TSI equality and diversity policy

1. Mission statement
2. Scope
3. Aims
4. Objectives
5. Responsibilities
6. Breach of policy
7. Professional conduct committee
8. Definitions

1. Mission statement

1.1. We will promote a professional environment, which is inclusive and aware of the different needs, aspirations and contributions of each individual member of the Institute, and will encourage and support this diversity to reflect the society in which we work.

1.2. We will provide a framework that will help support our commitment to equality and diversity, and enable progress to be made towards our goal of respecting, valuing and celebrating the strengths of a diverse profession and workforce.

1.3. We are committed to the implementation of this policy in the provision of educational and vocational training and in our Continual Professional and Personal Development programme. We will work towards developing the Institute as a model of good practice on equality and diversity issues and promote and support this policy through all appropriate channels.

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2. Scope

2.1. This policy applies to all our activities as a representative body, employer, service provider and educational establishment and relates to inappropriate conduct on the grounds of race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, religious, ethical or political belief, social, economic, family and educational background, nationality, and faith.

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3. Aims

3.1. We ensure that all employees and representatives have equal access to opportunities to develop and maintain skills and competencies to enable them to play their part in promoting equality within the organisation but will continue to expect appointments, promotions, or any other opportunities to continue to be based on merit, ability and relevant expertise.

3.2. We will work towards ensuring that Council, the Board, Branch Executive Committees and any such representative bodies within the Institute reflect and represent the diversity of the membership in the profession.

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4. Objectives

4.1. We will provide staff and members of the Institute with opportunities to develop and maintain skills and competencies so that they have the knowledge and confidence to deal with equality and diversity issues in an inclusive and robust manner.

4.2. We recognise that discrimination may lead to inequalities and disadvantages that impact on the life chances of individuals, therefore access to and progress within the Trading Standards profession will continue to be monitored and positive action will be taken, where appropriate.

4.3. We will regularly monitor and evaluate our decision making and assess the impact of our policies, procedures and processes to ensure that no one group is adversely effected and responsibly influence social policy through use of evidence from staff, members and other stakeholders.

4.4. Monitoring and evaluation will be a regular feature of our equality and diversity work and we will look to develop performance indicators to assess our progress in achieving our goals.

4.5. We will ensure that equality and diversity is integral to all our activities by identifying the impact and consequences for different groups and taking steps to build equality and diversity into all planning processes.

4.6. We will develop an action plan through consultation with members and staff which will translate the objectives set out above into appropriate actions to be implemented.

4.7. Consideration will be given to the development of focus groups to ensure effective and inclusive consultation in the implementation of the plan.

4.8. We will ensure that there are adequate resources to support equality and diversity and that those resources are effectively used.

4.9. We will expect all contractors and service providers of the Institute and others acting on our behalf to adhere to relevant equality and diversity policies. We will communicate this by including equality and diversity information in tender documents and in all contracts

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5. Responsibilities

5.1. TSI's Council has overall responsibility for equality and diversity including providing strategic direction, setting policy and monitoring progress.

5.2. The Lead Officer for Equality and Diversity is responsible for advising on and developing equality and diversity policies, co-ordinating equality and diversity activities and detailing a review of progress.

5.3. Each Institute Officer will be responsible for policy compliance within their remit and for delivering outcomes for the actions in the action plan.

5.4. Every Branch Executive will be responsible for ensuring that the equality and diversity policy is fully taken into account in their own actions and in respect of their responsibilities and spheres of activity.

5.5. The Chief Executive Office will be directly responsible for implementing the policy as part of mainstream management of TSI and ensure that all members act in accordance with these policies, by providing the necessary support and direction.

5.6. All members are responsible for ensuring that the policy is put into practice. They must ensure that they have read and understood this policy and ensure that either the Honorary Secretary, the Chief Executive of the Institute or the Lead Officer for Equality and Diversity is informed of any instances of inappropriate behaviour, as outlined in 5.7 below.

5.7. We will not tolerate discriminatory behaviour, victimisation or harassment in any of its forms by or to our members and employees, as this will be viewed as inappropriate behaviour and a breach of this policy. We will expect all members and employees to behave and to be treated in a respectful and appropriate manner and to uphold and implement this policy.

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6. Breach of policy

6.1. We will take action to address inappropriate behaviour and reinforce the expectations of our members and employees in supporting and implementing this policy.

6.2. It will be a condition of service that employees of the Institute, when members of TSI adhere to this policy and failure to do so will be cause for disciplinary action. The Council and the Board will be responsible for ensuring that the equality and diversity policy is taken fully into account in respect of the responsibilities relating to employment within the Institute's control.

6.3. All members who are employed must respect the policy and procedures of their employer. It will be a condition of membership that Members adhere to this policy when representing the Institute or in their dealings with other Members of the Institute or employees of the Institute. Failure to do so will be cause for action to be taken in line with the Institute's Code of Professional Conduct.

6.4. It must be recognised that the Institute will not be in a position to take such action where non-members breach the policy.

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7. Professional conduct committee

7.1. Breaches of this Policy will be dealt with by the Professional Conduct Committee as detailed in the Code of Professional Conduct and the Lead Officer for Equality and Diversity is required to be present.

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8. Definitions

8.1. Direct Discrimination occurs when someone is treated less favourably on the grounds of their race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, religious, ethical or political belief, social, economic, family and educational background, nationality, and faith

8.2. Diversity is the differences in the values, attitudes, culture, beliefs, ethnic backgrounds, sexuality, skills, knowledge and life experiences of individuals in any group of people.

8.3. Equal opportunities is the development of practices to remove barriers and to promote fair and equal chances for all to develop their full potential in all aspects of life.

8.4. Equalities refers to all work to address issues of discrimination and disadvantages, particularly as it relates to race, disability, gender, sexuality, faith and age.

8.5. Equality Impact Assessments (EIA) looks at new and changed policies and looks at any adverse impact a policy has on various groups.

8.6. Harassment is regarded as direct discrimination because it constitutes a 'detriment' in employment or in the way a service is provided. The Race Regulations makes harassment on grounds of race, ethnic or national origin a separate unlawful act.

8.7. Indirect Discrimination occurs when the effect of certain rules or conditions or practices imposed has an adverse impact disproportionately on a particular group or individual.

8.8. Impact assessment is a systematic way of finding out whether an existing or proposed policy or function affects different groups differently.

8.9. Impact Needs/Requirement Assessment (INRA) reviews all existing policies and procedures, and looks at adverse impact as well as the unmet needs of a policy regarding all equality areas.

8.10. Policy = 'Equality and Diversity' Policy

8.11. Positive Action in employment. The Race Relations Act does not allow positive discrimination, in other words an employer cannot try to change the balance of the workforce by selecting someone mainly because he or she is from a particular racial group. However employees and others can take positive action to prevent discrimination or to overcome past discrimination. Where over the previous twelve months no one from a particular racial group or only a few people from that racial group have been doing a certain type of work then it is lawful to offer training and/or support only for people from that racial group to encourage people from that racial group to apply. The aim of positive action is to ensure that people from previously excluded groups can compete on equal terms with other applicants equally.

8.12. Victimisation occurs if you have been singled out for punishment or less favourable treatment.

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Should you have any queries, comments or issues regarding this policy please send them to loequalities@tsi.org.uk

TSI Equalities and Diversity Policy
Version 2, September 2008 (References to the ‘Executive Board’ have been changed to the ‘Board’ to reflect changes in TSI governance)