Welcoming Cities Standard launched for public consultation

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After an extensive revision process the Welcoming Cities Standard 2.8 is open for public consultation until 30 June. Feedback can be sent to Standard@welcomingcities.org.au.

Revision Process

In line with leading practice in standard setting, we made a commitment when creating the 2018 version of the Welcoming Cities Standard to review and update it every 3 to 5 years. This process ensures that the Standard remains relevant and keeps pace with changing community expectations.

Over the past six months Welcoming Cities has been progressing the review and update of the Standard. The review has been conducted both internally and with the support of a Technical Committee.

The Technical Committee has met on three (3) occasions and is comprised of a diverse cohort of regional and metropolitan member councils, international partners, and the Queensland State Government.

Welcoming Cities has also sought specific feedback from a range of other council staff and organisations. The review has also encompassed four (4) redrafts of the Standard, review by a First Nations consultant, Nicole Gollan, and review by a professional editor.

This has culminated in the Welcoming Cities Standard 2.8.

Welcoming Cities Standard 2.8

The proposed version 2.8 of the Standard retains much of the current Standard (2.0), along with some key changes. These changes include:

  • Updated language for clarity and consistency
  • Increasing the number of indicators from 60 to 74
  • An updated accreditation process and scoring rubric
Standard (version 2.0)Standard (version 2.8)
CategoryNo. of indicatorsCategoryNo. of indicators
Total60 Total74

Change to the accreditation process

There are three proposed changes to the accreditation process:

  1. Change to the required indicators at each accreditation level
  2. Addition of introductory questions
  3. Change to required evidence (scoring rubric)

Change to required indicators at each accreditation level

The current accreditation process is delineated by categories of the Standard (see table below). It is proposed that the revised accreditation process covers each category of the Standard, with council needing to complete identified indicators from each category.

LevelVersion 2.0Version 2.8
EstablishedLeadership Category (12 indicators)Required indicators (22)
AdvancedLeadership, Social and Cultural Inclusion and Economic Development (41 indicators)Required indicators + additional indicators to a total of 60% of all indicators (44)
ExcellingAll categories (60 indicators)Required indicators + all indicators to a total of 95% of indicators (70)

This will be a significant increase in the number of required indicators at the Established level of accreditation. This increase in the level of difficulty and work is seen as acceptable by the Welcoming Cities team, and will be considered on as part of the public consultation process. Other levels of accreditation remain comparable to the previous number of indicators answered.

Addition of introductory questions

At the beginning of their application, Councils will be asked to answer some broad questions and complete a SWOR analysis. This will provide the reviewers (assessors) with an overview of the council area and their current strengths and weaknesses (from a council perspective).

The purpose is to address a challenge in the existing accreditation process that the application went straight into answering specific details without a broad overview of council’s current actions, challenges and strategic intent.

Questions to be answered:

  • Executive summary of community (demographics, location economics) and welcoming and inclusion work
  • What are the needs and drivers of the community – high growth / low or negative growth, economic and social needs.
  • Current state of social cohesion?
  • Brief SWOR (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Risks) analysis

Change of evidence in applications

It is proposed that the evidence required under the new accreditation process be simplified from three types (policy, internal, external) to two (policy, evidence).

Originally, three evidence types were required to triangulate information: this has proven complex and confusing, with minimal benefit. The revised requirement would be simpler, with councils able to provide more than one piece of evidence. 

Version 2.0Version 2.8
Internal EvidenceEvidence (can include more than one type/piece)
External Evidence 

Next Steps

  • 10 May, Welcoming Cities Standard 2.8 released for public consultation at the Welcoming Australia Symposium.
  • 30 June, Public consultation closes
  • July/August, Draft 2.9 finalised, including feedback from public consultation. Welcoming Cities Advisory Committee to approve draft 2.9.
  • August – December, Welcoming Cities Standard 2.9 is tested by a council.
  • End of 2023, Launch of Welcoming Cities Standard 3.0

Feedback can be sent to Standard@welcomingcities.org.au

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