Equality impact assessments
What is an Equality Impact Assessment?
An equality impact assessment (EIA) is a tool that helps the University ensure that its policies, procedures and practices (referred to collectively in this guidance as a 'policy') do what they are intended to do and are inclusive for staff, students and visitors.
Carrying out an EIA helps support good decision making and involves systematically assessing the likely (or actual) effects of our activities on people relating to the nine protected characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage & civil partnership, pregnancy & maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation) and caring responsibilities.
This includes looking for opportunities to promote equality that may have previously been missed or could be better used, as well as negative or adverse impacts that can be removed or mitigated, where possible. If any negative or adverse impacts amount to unlawful discrimination, they must be removed.
- Negative or adverse impact: the outcome of a decision, policy or practice that creates disadvantage to or unequal treatment of a person with a protected characteristic.
- Positive impact: the beneficial outcome supports the advancement of equality groups, providing opportunities for people with protected characteristics and/or promoting good relations between them.
When should an EIA be carried out?
An EIA should be carried out where there are changes suggested to a policy. For the purpose of the EIA, any reference to 'policy', covers the full range of functions, activities and decisions for which the University is responsible – essentially everything we do. It includes both current policies and those under development.