Part 4: Who should do an EIA?

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Anyone can complete an EIA, both as a formal decision-making process, and also as an informal process to support the development of ideas.

For formal processes, the owner of the policy / activity / change should be the one to lead the EIA, as they have overall responsibility for ensuring EDI is embedded into their area of responsibility. They also retain ownership of the EIA.

In practice, a small team may contribute to the EIA, but this is not obligatory.

The EDI team is available to provide advice when needed, but cannot undertake the EIA for you (unless it is about a policy/project owned by the EDI team) as they do not have the required knowledge of the policy/proposal in question.

How thorough does the Equality Impact Analysis need to be?

The level of depth and detail of the EIA, and the time and efforts put into it, should be guided by:

  • Relevance – EDI is relevant to all that we do. Policies, plans, changes and decisions etc. that are of higher relevance to EDI for our students, colleagues and services users, however, will need a more thorough EIA. Those of lower relevance to EDI can have a lighter-touch approach. 
  • Proportionality – When the relevance to EDI, scale or seriousness of potential impacts, or the amount of change being proposed are greater, it is proportionate to take a more in-depth approach.

The following considerations will help to determine if a more thorough approach is needed:

  • Scale of change – for a brand new approach or lots of changes to a previous approach, more work will be required than for minor changes to an existing approach (when an EIA has already been undertaken in the past).
  • Scale of impact – how many people will be affected within the University or College/School/Department or Unit, or the likelihood that it will affect a high proportion of particular protected groups (e.g. a change that will affect everyone or a large number of people, or a change that will effect a large number – compared to overall numbers among students/colleagues – of one group such as disabled people or those with a particular faith).
  • Seriousness of potential consequences for individuals – even when only a small number of people will likely be affected, if the potential consequences are serious for them, a more in-depth approach is appropriate e.g. consequences of disciplinary policies and restructures involving redundancies can be significant for individuals concerned.
  • Relevance to EDI – if what you are planning or considering is relevant to eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation, advancing equality of opportunity or fostering good relations then a more detailed approach is needed.
  • When negative impacts have been identified – if the evidence and/or information gathered through consultation indicate any potential negative impacts, it is appropriate to do more work to understand these more fully and to develop mitigating actions.

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