What is an Equality Impact Assessment?

An Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) is a tool that helps the University make sure our 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.

This process helps us as we work towards fulfilling our Equality and Inclusion Framework to be a beacon of excellence in the sector, promoting a culture of inclusion, respect and equality of opportunity for all.

The following guidance explains how to conduct an EIA and should be read alongside the EIA form.

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.

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 outcome creates a benefit to support the advancement of equality opportunity between different groups and/or fosters good relations between different groups and this helps us work towards fulfilling our Equality and Inclusion Framework to be a beacon of excellence in the sector, promoting a culture of inclusion, respect and equality of opportunity for all.

Download a blank Equality Impact Assessment Form (Word) which can be completed by Schools, Faculties, Departments and Services.

Examples of completed Equality Impact Assessment forms are the Working from home EIA and the Returning to campus phase 1 EIA.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The University conducts Equality Impact Assessments on their policies and procedures for selecting staff for the Research Excellence Framework, to ensure that the selection processes are fair and transparent and to ensure that the University fulfils its obligations to promote good equality practice.