University is first in Scotland to be awarded gold in MOD Defence Employer Recognition Scheme

Date posted

22 August 2019


Edinburgh Napier has become the first university in Scotland to receive a gold award from the Ministry of Defence that recognises its commitment to the armed forces community.Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award logo

The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme showcases employers who have signed the Armed Forces Covenant and are actively supporting the armed forces community, including ex-service personnel and their families.

The award acknowledges the work done by the University to offer increased educational opportunities for ex-service personnel, recognising that the skills and experience gained through a military career can bring great benefits to employers. The University is particularly keen to help those from the lower ranks for whom there are often limited opportunities after time in service.

Edinburgh Napier also works with local schools, including Colinton and Sighthill Primaries, to highlight to the children of military families that they can aspire to a University education. Through taster days, primary 6 and 7 children attend the University where sessions are run by both Edinburgh Napier staff and the SRU, with Academy players reinforcing the importance of health and fitness as well as discipline and career aspirations.

Within the University, there is a network of veterans’ champions, making it easy for the armed forces to engage with the institution. Policies have also been updated which mean that army reservists working at the University can now take up to 10 days paid leave a year for armed forces activity.

Researchers at the University have also been pivotal in identifying a new condition called Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) that particularly affects military personnel. Through a series of events featuring the likes of Jason “Foxy” Fox and JJ Chalmers and working with organisations such as Rock2Recovery, the University has sought to raise awareness of the condition and demonstrate that new interventions may be necessary to treat it going forward.

Edinburgh Napier and the Armed Forces

Professor Andrea Nolan, Principal and Vice Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University, said: “When we signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2016, we did so with real intent. I’m now delighted that we have become the first university in Scotland to receive this gold award as recognition of the work we do with our armed forces and their families. From our ground-breaking research into Complex PTSD to our educational support for all ranks of ex-service personnel, we proudly support those who serve and will continue to do so.”

The University is one of just 100 employers across the UK to receive the Gold award today.

Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace said: “These awards recognise the outstanding support for our armed forces from employers across Britain and I would like to thank and congratulate each and every one.

“Regardless of size, location or sector, employing ex-forces personnel is good for business and this year we have doubled the number of awards in recognition of the fantastic support they give.”

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer said: “Veterans make a huge contribution to businesses across the country and it’s fantastic to see a record breaking number of organisations recognised for their support.

“We’re working closely with businesses to help them further understand the huge value that veterans, reservists and military spouses can bring to their organisation.”

PTSD and the military family