Equality Impact Assessment is a systematic analysis of a policy, strategy, service, system, project, plan, event, or any activity that involves people. It is used to help organisations ensure that their decisions, policies, procedures, practices and activities (strategic and operational) do what they are intended to do, are fair and inclusive to everyone (e.g. do not present barriers to participation, or disadvantage anyone).
Wherever possible EIAs proactively advance equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).
Equality Impact Assessment is an evidence-based process that the University uses to consider the impacts (likely or actual, and both positive and negative) of key decisions about our University and its activitieis that affect our people – our students, our colleagues and our service users.
Equality Impact Assessment also provides the opportunity for us to consider other (unprotected) factors relevant to inclusion, such as caring/parental responsibilities and socio-economic background.
Why is an EIA important?
When we design, plan or implement something new, or make changes to how we do things or what we provide, it is easy to assume that these are fair and apply equally to everyone.
It is also all too easy to make decisions or create policies / processes / activities that have unintended consequences, differential impact, or are not inclusive of everyone. We may find that a particular group is impacted more than others, may be put at a disadvantage, or may not be able to access or benefit equally from it.
By embedding EIA in our planning and decision-making, we can ensure that the key decisions we make do not unintentionally exclude or disadvantage anyone
An EIA helps to understand the potential effects of policy / process / activity by assessing the impacts on different external and internal groups. It identifies any adverse impacts and actions to remove or mitigate them, and helps ensure that decisions are transparent and based on evidence with clear reasoning.
EIAs help to proactively meet our legal obligation under the Equality Act’s Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), ensuring that all current and proposed strategies, policies, procedures, practices, services, events and functions give proper consideration and due regard to the needs of diverse groups, to:
advance equality of opportunity and access, and
foster good relations between different groups
EIAs ensure fairness is an integral consideration – an essential component of a more socially-just society.
EIAs ensure our decision-making aligns with our vision to be an inclusive global university and upholds our values, as well as protecting our reputation as an employer and education provider.
The EIA process enables documented equality deliberations and conclusions and shows transparency and accountability to our wider community.
The benefits of doing EIAs
Ensure that any decisions made, or policies developed, are transparent, fair and do not negatively affect protected (or other) groups
Decisions are evidence-based through a clear and structured way of collecting and assessing information
Any adverse impact can be identified early, and mitigating actions implemented
EIAs increase understanding of equality, diversity and inclusion
Create a more positive working environment and improve organisational ethics and values
Provide a platform for partnership working and engagement