated without further review.

Jackie Noakes, Chief Operating Officer, Bank of Ireland, said: “Making the Bank as accessible as possible for customers and colleagues with disabilities is a key priority for us at Bank of Ireland, and we are committed to developing an accessible environment. Our internal Accessibility Network has brought individuals and teams together from right across the Bank to drive change. Becoming the first Irish company to achieve the Disability Standard is a deserved recognition of their combined efforts to make us a more disability friendly organisation. Just as importantly, however, this audit has given us a clear and useful roadmap for the areas where we can improve over the next couple of years and we now shift our focus to improving those areas.”

Diane Lightfoot, CEO, Business Disability Forum said: “It was great to work with Bank of Ireland on their Disability Smart Audit and I would like to congratulate them on becoming the first Irish company to achieve the Disability Smart Standard accreditation. Bank of Ireland is a great example of an organisation which has taken really concrete and practical steps to move along the journey to creating a good workplace adjustments process for their employees and improving accessibility of their products to meet the diverse needs of their customers.

June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy, NCBI said: “We were delighted to work with Bank of Ireland to make its mobile app accessible to people who are blind and vision impaired. We have also regularly liaised with Bank of Ireland on several accessibility issues for individual customers and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with Bank of Ireland so that we can remove barriers for customers with vision impairments.”

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