Key stages

Whether you decide to focus on one equalities group, or assess the impact of a service or policy on all equalities groups at the same time, there are four important stages in the process:

Stage 1:  The Scope of the Assessment
Before beginning an Equality Impact Assessment you need to think about:

  • The scope of the policy or service to be assessed
  • Which equalities groups you need to focus on (it might be all)

Stage 2:  Gathering and Assessing the Evidence
You need to consider what you know about the policy or service, and the people using it.  You should ask:

  • Which equalities groups might be affected?
  • What do you know about the needs of these equality groups?
  • What do we know about how they use this or other policies and services?
  • What is known about the potential impact of the policy or service?

You should draw on existing evidence, but it is likely you will have to consult with equalities groups and organisations to gather the information you need.  Considering these questions will probably identify information gaps – this will mean gathering further information until a full picture is developed. 
Stage 3:  Analysis
Assessing the impact of a service or policy will mean asking a number of questions, such as:

  • What is the likely positive impact on equalities groups?
  • What is the likely negative impact on equalities groups?
  • Are there any potential barriers being created for certain equalities groups?
  • Are there any opportunities to improve the service or policy to actively meet the needs of equalities groups and demonstrate a commitment to equalities?

Stage 4:  Making Changes
Going through this process will often identify changes or improvements that need to be made.  You should be clear about what action needs to be taken and who is responsible.