Equality analysis FAQs
Equality Analysis is the term given to a review of Keele’s policies, procedures and rules to ensure that the institution is not discriminating unlawfully – and that it is making a positive contribution to equality. It is the process of assessing the impact of existing or proposed policies and practices in relation to their consequences for equality. Equality Analysis is more widely known as Equality Impact Assessment or EIA.
Equality Analysis is the thorough and systematic analysis of a policy or practice to determine whether it has a differential impact on a particular group. The ‘particular groups’ referred to are the equality focused legally protected characteristics:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and Civil Partnership (only in terms of discrimination in employment)
- Pregnancy & Maternity
- Race/nationality/ethnic origin
- Sex and
- Sexual orientation
The University’s approach is based on the principle that responsibility for assessing the effect on equality of its policies/practices lies with those within the organisation who ‘own’ those policies/practices and who are responsible for developing and implementing them.
Equality analysis should be integral to the development of policies and practices. It should, therefore, be carried out when a policy or practice is being developed or reviewed.
Please see our Equality Analysis Guidance
or, for a brief reminder of the process, see our Equality Analysis Checklist
Keele University takes its responsibilities regarding equality, diversity and inclusion very seriously, and this extends to Equality Analysis. The University committed, at Keele’s Equality & Diversity Committee of Council, October 2010, to ensuring that Equality Impact Assessments (now Equality Analyses) are completed for all existing and future policies and practices. It should be noted that this should not be an unnecessarily burdensome process but a process that is genuinely helpful in high-lighting any issues and, wherever reasonably practical, in providing solutions.
The Equality & Diversity lead in HR will periodically review selected completed full Equality Analyses to monitor quality and consistency of approach to Equality Analysis completion across the University. If as a result of this review further support, guidance or training is needed in particular areas of the University this will be arranged.
The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Planning Group will receive a summary report on progress across the University on a six-monthly basis for discussion and consideration of further action required at a University level in embedding the Equality Analysis system.
Carrying out Equality Analysis enables us to determine whether our policies or practices have an impact on a particular equality characteristic group. Equality Analysis should help us to develop our policies and practices and ensure that they are transparent and fit for purpose. Equality Analysis enable us to equality-audit our policies and practices to ensure that we are not discriminating against anyone, that we are providing equal opportunities to all and that we are promoting good relations between all our staff, students and other stakeholders.
By identifying and responding to impacts which a policy/practice has on equality grounds the University can make improvements or amendments which enable us to:
- eliminate discrimination
- tackle inequality
- improve communication and understanding between providers and users of services, be they staff, students or the general public
- target resources and support effectively
- adhere to the legal requirements upon us.
Equality Anaylsis should be conducted on all relevant existing and future policy and practices at Keele, whether formal or informal, written or unwritten.
For the purposes of Equality Anaylsis, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (2009) define ‘policy’ as follows:
''Policy’ needs to be understood broadly to embrace the full range of functions, activities and decisions for which the organisation is responsible: essentially everything the authority does. This includes both current policies and new policies under development.’
Accordingly and in line with this broad definition of ‘policy’, the University requires any Keele document including but not limited to Strategic Plan, Policy, Procedure, Supporting Strategy, Code of Practice, or Guideline documentation to have an Equality Analysis, using agreed University procedure.
Formal, documented policy or practice issues are often the most significant areas to have an Equality Analysis. However it is important that in addition, Faculties and Directorates should also consider whether they have any unwritten or informal practices or processes which may required an Equality Analysis.
Policy or Procedure
A policy or procedure is any decision, principle, plan or set of procedures that influences and determines the way ain institution carries out its business (internally or externally).
A practice is more informal than a policy and refers to a customary way of operation or behaviour, perhaps built up over a number of years. It can be identified through being routinely performed, locally, regardless of any official requirements in policy.
A service or provision is an activity which serves to provide for or meet the requirements or particular needs of people.
To support staff around the University to complete Equality Analysis, the University has developed a standardized on-line Equality Analysis completion process. In addition, face to face training is provided to introduce the concept and application of Equality Analysis, and to give an overview to the legal context for this.
For further information about any aspect of the Equality Anaylsis process or the University’s approach to embedding Equality Anaylsis, please contact us.