Standard & Accreditation

Setting the National Standard for cultural diversity and inclusion policy and practice in Local Government.


Welcoming Cities Standard Draft 2.8 Currently open for public consultation

Welcoming Cities Standard Version 2.8

Supporting local councils to develop and benchmark leading policy and practice.

The Welcoming Cities Standard (The Standard) is a central element of the Welcoming Cities network. The Standard establishes the framework for local councils to:

  • benchmark their cultural diversity and inclusion policies and practices across the organisation;
  • identify where and how further efforts could be directed; and,
  • assess progress over time.

The Standard applies to all local councils in Australia. This includes cities, shires, towns, or municipalities. Councils can access and progress through the Standard according to their capacity and resources. We describe these levels (from lowest to highest) as Established, Advanced, Excelling, and Mentoring.

The extent to which local councils measure their activity against the Standard will be based on their understanding of their community’s needs. It is noted that local councils are already addressing elements of the Standard. The Standard validates existing efforts and recognises the connections to fostering cultural diversity and inclusion.


Accreditation with Welcoming Cities benchmarks councils across the six categories of the Standard. Councils provide evidence of active policies and programs. Accreditation through Welcoming Cities has a range of benefits, including:

  • Increasing the impact of council initiatives for the whole community
  • Providing a mechanism to plan for improvement and change
  • A positive and welcoming reputation; and,
  • Opportunities for shared learning

Accreditation is an optional undertaking for members of the Welcoming Cities network who want to better understand where their council is positioned in regard to social cohesion and economic participation across the community.

In order to ensure the programs and policies demonstrated in the assessment stay current, accreditation must be renewed every three years.


To cater for the diversity of Local Councils, and their communities, The Welcoming Cities Standard has a range of assessment and accreditation levels. 

Guide to Successful Accreditation

Assessment is completed through the purpose built Accreditation Portal.

View Demonstration

Standard Setting Process

The Welcoming Cities Standard (Public Draft v1.0) was open for consultation and feedback until 30 June 2017.

The development of The Standard included:

  • the establishment of an Advisory Committee
  • consideration of existing Standards
  • direct consultation with local councils and local government associations
  • consultation with various peak bodies representative of the migration, settlement, cultural diversity and inclusion sectors

Revision of the Public Draft (v1.77) was distributed to a number of member councils for piloting and further feedback.


Approximately 150 submissions were received in response to various drafts of The Australian Standard for Welcoming Cities. All feedback has been considered and much of it applied in the development of version 2.0. To view and download the Feedback click the Download Feedback Tracker button.
(please note: sources have been de-identified)

All ongoing feedback can be emailed directly to


The following documents and research have informed the development of The Welcoming Cities Standard.

Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government 2015, Building Social Cohesion in our Communities.
Australian Government Department of Social Services 2016, National Settlement Framework.
Centre for Multicultural Youth 2007, Inclusive Local Government.
Cities of Migration 2017, Building Inclusive Cities.
Cultural Development Network 2016, Framework for Cultural Development Planning.
EUROCITIES 2014, Integrating Cities Toolkits.
Intercultural Cities Australasia 2017, Australian Intercultural Standards and Index.
Migration Council Australia 2015, The Economic Impact of Migration.
Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (Australia) 2016, National Youth Settlement Framework.
Myriad Consultants 2014, The Role Of Local Government In Settlement And Multiculturalism.
Regional Australia Institute 2016, The Missing Migrants.
Scanlon Foundation 2016, Australians Today.
Victorian Government 2015, Strategic Framework to Strengthen Victoria’s Social Cohesion and the Resilience of its Communities.
Welcoming America 2017, The Welcoming Standard and Certified Welcoming.


Below are some frequently asked questions (and answers) relating to The Welcoming Cities Standard and the broader Welcoming Cities network. These will update and be added to over time. Please contact us if you have any further questions.