“It’s not enough to have our own guidelines for inclusiveness. Our suppliers need to as well.” said Nigel Davis, Head of Inclusion, Sustainability & Engagement at Medibank.
Access and inclusion have been an integral part of Medibank’s culture since it was privatised in 2014.
“As an organisation, we are values lead and purpose driven,” explained Nigel Davis. “We are often interacting with our customers at a time of high need. Having an inclusive and accessible culture ensures we can better understand our customers to provide the products and services they want.”
Medibank has participated in the Access and Inclusion Index every year since 2016 and, according to Nigel Davis, the Index helps Medibank understand:
- What inclusion should look like;
- Where they are now; and
- Which areas within the organisation need improvement.
“We use it as a roadmap to follow. We know we rank highly but there is always more we could be doing. Our participation in the Benchmark Report keeps us accountable. It’s how we can keep moving forward.” said Nigel.
For Medibank, inclusiveness means encouraging people to ‘come as you are’ so the organisation can challenge its thinking and improve the way it delivers its products and services.
“In fact, I believe our culture of inclusiveness empowers the organisation to leverage from our differences for the benefit of our customers”, said Nigel.
In the 2019 Access and Inclusion Index, Medibank ranked highly for its commitment to expanding its focus on access and inclusion to include its Suppliers and Partners.
The organisation has a Supplier Code of Conduct as well as a formal, written Procurement Policy. Both documents work together so Medibank can actively explore opportunities to engage organisations who share their values on accessibility and inclusion for people with disability, gender equality, cultural diversity and LGBTI inclusion.
In 2019, Medibank introduced a formal process for all Tier One suppliers so it could better understand their suppliers’ approach to accessibility and inclusion and ensure Medibank partners with organisations that share their core values.
Medibank has now included an access and inclusion criteria on their procurement checklist to aid the supplier selection process. In particular, the checklist applies to suppliers across Information and Communication Technology and marketing. All suppliers in these categories must meet WCAG 2.1 AA guidelines.
Importantly, new products won’t be launched until they meet these criteria. In addition, there are plans in place to either modify or replace current systems that have accessibility issues.
The Medibank Live Better app demonstrates how placing accessibility at the forefront of product development works to benefit everyone.
Image: Medibank’s Live Better app
The Live Better app is a loyalty program where customers can track their physical fitness, mental health, diet and exercise habits. They can then redeem points or receive discounts for living a healthier life and developing better health habits.
“From the beginning, we wanted to make this app accessible to everyone. So the project specifications included accessibility provisions”, Nigel said.
To achieve this goal, at every stage of the app’s development, the external developers worked with specialist accessibility evaluation providers and Medibank personnel with lived experience.
“Being an organisation that values inclusiveness means we are constantly challenging our thinking to improve the way we deliver services. It’s not enough to rank highly. We need to be constantly improving.”