Understanding Aspects of Identity in the CAS Standards

Within the CAS General Standards, functional areas must not discriminate on the basis of race; color; national origin; sex; disability; age; cultural identity; ethnicity; nationality; citizenship; language; family educational history (e.g. first generation to attend college); political affiliation; religious affiliation; sexual orientation; gender identity and expression; marital, family, social, economic, place of residence or veteran status; or any other basis included in codes, laws and institutional policies.

In addition to what is listed in the General Standards, we encourage functional areas to consider other aspects of individuals’ identity and how those identities are affected by the organization.  While there may never be a fully comprehensive list of identities, we encourage functional areas to engage in a discussion on what is taking place with their communities and their respective needs.

Potential identity considerations (in addition to those listed in the general standard) may include:

  • caste
  • neurodivergence
  • genetic information
  • status as a survivor/victim or family member of a survivor/victim of violence
  • pregnancy or family status
  • family/caregiver responsibilities
  • criminal background
  • personal appearance
  • place of residence or business
  • source of income or credit information
  • reproductive health decisions

The spirit of the standard is to ensure that functional areas do not discriminate based on someone’s identity or hinder the ability of an individual to be their authentic self, in helping to foster an environment free from discrimination.