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The University of Southampton
DiversityPolicies and guidance

Equality Impact Assessments

The University of Southampton is required by law to ensure fair treatment in employment, study and service delivery. We must ensure that we are not inadvertently discriminating against people, that we are providing equal treatment and that we have taken a range of needs into account.


Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) are a systematic way of helping us to improve the quality of what we do alongside aiding legal compliance, and to integrate equality into our mainstream work. For example we can explore how we structure the institution, the way we recruit and promote staff, and the way we treat students, and visitors.

It is useful to think of an EIA as a form of quality assurance, making sure that the University is a fully inclusive environment. As such, in addition to our legal duties, there is also a compelling business case for carrying them out.

"The quality of an assessment is not measured by the number of pages produced but by the quality of the analysis, the action taken as a result, and the outcomes achieved through implementation." - ACAS

Scope and boundaries

Every substantial activity (for example policies, major procedures and larger projects) should be examined in relation to its impact on equality. But this effort should be proportionate. Not all activities warrant the same level of detail, and some will clearly have higher priority or risk than others.


An EIA of a new activity should always start as early in the planning and development process as possible. This helps to ensure that there is adequate time to make adjustments identified in the EIA, and often draws in elements such as user consultation that would happen anyway.

Ongoing activities (for example, established policies) should undergo an EIA as they come up for review.


Each EIA is carried out and owned by the faculty or professional service group (PSG) concerned, or in some cases a joint stakeholder team. This taskforce may include representatives from other parts of the University or even outside. It is important that the work is shared across the team rather than left to one person.

The EIA team is responsible for preparing and writing up the assessment, managing actions and ensuring it remains fit for purpose. The team should also upload completed EIA documents to SharePoint.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team oversee the guidance and training of the EIA process, assisting in areas such as:

·         providing general advice, templates and other resources on this website

·         training project staff in conducting an EIA, and advising on complex activities

Find out more

These web pages provide a range of resources to help with carrying out EIAs:

You can find completed University of Southampton EAs on the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion SharePoint site.

Easy-read guide

A law about making things better for people from different groups (external publication - .pdf download)

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