Ten Steps to Equality Impact Assessment

1. Define your policy, practice, service or function* (the term policy is used below to mean any policy, practice 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, monitoring info, research, consultation etc)
Who are the main stakeholders who will be impacted or have relevant experience?
Does your evidence indicate that you need to consider any other stakeholders?
Have you or anyone else consulted recently on the issue covered by the policy?
What are the needs / experiences of your stakeholders, based on the evidence?
3. What is the impact of the policy?
  Think about the different (differential) impacts, positive or negative, that this policy might have on groups of people who share legally protected characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation) and answer the following questions
Is there anything in the policy itself 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?
Are there other characteristics which might be relevant (e.g. social status, ex-offenders, problematic substance use etc.), and what are the impacts?
If there is a differential impact (positive or negative) is it legal, proportionate and justifiable?
Does the policy promote equality, human rights and / or good relations?
4. Do you need to adjust your policy or stop and remove it?
If there is a differential impact what steps will you take to minimise or justify it? If it can be justified, you may choose to continue with the policy.
What other steps will you take to ensure that your policy does not discriminate?
5. Do you need further evidence to inform your policy?
Do you need to do further research or consultation to gain evidence of need or impact, or to work out how to adjust the policy effectively?
6. Gathering further evidence
  Plan and carry out any additional research you need to do
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 meetings etc.
7. Review the evidence and make your decision
Review the evidence from all previous steps, decide if further amendments are required
Make amendments if required
Assess whether the policy will now have any disproportionate, unjustified differential impact on any particular group of people. If it will, reconsider steps 3-6
Make your decision about the policy:

If it is robust and needs no significant adjustments – No major changes needed

If it has risks, problems or missed opportunities – Adjust the policy

If it has risks, problems or missed opportunities which can be justified – Continue the policy

If it may result in unlawful discrimination – Stop and remove the policy

Write up the EIA report, including details of the evidence base, any amendments made, the decision reached, any further recommendations and arrangements for monitoring and review
8. Sign off and implement  the policy (unless it has been stopped and removed)
Senior management to sign off and publish the policy
Implement the policy
9. Publish Equality Impact Assessment report
Provide feedback to consultees, involved stakeholders and others by publishing the results of the EIA
10. 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 the last Equality Impact Assessment as your baseline
Continue involvement process
Monitor effectiveness of policy and progress on equality

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