What is an Equality Impact Assessment?

Equality impact assessments are a way of assessing your organisation's policies or services to establish how they might impact on different communities and equalities groups. This allows you to see areas of strength and areas of weakness. 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission says:

Impact assessments are an essential tool for achieving disability equality within your organisation."

Source: Equality and Human Rights Commission guidance on Equality Impact Assessments in the public sector.

You usually undertake an Equality Impact Assessment before you make big changes to services or policies.  You should think about it as a framework for considering the potential impact of an approach. 

An Equalities Impact Assessment normally focuses on the impact on people from all equalities groups.  Some organisations prefer to undertake separate assessments – for example a Race Equality Impact Assessment and a Disability Equality Impact Assessment.