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Ten steps of Equality Impact Assessment

1. Define your policy, service or function* (the term policy is used below to mean any policy service or function)

  • What are its aims and objectives?
  • Who does it apply to?
  • Why do you need this policy?
  • What evidence do you have of this need?

2. Consider your evidence (statistics, research etc)

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What are their needs / experiences?
  • Why have you picked this as your target audience?
  • Does you evidence indicate that you need to consider any other target audiences?
  • Have you consulted recently on the issue covered by the policy? Or has anyone else?
  • Do you need further evidence or information?

3. What is the impact of the policy?

  • Is there anything in the policy which might have a differential impact on particular groups of people?
  • Is there anything in the way the policy might be applied which might have a differential impact on particular groups of people?
  • What impact, positive or negative, might this policy have on people who identify with the different equality strands (gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, race and religion / belief as a minimum)
  • If there is a differential impact (positive or negative) is it legal, proportionate and justifiable? Does it promote equality, human rights and / or good relations?

4. Do you need to amend / change your policy (or possibly scrap it)

  • If there is a differential impact what steps do you need to take to minimise or justify it?
  • What steps do you need to take to ensure that your policy is legal and does not discriminate?

5. Do you need further information to inform your policy?

  • Do you need to do further research or consultation to gain evidence of need or impact?

6. Consultation / Involvement

  • Consult with relevant stakeholders (think across the equality groups and more broadly e.g. geographically, subject area etc) or begin a process of involvement
  • Provide feedback to consultees and other stakeholders on the results of the consultation e.g. publish responses, minutes of meeting etc.

7. Review the evidence and make further amendments

  • Review the evidence from step 6 and step 7, decide if further amendments are required.
  • Make amendments as required.
  • Decide if the policy will now promote equality and not have a disproportionate, unjustified, differential impact on any particular group of people.  If it will go back to step 3 and start again from there, if it won’t proceed to step 8.

8. Make arrangements to monitor and review the impact and effectiveness of the policy, including ongoing involvement if appropriate.

  • Monitor the positive and negative impacts of the application of the policy.
  • Review the research and information from step 4.
  • Review the consultation findings
  • Continue involvement process
  • Ensure that you have baseline data from which to measure progress (use info from step 4)
  • Monitor effectiveness of policy and progress on equality.

9. Sign off the policy and implement it

  • Senior management to sign off and publish the policy.
  • Implement the policy.

10. Publish equality impact assessment report

  • Provide feedback to consultees, involved stakeholders and others by publishing the results of the EIA
  • Continue to monitor as outlined in step 8.
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