Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) is the term that describes a review of an institution’s policy to ensure that it is not discriminatory and that it is making a positive contribution to equality. This is a very important stage in the development of any new policy or proposal.
As a general rule all new policies should be subject to an EIA – the depth of the assessment should be proportionate to the likely impact of the proposal. Proposals that affect large groups of people, or are likely to affect specific protected groups will require a more thorough assessment than other proposals.
The policy writer is the best person to carry out the assessment because they will have an in-depth knowledge of the proposal. The best time to carry out the EIA is as the policy is being formulated as this is where there are most opportunities to make improvements and adjustments. It is important to allow sufficient time for the EIA during the development stages, as this must be completed before the proposal is submitted for decision and adoption. Retrospective EIA’s are not a good use of valuable time or resources.
A new streamlined EIA process and improved paperwork will be in place from Spring 2017. EIA training and support will be given by the Equality and Diversity Officer.