Equality Impact Assessments

What is it?

An Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) is a process that enables you to proactively think about the impact of decisions, policies, practices and service areas on protected groups/ characteristics. It is informed by the gathering of evidence to help identify potential barriers and impacts on protected groups/ characteristics. It enables you to identify and remove potential barriers and negative impacts through developing actions in response. As a result it can help you prevent discrimination, comply with the public sector duties and when carried out effectively lead to service improvements.

 

In an ideal world, organisations wouldn’t need to do EQIAs because everyone in an organisation would consider the following when  developing or reviewing policies, procedures, strategies, decisions and service areas:

 

Barriers and specific needs of people across the different protected characteristics

  • Their own data and external data
  • Feedback and additional engagement with service users, staff and people across protected characteristics
  • Best practice and legislative requirements

 

However in reality this rarely happens in practice and it is unlikely to be systematic. EQIAs offer a formalised, evidence based approach that can ensure that these considerations are taken into account in practice.

Why it matters?

Local Authorities are required to carry out EQIAs under the Welsh Specific Equality Duties. EQIAs can also help Registered Social Landlords demonstrate that they are paying due regard to the general equality duty of the Equality Act 2010.

EQIAs promote equality of access, outcome and satisfaction for people from protected groups. They do this through helping us to proactively consider diverse needs and potential barriers for protected groups. As a result when they are carried out well they can become a powerful service improvement tool.

They enable senior management teams, Boards and Committees to make informed decisions and provide an evidence base for decision making.

EQIAs and their contents are relevant for discrimination or breach of public sector duties challenges.

Top tips:

If you are a housing association take a strategic approach to EQIAs in order to stream line the process. Think about how EQIAs link in with your policy or service area review and development cycles. You may decide to screen policies to identify whether they need to be assessed or not. Consider grouping relevant policies or procedures together for assessments or look at a service area as a whole.

EQIAs should be carried out in a group as it helps to capture different perspectives. The scoping part of the assessment can be completed via group e-mail correspondence instead of a face to face meeting if this is appropriate.

 

EQIAs are usually completed using an EQIA form/template. This provides evidence of the information considered and impacts and outcomes identified as part of process. However when using the form it is important to make sure that the process doesn’t become a tick box exercise.

 

Think about what internal data you have available for example equality monitoring or customer profiling information and how this can be cross referenced with data from service areas. External data can include relevant statistics from Infobase Cymru and other sources, relevant research, guidance and good practice.

Remember the key is not how much data you collect but how relevant it is and what it tells you in terms of what is being assessed.

Engagement with protected groups is seen as a key part of the process. See our EIA toolkit for further guidance on engagement.

As part of assessing impact you will need to identify actions to overcome any negative impacts.

Completed EQIAs and what they identify should inform Board members and Committees decisions. Outcomes of assessments should be detailed in reports they receive. This enables them to see potential impact on equality and to challenge, scrutinise and ensure mitigating actions are put in place where necessary.

Information

Accessing Member Resources

Some resources are for Tai Pawb members only and you will need a password to access them. If you are a Tai Pawb member and need details of the password or copies of documents in a Word version or alternative format please contact helpline@taipawb.org  or call 029 2053 7630.

Information

Please note the material in this section is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Tai Pawb is not responsible for the content of external resources.

How Tai Pawb can help:

Equality Impact Assessment Training and Facilitation.

Help develop a prioritisation framework for assessments.

Delivering facilitation of EQIA sessions.

Carrying out desk top policy reviews of policies and documents of the area being impact assessed to feed into the assessment

Identifying sources and collation of external information to inform the assessment to supplement your internal data.

Helping with the design of engagement questions.

Providing guidance and assistance with developing a post EQIA action plan and potential mitigating actions.

Providing feedback on completed EQIA forms, reports and action plans.

Providing feedback on EQIA templates, forms and organisational toolkits or processes.

Providing feedback and quality assurance on completed EQIAs, reports and action plans.

Information

For further information or to discuss potential consultancy or training support please contact helpline@taipawb.org or call 029 2053 7630.