As part of any effective policy development process, it is important to consider any potential risks to those who will be affected by the policy's aims or by its implementation. The Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) process helps us to assess the implications of our decisions on the whole community, to eliminate discrimination, tackle inequality, develop a better understanding of the community we serve, target resources efficiently, and adhere to the transparency and accountability element of the Public Sector Equality Duty.
The word ‘policy’, in this context, includes the different things that the Council does. It includes any policy, procedure or practice - both in employment and service delivery.
A checklist has been developed for Council officers to guide them through the impact assessment process. In the first instance, the officer would complete an Initial Screening Template to scope the impact and decide whether a full impact assessment (EIA) is required. If this identified the need for a full impact assessment, then the officer would complete the detailed EIA template.
The Council’s Committee report template makes reference to equality impact assessments. If a new/revised policy is being presented to committee, the officer should use the committee report template to indicate if an impact assessment has or has not been completed. If an impact assessment has been completed, then a copy should be attached to the committee report. If the impact assessment identifies barriers, the officer’s report should make reference to the main findings and any proposed actions so this can inform decision making.
Senior Officers are responsible for reviewing and signing off completed impact assessments relevant to their service areas.
In addition, the Council set up Scrutiny and Verification Panels, comprising of two to four members from the Council's Equal Opportunities Working Group to review and challenge completed impact assessments.
The Council is committed to publishing the results of our impact assessments.
The current completed and approved impact assessments can be viewed here: Equality Impact Assessments