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Durham University

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality Impact Assessment (EIA)

What is an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA)?

An Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) is a tool to help us ensure that our proposals, policies, practices and decision-making processes are fair, promote equality and inclusion by meeting the needs of our staff and students, and do not inadvertently discriminate against any group protected by the 2010 Equality Act. They help us to ensure that we meet the Public Sector Equality Duty of the Act by showing that we understand the impact of our activities on EDI.

It is important to view EIAs as a tool which can help us to make our university a fairer, more inclusive and diverse place to work and study. They can help us look at whether we need to change any of our working practices and ensure that we embrace an equal, diverse and inclusive culture in everything we do.

The EIA should be undertaken by the people responsible for developing the policy, practice or proposal. If you are unsure whether you should be doing an EIA, please contact a member of the EDI Team for further advice.

An EIA should be done at the outset of, or before you make changes to, or implement, new proposals. It is likely that your EIA will develop and be reviewed as your proposal progresses, but doing an assessment at the start ensures that equality informs its development at every stage.

To determine if you should do an EIA, you should consider whether the proposal affects people with protected characteristics differently, especially where this results in unfair treatment or adverse impact.

The guidance explains how you should complete each section and provides an example of this should be done. If you require any further advice and guidance please contact a member of the EDI Team.

The REF EIA 2014 can be found here.


  • REF EIA (last modified: 18 December 2014)PDF