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DBS Equality _ Diversity Action Plan

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					Information Services Equality & Diversity Action Plan
Background
The purpose of this plan is to create an environment where all issues of equality and diversity are considered and to help us identify areas in current and proposed practices, policies, provision and modules (including short courses and CPD) where we can enhance our approach to inclusiveness. The implementation of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 (DDA) and the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 (RRAA) has prompted formal consideration of this issue at this stage. For example, the requirements of the DDA are:  To have due regard to eliminate unlawful discrimination against, and harassment of, disabled persons;  To promote equality of opportunity between disabled persons and other persons; and  To tackle institutional discrimination through a duty to promote disability equality for the public sector. Similarly, the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 (RRAA) places an obligatory threestranded general duty on institutions like the University of Abertay Dundee (UAD) to:  Eliminate unlawful racial discrimination;  Promote equality of opportunity;  Promote good race relations between people of different racial groups;  Assess the impact of the University’s policies, practices and procedures on students and staff of different racial groups; and  Monitor student admission and progress, and staff recruitment and career progress by racial group. The requirements of the Equality Act 2006 – Gender Equality Duty are to:  Eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment  Promote equality of opportunity between men and women The requirements of the Equality Act 2006 – Sexual Orientation are to:  Eliminate unlawful discrimination or harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation The requirements of the Equality Act 2006 – Religion or Belief are to:  Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of religion or belief Although separate action plans are required for the DDA and RRAA (see www.ecu.ac.uk for other equality-related legislation), Information Services (IS) has taken a more inclusive and proactive approach and decided to include all aspects of equality and diversity including disability, gender, race, religion or belief, age and sexual orientation.1 In creating its plan, IS has used sections A to C of the toolkit recommended by the Scottish Funding Council in its paper ‘Disability self-evaluation tool: Improving equality for disabled people in Scotland’s colleges and universities’ (http://www.sfc.ac.uk/information/info_circulars/sfc/2005/sfc1705/sfc1705.pdf)2. Sections E and F of the toolkit consider the physical estate and feedback to the Funding Council. These are assumed to be dealt with elsewhere in the University. In addition, IS has used sections 1 to 6 of the ‘Race equality toolkit: learning and teaching’ (www.universitiesscotland.ac.uk/raceequalitytoolkit) to create its plan.

The terms ‘minority’ and ‘equal opportunity’ are used in this document to cover issues relating to gender, age, race, religious or belief, sexual orientation and disability groups. 2 This plan has also taken on board the good practice in the existing IS disability equality plan.
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IS Plan
A. Management and Strategic Planning
At service level the main issues of concern are: A1. Within Information Services who is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the Equality and Diversity Scheme and Action Plan? Information Services Management Group (ISMG). Equality and diversity will be included as a standing item on the agenda of ISMG meetings. Establish an IS Equality and Diversity group. Remit to include:  drafting of a three-year Diversity Action Plan for IS;  overseeing the implementation of action points arising from the Plan;  reviewing IS policies and plans;  ensuring that equality and diversity issues are integrated into all areas of IS;  undertaking equal opportunities monitoring of IS standing/working groups with respect to ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religious and age  producing a report outlining the current position together with any recommendations for improving staff and student representation in groups within IS ISMG will seek an annual review of progress against the plan every November (from the IS Equality and Diversity group). At this review the plan will be updated. Each IS committee/working group chair will be asked to discuss how equality and diversity issues and awareness can be built into the work of the committee/working group i.e. carry out an impact analysis.

A2. Which committees and standing/working groups need to consider equality and diversity issues? Ensure that all IS functional/working groups integrate equality & diversity issues within their remit and action plans A3. What mechanisms are in place to ensure that equality and diversity-related issues are built into the management and strategic planning of ISMG?

A4. What arrangements are there for day-today management of equality and diversityrelated issues for staff, students and the public?

A report from A2 will be forwarded to ISMG. The chair of the IS Equality & Diversity group and the senior managers responsible to teaching related activities in IS will also report to ISMG on teaching (Information Literacy, CPD, ECDL etc.) related equality and diversity issues. Equality and diversity planning will be discussed as part of the service Annual Report. The IS Equality and diversity Advisor, in conjunction with the IS Disability Advisor are responsible for the day-to-day equality and diversity-related issues for students.

Senior Information Managers are responsible for the day-to-day equality and diversityrelated issues for staff.  Ensure that senior managers in IS and IS Equality & Diversity group members understand the legislative base for equality & diversity  Equality & Diversity training to be delivered to IS senior managers and the IS Equality & Diversity group members For the public, see section D in this document. Issues that require specialist advice will be referred to the IS Equality and diversity Advisor, who works in conjunction with the IS Disability Advisor. Any of these issues that require further action will be reported to ISMG. Equality & Diversity Advisor Remit to include:  proactive role in promoting equality and diversity within IS;  first point of contact for raising any issues or difficulties relating to equality matters.  While the advisor would not be in a position to deal with individual cases or problems, (s)he will be able to provide relevant information and direct you to the appropriate sources of guidance. Any information disclose to the advisor will remain confidential unless told otherwise A5. Who within the service has an oversight for equality and diversity issues and where do these end and the oversight of the centrally funded specialists, e.g. Disability Advisor and International Student Advisor, begin? ISMG will have overall oversight responsibility for equality and diversity issues in IS. The person in the role of ‘Equality and diversity Advisor’ will negotiate with the Head of Student Services to more clearly delineate responsibility. This will then be displayed on the IS notice boards/intranet to ensure that staff and students have a clear understanding of who is responsible for each matter.  All staff members need to be aware of the role, remit and contact details of the IS Equality & Diversity Advisor and the Disability Advisor through briefings, training and publicity The Equality and diversity Advisor will be responsible for advising ISMG on issues which arise from new policies and

A6. What mechanisms do we have in place to raise awareness of all areas of equal opportunity legislation and best practice?

procedures. Annually the IS equality and diversity plan and university equal opportunity policy will be emailed to staff and placed on the IS intranet site. A page will be created on the IS intranet site for this purpose. Ensure that all IS staff are aware of and understand their responsibility in respect of Equality & Diversity policies and practice  A workshop of current best practice will be given to all staff.  Undertake consultation process – on specific policies and practices Review IS documentation to ensure inclusion of policy and information on Equality & Diversity to eliminate any potential discriminatory practices As new best practice emerges information will be updated to staff through the IS intranet site and appropriate staff development activities. See A5. The Equality and diversity Advisor will be responsible for ensuring that appropriate staff development activities are available to those who are responsible for advising students, by liaising with the Student Services. For students, advice on issues of equality and diversity will be the ultimate responsibility of the Equality and diversity Advisor with specific advice on issues relating to disability being the responsibility of the Disability Advisor. The equality & diversity issues raised at school programme executive boards will be presented at a subsequent ISMG/Equality & Diversity group meeting. In this way, any issues raised can be acted on. Establish a Student focus group in conjunction with the Student Association. The minutes from the focus group will be presented at a subsequent ISMG meeting. Members of the focus group will be reminded to seek quality & diversity related views from their fellow students to feed into the activities of the focus group. The name of the Equality and diversity Advisor and Disability Advisor will be widely distributed to enable any staff member or

A7. What mechanisms do we have in place to ensure there is a voice for different equal opportunity groups within the service and that this voice is listened to in the short and longer-term planning process?

A8. What mechanisms are in place to enable feedback and ensure grievances are handled appropriately?

student to contact the appropriate person about any issues that affect them. If these issues require urgent action they will be communicated to ISMG through the Equality and diversity Advisor, who works in conjunction with the Disability Advisor. Student and staff grievances will be handled through central University grievance procedures.

B. Equality for Staff
At service level the main issues of concern are: B1. What information do we currently gather Staff will be consulted to identify the most regarding the experiences of staff from appropriate, reliable and comprehensive way different equal opportunity groupings? to gather this information and on their particular needs. The result of the consultation will be used to inform University Equal Opportunity Committee’s action on the gathering of this information. B2. To what extent is this information Although some of this information is currently currently used for development or future provided by HR, IS believes that by planning purposes? consulting with staff on their particular needs we will be able to identify areas for action and development. What mechanisms are in place to ensure that the views of equal opportunity groups are given appropriate consideration in decisionmaking and policy development? B3. What mechanisms are in place to assess differences between disabled and nondisabled staff? During this consultation IS will also identify the most appropriate way to ensure that minority views are given appropriate consideration in decision making and policy development. During the induction and discussion with new start staff, the line manager will discuss any requirements of the staff member and put in place appropriate adjustments. IS Disability Advisor will advise the line manager, as required. See A2. It is anticipated that the policy and practice areas which are most likely to be affected will be recruitment, induction, support, promotion, career review, retention and staff development. Recruitment –  ensure all recruitment panels comply with equality & diversity policy and practice and meet the University’s legal obligations [all recruitment panels to have undertaken equality & diversity training]  recruitment panels to be more diverse [recruitment panels to have been reviewed to ensure

B4. Which policy and practice areas are likely to most impact on the experiences of minority group staff?

representation is diverse wherever possible] Induction –  Ensure new appointees have been thoroughly inducted, including briefing on equality & diversity issues [all new appointees to attend the IS and University Induction sessions] Support –  Ensure there is a central reference point for relevant information, contacts and links [Establish an IS equality & diversity website] Career Review/Promotion –  Increase awareness of equality & diversity issues in relation to appraisals and promotion practices [staff involve in career reviews and appraisals to have received training in equality & diversity issues Retention (in conjunction with HR)–  Improve monitoring of staff retention via questionnaires with particular focus on equality & diversity issues [exit questionnaire to be reviewed to include equality & diversity; improvement in staff turnover figures] Staff development & training –  Increase awareness of equality & diversity issues at all levels in IS [staff at all levels to have undertaken training on equality & diversity issues, in line with the University’s Equality & Diversity training plan]  Increase participation in personal/leadership development training programme by staff from groups under represented at higher grade posts [under-represented groups to have undertaken development activities]  Ensure members of staff from under represented groups feel supported and valued [Mentoring scheme for under represented staff to have been undertaken] The practice areas that will also be affected in IS include teaching, learning and assessment. It is hoped that by raising awareness of

B5. How do we promote a culture of

inclusiveness and disclosure of disability?

B6. Who has responsibility for these areas of policy and practice?

equality issues in the service through workshops, impact analyses and various task group work that staff will feel that they are able to discuss such issues with their line managers through Career Review or seek the advice of the Equality and diversity Advisor or Disability Advisor. The ultimate responsibility for staff matters remains with the Head of Information Services. Consultation will need to take place with HR to identify delineation of responsibilities.

C. Equality for Students
At service level the main issues of concern are: C1. What information do we currently gather regarding the experiences of minority groups and how can this be improved? How can we ensure that data collected on student issues can give evidence regarding disability? Currently information sets regarding disability, gender, age, race etc are collected during registration. With the exception of disability, this information is currently used exclusively for HESA reporting. There is a need to develop better ways to gain information about the experiences of these groups. A better way of designing questions to elicit better quality information on the experiences of students in minority groups and disabled groups, that is student-led, will be explored and encouraged as part of a university-wide initiative. Awareness of equality issues will be increased through changes in induction (C5), the inclusion of equality issues as an agenda item for ISMG meetings and consideration of equality issues at the IS Student focus group, IS-Student Association Liaison Group, and school PEBs meetings. In addition, student representatives on IS Student focus and project/service related meetings will be reminded that they should seek equality- and diversity-related views from their fellow students to feed into the various project/service working group they sit on. Through student representation on school Programme Executive Boards (PEBs) and the IS Student focus group, and IS-Student Association Liaison Group, issues will be raised which will then form part of service reporting, development and review. This development and review may require

C2. How do we encourage a culture of inclusiveness and disclosure of disability?

C3. What mechanisms are in place to assess any differences between the learning experiences of minority groups?

C4. To what extent is inclusiveness information used for development and future planning.

further investigation by the IS Equality & Diversity group For the modules that we are primarily responsible for (e.g. ECDL, Information Literacy), do we include accessibility and teachability information? Policies and practices affecting students will be covered by the measures identified in A2, A3 and A4. During the induction period the various support services of IS and Student Services are outlined. In the past this has concentrated on disability and teachability issues. This induction will be expanded to include the wider issues of equal opportunities and student literature, including the service fact sheets, will be updated to promote greater awareness of minority issues. The ISMG, IS Student focus group and ISStudent Association Liaison Group meetings will have ‘Equal Opportunities’ as a standing item on all agendas from Dec 07. This will ensure that these issues are considered in relation to all areas of decision and policy making within the service. This will be identified in the process outlined in A2, A3 and A4. However, it is expected that learning, teaching and assessment will be the most substantially affected area. Through the IS Student focus group, ISStudent Association Liaison Group, IS annual student survey and school PEBs, information will be fed forward to the ISMG The Equality and diversity Advisor (see A5) will advise ISMG on equality and diversity issues relating to policies and practices affecting students. The Equality and diversity Advisor, in conjunction with the Disability Advisor. Not applicable, as there was no specific plan to report against.

C5. What mechanisms are in place to ensure that students are given appropriate induction?

C6. What mechanisms are in place to ensure that equal opportunity matters are considered in all areas of decision making and policy development?

C7. Which policy and practice areas are most likely to impact most on the experiences of minority group students? C8. How will we ensure that future decisions at all levels include involvement of minority groups to gauge how these decisions may impact on them? C9. Who is responsible for these areas of policy and practice? C10. Who is responsible for day-to-day management of equality and diversity-related issues for students? C11. What progress has been made in the last 3-5 years to ensure the needs of minority and disabled students have been considered in policies and practices? C12. Who has key responsibility in IS for ensuring that the requirements of minority student groups are met? C13. What plans do we have for engaging students in the process of drawing up the IS Equality and diversity Scheme and action plan?

ISMG via the IS Equality & Diversity group, IS Student focus group, IS-Student Association Liaison Group, and school PEBs. Once the draft plan has been approved by ISMG it will be distributed to all staff and students to allow further comment before finalisation.

D. Equality for members of the public
Members of the public who interact with IS include prospective students, parents, visiting academics, external library members, company representatives and guests of staff or the service. There may be others who may use our services but it will be difficult to identify their needs prior to contact. Information Services believe that any policies, practices or responsibilities relating to these groups fall within the remit of the larger University rather than to specific sections, service or School.

Summary of IS Equality and diversity Action Plan
Action number A1 A1. A1 A2 A2 A3 Description Approve and oversee Equality and Diversity scheme and action plan Review progress of Equality and Diversity Action plan annually Establish an IS Equality & Diversity group Committees and standing/working groups to identify areas of their work for impact analysis Ensure that all IS working groups integrate equality & diversity issues within their remit and action plans Reporting of A2 plus the results of the impact analysis sent to ISMG Responsible person/group ISMG ISMG ISMG Committee/working group Chairs ISMG IS Equality & Diversity group Committee/working group Chairs SIMs (WTIM & Information Literacy) Depute Head of Service ISMG Equality and diversity Advisor Equality and diversity Advisor Equality and diversity Advisor ISMG Equality and diversity Advisor Equality and diversity Due Date Nov 07 Nov 08 Nov 07 April 08 Nov 07 Sept 08 Comments/Current Status Review annually Plan of work to May 08 ISMG

A3 A3 A4/A5 A4 A4 A5 A6 A6 A6

Report on teaching related equality and diversity related issues and actions Inclusion of Equality and diversity issues in Information Service Annual Report Identify someone to act as Equality and diversity Advisor – combine role with that of the IS Representative on the University Equal Opportunity Committee/Chair of RETG Ensure that senior managers in IS and IS Equality & Diversity group members understand the legislative base for equality & diversity Equality & Diversity training to be delivered to IS senior managers and the IS Equality & Diversity group members Equality and diversity Advisor to liaise with Student Services to identify areas of responsibility Email University Equal Opportunity policy and IS Equality and diversity plan to staff Workshop on best practice Collection and distribution of best practice information

Jan 08 From Jan 08 Dec 07

Feb 08 Aug 08 Term 3 On-going Recurring annually Recurring annually

A6 A7 A7 A8 B1 & 2 B4 B4 B4 B4 B6 C1 C1 C3 C3 C4 C5 C6

Review IS documentation to ensure inclusion of policy Establish Student Focus Group or IS-Student liaison group Ensure that Student Focus Group functions adequately and remind student Representatives of their equality and diversity role. Distribution of names of Equality and diversity Advisor and Disability Advisor Consult staff on the best way to gain information on their equal opportunity needs Include Equality and Diversity as an item in IS staff probation objectives Update IS staff induction checklist/programme to include equality and diversity awareness Equality & Diversity training to be delivered to all IS staff Establish an IS Equality and Diversity space in Portal Consult with HR on delineation of responsibilities Consult with students on the most appropriate way to gather information Explore ways of designing questions to elicit information on experiences of students in minority and disability groups Collation of best practice Module & CPD Review Update Teachability Audit Update induction programme Add ‘Equal opportunities’ to the agendas for ISMG, the Student focus,

Advisor ISMG ISMG ISMG/ Equality and diversity Advisor ISMG ISMG ISMG ISMG Equality and diversity Advisor/Disability Advisor/HR Equality and diversity Advisor H of IS/Depute H of IS Equality and diversity Advisor / Disability Advisor Equality and diversity Advisor / Disability Advisor IS Equality & Diversity group SIMs (WTIM & Information Literacy) SIMs (WTIM & Information Literacy) SIM (Information Literacy) Secretaries of the

Aug 08 Dec 07 Dec 07 As assigned Feb 08 Dec 07 Dec 07 Aug 08 Feb 08 Jan 08 Feb 08 Apr 08 On-going Normal cycle Jan 08 Sept 08 Dec 07

C13

and IS-Student Association Liaison Group Distribution of this document to staff and students for comment

respective committees ISMG

Dec 07


				
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