Step 2: Initial & Operational EIA

This is the main part of the EIA process as it should provide evidence of robust assessment.  The form can either be utilised to record necessary actions planned/ implemented for monitoring purposes (Operational EIA), or the form can be utilised for conducting as a preliminary separate assessment.

Carry out the assessment by completing: EIA Toolkit: Initial & Operational EIA Form (Appendix 5). As you type information onto the form (MS Word document) the tabled boxes will expand accordingly.

1. Introductory Information
This section is required so that people external to the School/Unit are able to understand the aims; workings of; and purpose of the policy, practice, procedure or service.

2. Involvement & Engagement
The University has a legal duty to assess impact of how decision making impacts ‘protected groups’, therefore utilising legal guidance and any additional research or equality group feedback is invaluable. Within the Initial & Operational EIA Form as part of this section:

  • State names of people/groups/organisations who are involved in the screening.
  • Provide details of data/research used as part of the screening, such as the following:

a) Internal data:

  • Monitoring data specific to ‘protected characteristics’

  • Surveys, consultations, complaints, exit questionnaires, feedback

  • Evidence that a policy or practice may be causing disadvantage include:
    • Lower participation rates by particular equality groups
    • Eligibility criteria that disadvantage or exclude certain groups
    • Lower success/satisfaction rates
    • Higher withdrawal rates
    • Access to services reduced or denied in comparison with other groups
    • A group faces increased difficulty or indignity as a result of the policy

  • Engage with a diverse range of staff, students or service users via the online initiative: Engagement: Opinions & Feedback  This would help ensure and demonstrate successful consultation due to involving people from ‘protected groups’ by:
    • Gathering views on how the current policy, practice, procedure or service positively/negatively impacts on them?
    • Asking questions about what should be included in a new policy, practice, procedure or service in order to ensure no adverse impact.

b) External data – with online weblinks:

Important: Please contact the E&D Officer for updated resources to utilise in your EIA specific to:

  • Employment polices/procedures
  • Student policies/procedures
  • Building development/refurbishment
  • Curriculum design/delivery

3. Screening Grid for Evidence of Negative/Positive Impact
Throughout the screening section, to ensure promotion of equality, you need to ask the following four key questions about your policy, practice, procedure or service:

  • Are there data trends interpreting?
  • Will it cause differential impact to any equality groups?
  • How are equality groups open to adverse impact?
  • Does it take into account specific needs any groups may have?
  • Can it help the University in meeting its legal duties to promote equality?

The recording of examples of good practice can then be utilised for reporting purposes with not only equality agencies, but also to the increasing number of organisations the University reports to who ask questions on Equality & Diversity Inclusion evidence.

Cross-reference this with the following two tables which provide information on legislation and more importantly, examples of considerations for each ‘Equality Strand/Protected Characteristic’:

4. Post-Screening Information
At this stage we capture information that is not part of the screening grids.

5. Conclusion
Before summarising the EIA, make it clear if the EIA conducted is as an ‘Operational’ version or as an ‘Initial’ version only.

  • An ‘Operational’ version = the EIA has stated a list of actions planned or achieved.

It is the responsibility of the ‘Lead Officer’ to define the outcome of the EIA with the assistance from the ‘Critical Equality Guide(s)’ in making a judgement on if internal actions or further assessment is required.

6. Sign Off
The EIA is required to be dated in order to have an audit trail and to be signed by:

  • Lead Officer & Position (to provide specific representation within the institution).
  • Strategic or representative group(if applicable).
  • Head of E&D (in order for monitoring of EIA actions).