How to undertake an equality impact assessment

This web page will outline in detail the process of an Equality Impact Assessment. Please find the guidance structured in a frequently asked questions format.

In response to Covid-19 we have created guidance on completing Returning to campus and Covid-19 Equality Impact Assessments and provided a template of considerations that should be taken into account. Additionally, we have commissioned AdvanceHE to deliver comprehensive EIA training. You can view a recorded session here.

Please see our prioritisation guidance. This document will help you determine if your policy or procedure needs urgent assessment.

Please see our Equality Impact Assessment Template. 

If you need assistance completing the Equality Impact Assessment, please see the annotated version of the template.

If you would like a digital copy of a delegate pack from our event that took place 8 July 2019, please click here. For the most updated guidance, please use the links above.

If you need any help, please contact us.


What is an Equality Impact Assessment?

An Equality Impact Assessment, or EIA, is a way of ensuring LSE’s policies, practices, services and functions are the very best that they can be by checking:

  • That they do not inadvertently disadvantage anyone, and
  • That wherever possible, they proactively advance equality, diversity and inclusion.

For example, a decision to move a team to a different office on a different campus may seem like it impacts the same way on everyone, but actually:

  • Staff members with a physical disability will need to know about the accessibility of the new office to ensure they can get in, evacuation procedures to ensure they can get out in an emergency, the location of the new office to test their new commute etc…
  • Staff members with certain mental health issues may feel more anxious about the move, they may have their commute and working arrangements mapped out to suit the current office and the new location will require changes 
  • Staff members with childcare and/or caring responsibilities may need to think about changes to their commute, and therefore changes to daycare locations 
  • Staff with particular religions and beliefs may need to know about faith provision, for example a prayer room in the new building, or local places of worship near the new office

And there are likely to be other considerations as well.

The purpose of an EIA is to pre-empt any issues: anticipate what the impact of the policy is on different groups of staff, students and prospective staff and students, mitigate any negatives and maximise any positives.

Which groups of staff and students do I need to consider in an equality impact assessment?

Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) processes have been developed in response to legislation – the Equality Act 2010, and the Act requires LSE to specifically consider:

  • Age – including older and younger people
  • Disability, including those with physical disabilities, unseen disabilities and mental health issues
  • Sex– both men and women
  • Gender reassignment or gender identity, including trans staff and students who have transitioned, are thinking of transitioning or are in the process of transitioning from one gender to another, and also non-binary staff and students (those who do not identify with, or reject gender labels)
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnant people and those on maternity leave
  • Race and ethnicity, which includes a person’s nationality, colour, native language, culture and geographic origin
  • Religion and belief – which includes those with no religion or belief
  • Sexual orientation- including gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer and straight staff and students

It’s also important to think, where possible, how these characteristics intersect. For example, a Black woman will have different experiences to a Black man, and considering how gender and ethnicity intersect may impact on how policies are developed and implemented.

When do I need to conduct an equality impact assessment?

Ideally an equality impact assessment (EIA) should be conducted as early as possible, to enable any identified issues to be mitigated or avoided altogether. 

This is usually a good way to save money as well: it’s easier to create something that’s accessible for everyone from scratch, rather than having to make changes later. 

It can also save potential embarrassment, even in projects with equality at their heart, like this accessible toilet…..with steps! 

 Photo of an accessible toilet with steps to the toilet instead of a ramp

If you are developing a new policy, process, function or service, or you are reviewing an existing policy, process, function or service, conduct an EIA.

Existing policies, processes, functions and services

Eventually, LSE wants to ensure that everything has been equality impact assessed, but that will take time.

In the first instance we want to prioritise those policies, processes, functions and services which are likely to have the biggest impact on different groups, and start there, whilst developing a timeline for other areas.


Evidence and consultation

A fundamental part of EIA is evidence, and involvement from relevant protected groups. This might include:

  • statistical data-survey data-focus groups and interviews
  • complaints and feedback forms
  • other qualitative research-feedback from relevant networks and societies-evidence from other universities (and other organisations from outside the sector) where they have similar issues

Consider what information you already have and whether that is enough. If you need more, think about where you might be able to get further information internally, and externally.

The EDI team has a planned programme of engagement with our internal staff networks to manage the additional workload placed on them, and coordinate what is being reviewed. If you have a policy, practice, function or service that you would like our staff networks to feedback on, then please get in contact with the EDI team, and we will facilitate the review.

What if I need to change something as a result of the equality impact assessment?

The whole point of equality impact assessments (EIAs) is to plan things inclusively, and so any changes resulting from the EIA are likely to be easy to build into plans and actions as they are developed. That’s why it’s important to conduct the EIA as soon as possible.

Where you are conducting an EIA on an existing policy, process, function or service, be prepared for actions to arise. Small tweaks and changes can probably be implemented easily, but where bigger issues are identified they may require further thought. You need to take proportionate and reasonable steps to rectify issues identified, but where there are significant budgetary and resource implications, speak to the EDI team to plan a suitable way forward.

EIA Webinar - Why have one?


EIA Webinar 1 - Why do we have to do them? EIA Webinar 1 - Why do we have to do them?
Webinar to explain why equality impact assessments are important EDI Team

EIA Webinar - How to conduct them

EIA Webinar 2 - How to conduct one EIA Webinar 2 - How to conduct one
Webinar to explain how to complete an equality impact assessment EDI Team

What next?

  1. Have a look at our full information, advice and guidance
  2. Watch our webinars on how to conduct an equality impact assessment. These are listed above. 
  3. List, and then prioritise your team’s policies, processes, functions and services. If you want some support, contact the EDI team and we can come along to one of your team meetings to help you. Our email is
  4. Start conducting equality impact assessments. Remember that you know the policy best – be methodical and take your time, and you’ll be able to identify equality, diversity and inclusion issues. 
  5. If you have lots of questions, or want to check you’re doing it right please email the EDI team.
    Once you’ve done one, it will get easier, and the EDI team can provide support and feedback.


Equality impact assessments are a legal requirement (we need to demonstrate ‘due regard’ to equality in all that we do) but that’s not why we’re doing them. We all want to make LSE the very best it can be, and any changes you make will ultimately benefit everyone. So have some fun, be creative and make our policies, processes, functions and services fully inclusive and sector-leading.