Equality Impact Assessments: Are We Getting Them Right?

EQIAs have been statutory for several years, but are they making a difference?

The context

Under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 (the public sector equality duty), and The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012, public authorities have a duty to:
  • where and to the extent required to fulfil the general equality duty, assess the impact of applying a proposed new or revised policy or practice against the needs of the general equality duty;
  • in making the assessment, consider relevant evidence relating to persons who share a protected characteristic (including any evidence received from those persons);
  • in developing a policy or practice, take account of the results of any assessment in respect of that policy or practice;
  • publish, within a reasonable period, the results of any assessment where it decides to apply the policy or practice in question; 
  • make arrangements to review and where necessary revise any policy or practice that it applies in the exercise of its functions.

The event

At this event we will examine whether Equalities Impact Assessments (EQIAs) are capturing the lived experience of equality and inequality in Scotland from the perspective of those with protected characteristics. Are they making a meaningful difference to policy and practice in Scotland or are they a ‘box ticking exercise’? Further sessions will discuss the process of undertaking an EQIA through examples of good practice from across the country. Finally we will ask – can we do more through assessments to identify equalities issues and therefore improve the lives of disadvantaged groups in Scotland?

Key issues to be addressed

  • Existing best practice guidance 
  • How those with protected characteristics view EQIAs
  • Screening, evidence and partnership working: how organisations across Scotland are conducting EQIAs
  • The responsibility to continuously review



09:15    Registration and Networking

Session 1: Equality Impact Assessments – making them matter

In this opening session we explore the legislative basis for Equality Impact Assessments and examine whether EQIAs are making a difference to public sector decision-making for those who the Equality Duty is designed to support. 

09:55    Opening Remarks from the Chair

Ann Henderson, member, Scottish Commission on Older Women and former Assistant Secretary, Scottish Trades Union Congress

10:00 Laying the groundwork

10:20 Panel discussion: Are EQIs a meaningful process or a box ticking exercise?

Panellists include:

  • Lindsey Millen, Policy Manager, Close The Gap
  • Carol Young, Senior Policy Officer, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER)
  • Derek Young, Senior Policy Officer, Age Scotland

11:00 Refreshment

Session 2: Step By Step, The Road To Equality

Through a series of case studies we will look at the EQIA process, considering how we can improve existing practice and thereby strengthen the application of the equality duty in Scotland.

11:20 Glasgow City: a fresh approach to EQIA

Cormac Quinn, Corporate Planning Officer, Glasgow City Council

11:40 Gathering the Evidence

  • ​Where to find equality evidence, and plans to develop and improve Scotland’s equality evidence base

Jon Hunter, Equality, Poverty & Welfare Analysis Team, Communities Analytical Services, Scottish Government

12:00 Newcastle Council: Integrated Impact Assessments and our budget process

  • Summary of our approach to integrated impact assessment and what they cover
  • How it’s been working – budget process case study
  • Cumulative impact assessment
  • Role of data – Know Newcastle

Kirsty Wilkinson, Business Management Partner, Newcastle City Council

Helen Wilding, Wellbeing for Life Development Lead, Newcastle City Council

12:20 Questions and discussion

12:35 Lunch

Session 3: Beyond EQIAs

Public authorities have a duty to review and revise policies and practices after the initial EQIA. In this session we will explore why this is and how different organisations have achieved this, before considering how we can go beyond the statutory requirements of the legislation and apply more rigorous approaches of impact assessments such as Equality and Human Rights Assessments.

13:20 Interactive Workshop: Monitoring and Gathering Evidence of Ongoing Impact

Using case studies we will consider how to meaningfully monitor and evaluate the outputs of equality impact assessments, and how to embed monitoring in existing processes. Participants will take part in an exercise considering how to develop potential equality indicators based on a case study.

Clare Fraser, Fraser Consulting

14:10 Equality and Human Rights Assessments: how they can make a difference to you

Nasreen Mohammed, Equality and Diversity Advisor, Police Scotland

14:30 Questions and discussion

14:40 Closing remarks from the chair

14:45 Close of event

*Agenda subject to change


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28 November 2017



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