Equality, Diversity – Equal Opportunities Policy Document

Outdoor First Aid Limited (OFA)

Equality, Diversity – Equal Opportunities

Policy Document

1.            Introduction

1.1 OFA is committed to providing services that embrace diversity, promote equality of opportunity and assessments that are based on requirements only and do not discriminate against anyone.

1.2 The purpose of this policy is to explicitly state how this commitment and current legislations are to be applied by this Centre to first aid training courses, qualifications and assessment practices.

1.3            OFA will advise all candidates where to find the current version of this policy via its website [www.outdoor-first-aid-courses.com].  Candidates may request a paper version.

1.4 This policy covers 3 broad areas:

a)    Equality is where people are treated fairly and given an equal opportunity.  It is not about treating everyone in the same way, but recognises that needs can be met in different ways.  Equality focuses on those areas covered by the law, namely the key areas of race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation and age. Legislation seeks to prevent discrimination in all these areas.   This Centre believes we all have a duty to promote equality and remove discrimination in race, gender and disability.

b)    Diversity is about recognising, valuing and managing individual differences to enable everyone to contribute in their own way feeling comfortable with and understanding various different needs.

c)    Equal Opportunity is about providing good practice guidance relating to candidates who are eligible for reasonable adjustments in activities and assessments or who require special considerations.

1.5 Scope of this policy

This policy will be applied to all training courses and qualifications offered by this Centre.

2.            Equal Opportunities Statement

2.1 OFA is committed to providing equal opportunity for everyone who is employed by this Centre or takes advantage of the services provided by this Centre, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, disability, ethnic origin, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, political persuasion or trades union activity.  This commitment will be informed by current UK legislation and EU directive e.g. recognising restrictions on those working with young children and vulnerable adults.

2.2 It is morally wrong to discriminate directly or indirectly and hinder equality of opportunity.  Thus it is our intention to ensure that no person is subject to unfair treatment in any way and we recognise our responsibilities and legal obligations under all current legislation including the following Acts:

  • Equal Pay Act (1970)
  • Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974)
  • Sex Discrimination Act (1975)
  • Race Relations Act (1976)
  • Disability Discrimination Act (1995)
  • Protection from Harassment Act (1997)
  • Human Rights Act (1998)
  • Data Protection Act (1998)
  • Race Relations (Amendment) Act (2000)
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (2001/2005)
  • Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations (2003)
  • Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (2003)

3. Application of Equal Opportunities Statement

3.1 OFA will ensure equality for all learners by ensuring that:

a)    Responsibility for the full implementation, evidence collection, maintenance of registers and annual review of this policy is taken by the manager of OFA.  All such evidence is to be made available to the Awarding Body upon request.

b)    All qualifications used by this Centre are developed by Awarding Bodies with robust equality systems.

c)    All assessment instruments and processes used will be free from any bias, and inclusive for all candidates.

d)    All OFA Trainers, Assessors are made aware of our commitment to equality of opportunity during staff induction and cpd.

e)    All OFA candidates are made aware of this equal opportunities policy and its implementation on all training course.

f)     As many candidates, and as diverse a range of candidates as possible have access to our qualifications.

g)    OFA Candidates have the opportunity to feedback by evaluation forms to this Centre after every course.

h)    Candidates can utilise the Centre Malpractice & Misconduct procedures or Appeals/Complaints procedures for matters relating to alleged discrimination.

i)      This Centre will collect sufficient data to allow monitoring and evaluation, to ensure that there is no discrimination on the grounds of race, disability and gender, via candidate registration, achievement documents and course evaluations.

j)      This policy and statement is reviewed by OFA annually.

k)      Where a barrier to learning has been identified (through review process, EV reports or complaints and appeals procedures being invoked, this Centre investigate and take appropriate action (withdraw assessment material – amend/update – provide training, as necessary) and then continue to monitor the evidence.

4. Diversity Statement

4.1 Diversity is about valuing and respecting the differences between learners, regardless of ability and/or circumstances or any other individual characteristic they may have.

4.2 This Centre believes differences should be acknowledged, celebrated and embraced to help ensure that all learners feel included in the learning process and the learning environment is suitable for all.

4.3 OFA will consider the following list whilst preparing and undertaking its training activities:

a)    Environment and equipment E.g. adjustable height workstations, accessibility, CPR manikins reflecting age and/or ethnic origin of potential learners.

b)    Programme resources E.g. Handouts and presentations to be capable of adaptation to a number of formats, consider other languages, language level and jargon, illustrations to reflect diversity of potential learners.

c)    Staff development E.g. Ensuring all are well informed of current policies and procedures in good time for the knowledge to be meaningful.

d)    Information E.g. This should be accessible to all, email or notice-board or leaflet.

e)    Liaising with others E.g. Language interpreters may be required or staff who can use sign language.

f)     Information may need to be shared between businesses, learners have to agree to their disclosure to be shared with legitimate agencies. The Disability, Discrimination Act (DDA) describes the duty to comply with learner requests for confidentiality.

g)    Feedback and evaluations should be obtained from all learners to ensure that current practices are responsive to their needs and any barriers to learning identified and mitigated.

 

5.            Summary of Procedures during training and assessment session

5.1 Candidate Procedures

a) For any matter arising from or relating to this policy during a training course, candidates should:

  1. I.     Inform the Trainer delivering the course.  Most matters can be resolved at this level. Minor concerns can be addressed by making a comment upon the course evaluation form (03).
  2. II.     Inform OFA in writing at their earliest opportunity if the situation cannot easily be resolved.
  3. III.     Inform ITC directly if OFA cannot resolve the matter according to published timescales.
  4. IV.     All OFA trainers/assessors know this procedure and are informed at staff induction.

6. Data collection

6.1 It is OFA policy that all information and data be shared with the regulatory authorities upon request.  Data forms are:

a) Candidate Registration Form

  1. Special needs or reasonable adjustments requested (text box)

b) Candidate Evaluation Form

  1. I.     Each candidate is asked to complete an end of course evaluation form.
  2. II.     Candidates have an opportunity to add ‘amplified comment’ to possible areas of concern, each comment received is scrutinised by the OFA Director.  Any area for concern is investigated.  Specific evaluation questions ask for a candidate response relating to:
  • The assessment component of the qualification
  • The teaching component of the qualification
  • The qualification courses materials
  • Special adjustment requirement

c) Access to Training & Assessment Form

Each completed form will be logged.

d) Special Considerations Form

Each completed form will be logged.

7.            Equality Impact Monitoring

7.1            OFA will maintain an Equality & Diversity complaints register that will be reviewed annually.

7.2           OFA will review this policy annually as part of IQA procedures.

Appendix: Disability Discrimination Act

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) protects disabled people.  The Act sets out the circumstances in which a person is ‘disabled’.  It says you are disabled if you have:

  • A mental or physical impairment
  • This has an adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day to day activities
  • The adverse effect is substantial
  • The adverse effect is long term (meaning it has lasted for 12 months, or is likely to last for more than 12 months or for the rest of your life)

There are some provisions, for example:

  • If your impairment has substantially affected your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities but does not anymore, it will still be counted as having that effect if it is likely to do so again.
  • If you have a progressive condition, and it will substantially affect your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities in the future, you will be regarded has having an impairment that has a substantial adverse effect from the moment the condition has some effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
  • It you have been diagnosed as having cancer, HIV infection or multiple sclerosis you will automatically be considered as ‘disabled’.
  • If you are registered blind or partially sighted or certified as blind or partially sighted by a consultant opthalmologist, you will automatically be considered as ‘disabled’.
  • People who have had a disability in the past but are no longer disabled are covered by certain parts of the DDA.

What are ‘normal day-to-day activities’?

At least one of the following areas must be substantially affected:

  • Mobility
  • Manual dexterity
  • Physical co-ordination
  • Continence
  • Ability to lift, carry or move everyday objects
  • Speech, hearing or eyesight
  • Memory or ability to concentrate, learn or understand
  • Understanding of the risk of physical danger

It is important to think about the effect of impairment without treatment.

The Act states that any treatment or correction should not be taken into account, including medical treatment or the use of a prosthesis or other aid (for example, a hearing aid).  The only things that are taken into account are glasses or contact lenses.

It is important for the candidate to work out how their impairment affects them.  They should focus on what they cannot do, or find difficult, rather than what they can do.

For example, if, as a result of hearing impairment, you experience difficulty hearing someone talking at a sound level that is normal for everyday conversations in a moderately noisy place, it would be reasonable to regard this as having a substantial adverse effect.  Being unable to hold a conversation in a very noisy place such as a factory floor would not.

If you impairment affects your mobility, being unable to travel a short journey as a passenger in a vehicle would reasonable be regarded as having a substantial adverse effect as would only being able to walk slowly or with unsteady jerky movements.  But experiencing some minor discomfort as a result of walking without help for about a mile would not.

Taken from Disability Rights Commission website (http://www.drc-gb.org/) frequently asked questions.