Equality Impact Assessments
To help you carry out an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) at Imperial, the Equality Diversity and Inclusion Centre (EDIC) has developed the following guidance and template.
What is an EIA?
An Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) is an evidence-based framework, designed to help ensure that decisions or changes are:
- Meet the needs of staff, students, alumni, and external visitors
- Do not inadvertently disadvantage any protected group from participation
- Wherever possible, proactively advance equality, diversity, and inclusion
- Transparent and based on evidence with clear reasoning
As well as the framework itself and the process that you work through, sometimes the term 'EIA' is used for the formal report that is produced at the end of the whole process.
Why should I use an EIA?
The purpose of an EIA is to help you pre-empt any issues.
It is important to anticipate what the impact(s) of a change or decision could be. That impact may be felt by staff, students, alumni, visitors, or prospective staff and students. Generally with an EIA you will consider the impacts on under-represented groups or those who identify with the nine protected characteristics outlined by the Equality Act 2010, for example disability or race.
Once you have considered the needs of different groups and how they may experience different impacts, you can then act to mitigate any negatives and maximise any positives. An EIA helps you to get things right at an early stage, minimising later changes or the need for corrective action on unanticipated negative consequences.
When should I use an EIA?
An EIA could be appropriate for a wide range of situations. Most often an EIA is used when something is about to change, or a decision is being made. There is a need to consider the impact of the change or decision. An EIA could be conducted on:
- A policy
- A practice or procedure
- A project
- An event or activity
- A decision-making process
- A strategy
EIAs can be used for both strategic and operational decisions or changes.
EIAs should be used as an integral part of fair decision-making, and considered as part of the normal planning processes alongside risk, budget, health, and safety.