Combined Equality Scheme (CES)
The University's Equality & Diversity (E&D) section has been tasked with providing specialist expertise to support the University's functions and specific duties as an employer and public education provider.
The University is responsible for taking steps to identify, prevent and eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and promote equality of opportunity and good relations. The University is also obliged to develop, review and publish regular reports defining how the institution is progressing equality for those groups protected by equalities law.
The Equality Act 2010 replaces numerous Acts and Regulations and strengthens equality and discrimination law. Instead of separate instruments, The Act defines a list of protected characteristics on the basis of which it would be unlawful to discriminate. It places Age, Pregnancy and Maternity, Religion or Belief, Sexual Orientation and Gender Reassignment on equal legal terms with Race, Gender and Disability. The Act also incorporates specific requirements, for example establishing Equality Objectives, monitoring and reporting, and demonstrating due regard.
In response to the ending of formal distinctions between the different equalities strands, the University moved from reporting against Race, Gender and Disability, to adopting a Combined Equality Scheme in 2010.
The CES was amended to incorporate the updated public equality duties and was formally approved in 2012.
Combined Equality Scheme: Strategic Themes
In developing the Combined Equality Scheme, five strategic themes were identified that reflect the operational processes through which the University engages with its community, identifies equality objectives and priorities, and meets its broader legal duties. These themes are indicated below.
Governance and Policy Development
Effective structures and mechanisms to approve, implement, monitor, assess, review, update, consult and report upon policies and actions to achieve legal compliance and progress equality.
Developing and Implementing Best Practice
Enabling the University to refine its equality and diversity practice via the on-going work through the University's governance structures, the development of viable benchmarks and performance matrix and the provision of specialised training.
Inclusive Practice for Staff and Students
Ensuring the University is an inclusive institution for all its diverse staff and students; establishing mechanisms for engagement, representation and support; promoting good employment, teaching and learning practice and eliminating any and all forms of discrimination, harassment or unfair treatment.
Promotion of Equality and Diversity
Meeting the public equality duty to promote good relations between different groups; facilitating the University's participation in equality and diversity projects, activities and external networks locally, regionally and nationally; addressing any under-representation of specific communities, and providing opportunities to promote the University as an excellent employer and education provider.
Data and Information Provision
Communications, raising awareness of and promoting policies, data and management information in relation to equality and diversity commitments and objectives across the University and, where appropriate, externally.