Top tips for conducting an Equality Impact

Top tips for conducting an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA)
1. Don’t panic - you don’t need a background in Equalities to complete an EIA! It is
more important that you know the policy/practice and its development context .
2. Think of completing the EIA as being similar to doing a risk assessment. You are
completing a systematic analysis to predict, assess and respond to the
implications of a policy/practice on a range of people with different and varied
needs. As with a risk assessment, the aim is to ensure that the University’s
policies/practices are the best they can be and to minimise potential for risk in the
way that those policies/practices are perceived, interpreted or applied.
3. Keep the focus on the end goal – improving the policy/practice so that a negative
impact is removed and/or so that a positive impact is made to the outcomes of
the policy/practice for the way that people experience or are affected by it.
4. Never treat EIA as a form-filling exercise – think of it as a way of providing a
health check on a policy/practice and a means of providing an audit trail for the
improvement of that policy/practice.
5. Don’t use the process as a 'last-minute check'. Plan to conduct an EIA in good
time to enable changes to be made to a policy/practice as a result of the EIA.
6. Use common sense! There is no need to bury yourself in the detail – take a more
pragmatic view and see the wider picture.
7. Draw from your own expertise and knowledge of the policy/practice as a massive
initial resource, but don’t feel that you have to complete an EIA entirely on your
own! You can supplement this if you need to by talking to colleagues or using
relevant meetings to review key issues.
8. Don’t agonise over the initial screening – as the expert responsible for the policy
or practice you are likely to fairly quickly know if there is potential for impact which
may need to be more fully explored at the next stage.
9. Be proportionate! Not every EIA will need lots of data analysis or stakeholder
consultation – think pragmatically about this and don’t bog yourself down
gathering and using masses of information or consultation which isn’t necessary.
10. Show you understand the equality implications of the needs of the
students/staff/other stakeholders affected by the policy/practice, and use that
information to inform your EIA recommendations and actions for the future.
11. Develop and maintain your knowledge of people, data or other resources which
may be of use to you in conducting EIAs in your area – it will save you time for
future EIAs if you have an idea of where to go for the information you need.
12. Remember that for most situations it is far better to produce a concise EIA which
can lead to real tangible improvements than it is to produce an enormously
lengthy, complex EIA which is too unwieldy for people to use to implement
13. Make recommended actions achievable and realistic. Be clear about what
can/will be done differently as a result. Include future data monitoring or process
review recommendations if these will be necessary to check progress.
14. Consider how you can link the EIA process you’ve undertaken and the
outcomes/actions you’ve recommended into routine practice in your area.