Equality and Diversity Policy
1. The College is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination, bullying, harassment or victimisation, where all members of its community are treated with respect and dignity. It aims to create a culture of diversity within its community, providing a dynamic working and learning environment, where all members are valued for their contribution and individuality.
2. We are committed to providing equality of opportunity for all, irrespective of:
• ethnicity (including race, colour and nationality)
• gender (including gender reassignment, gender identity, marital status, pregnancy or maternity)
• religion, belief
• sexual orientation (including civil partnership status)
3. The College is an institution operating in a local, national and international context.
4. The policy is applicable to all staff, students and applicants. The principles of nondiscrimination and equality of opportunity also apply to the way in which staff and students should treat each other, visitors, contractors, sub-contractors, service providers, suppliers and any other persons associated with the functions of the College.
5. We will work to ensure that all of our students, employees and visitors, as well as those who seek to apply to work or study with us are treated fairly and are not subjected to unlawful discrimination in any form.
6. The College aims to promote equality of opportunity for all, through the following objectives:
• mainstreaming equality into the College’s strategic and planning agenda;
• complying with its legal obligations;
• having an effective data monitoring and analysis process that supports this policy;
• assessing the impact on equality in our policies, procedures and practices at the College;
• involving staff, students and other stakeholders in the development and delivery of our equality objectives;
• ensuring that managers and staff undergo appropriate equality training for their role;
• promoting equality and diversity through internal and external communications;
• ensuring staff and student support services are accessible to all;
• ensuring that both existing staff and students, as well as those who seek to apply to work or study with us, are treated fairly and that individuals are judged solely on merit and by reference to their skills, abilities, qualifications, aptitude and potential;
• ensuring that staff, students and their unions’ representatives are provided with appropriate forums e.g. the College Equality and Diversity Committee and network groups, to discuss equality and diversity issues and raise any concerns;
• ensuring that all contractors and service providers operating on behalf of the College are aware of this policy and expected to adhere to it.
7. The College community as a whole, shares responsibility for the successful application of this policy, whilst specific responsibility falls on managers and advisors who are professionally involved in staff and student support, development and supervision.
8. The College is committed to developing initiatives to support all minority groups that have been disadvantaged in the past and to help address some of the imbalances which may still exist between its staff and student populations and the college community. The College will not, however, permit positive discrimination.
9. The College will seek to ensure that all staff and students have equal access to the full range of institutional facilities and that adjustments to working and learning practices are considered wherever reasonably possible in order to accommodate a more diverse community.
10. Any staff member or student who believes that he/she may have been the victim of discrimination, bullying, harassment or victimisation shall have recourse to the College’s relevant procedures – Anti-Bullying, Harassment and Victimisation (staff members) and the Student Complaints Policy (students). The College is committed to finding resolution for complaints under these procedures.
11. The College will work in partnership with recognised trade unions and the Students’ Union as well as external organisations where appropriate to combat all forms of unlawful discrimination.
Role and Responsibilities
12. Council has ultimate accountability for compliance with the College’s equality obligations and will receive annual reports from the Equality and Diversity Committee. The Chief Operating Officer has overall formal responsibility for the Equality and Diversity Policy. Human Resources and Registry will ensure the policy is reviewed and revised as necessary.
13. Staff and students have a responsibility to:
• understand this policy and the related procedures and to contact their manager, Human Resources or Registry with any questions;
• challenge or report inappropriate behaviour or any discrimination in accordance with the relevant procedure.
14. Managers have a responsibility to:
• set a good example by treating all members of the College with dignity and respect;
• correct unacceptable behaviour;
• ensure staff and students know how to report discrimination, bullying and harassment.
• ensure that reporting incidents does not result in victimisation;
• deal with complaints fairly, thoroughly, quickly and confidentially;
• ensure that due consideration is given to equality and diversity within their sphere of influence.
15. Human Resources is responsible for considering all existing and emerging equality legislation with a view to identifying relevant issues, which are then translated into the relevant College policies and procedures. Human Resources is also responsible for:
• supporting the implementation of the College's equality objectives through involvement and consultation;
• data monitoring, analysis and policy development;
• designing and delivering training and awareness raising campaigns;
• providing advice, support and guidance on related issues.
16. Any cases of harassment, discrimination, bullying or victimisation will be taken very seriously by the College. Any member of staff or student found guilty of unlawful discrimination or harassment will be subject to disciplinary action, including where appropriate, dismissal/termination of registration for gross misconduct.
17. Staff, students or other parties who make a complaint of discrimination have the right to do so without fear of victimisation and the College will make every effort to ensure victimisation does not occur and that any complaints are dealt with promptly and fairly.
18. The Anti-bullying, Harassment and Victimisation Procedure and the Student Complaints Policy are accessible on the College intranet and will guide the reader through how to make a complaint.
19. Any member of the public who wishes to make a complaint should address their complaint to the College school or department in question, in the first instance.
20. Human Resources will be happy to help with enquiries relating to discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation.
21. The equality objectives outline how the College will respond to its public sector equality duties. The key objectives have been identified in order to support the integration of equality of opportunity into all areas of the College and are directly linked to the College's overarching strategic agenda.
22. Progress against the College’s equality objectives will be measured using a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods. The Equality and Diversity Committee will receive termly monitoring reports that ensure progress is tracked and evaluated.
Further information and support is available from:
• Human Resources
• Student Support office
• Trade Union or Student’s Union representative