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Equality, Diversity & Inclusion



An Equality Impact Assessment (EIA), is a way of ensuring that the University of Cambridge’s policies, practices, services, functions, initiatives and projects are as inclusive as that they can be by ensuring that:

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

The Process involves the analysis of information and feedback from protected groups and others. This helps us to understand the actual or potential impact of changes on these groups.


Carrying out Equality Impact Assessments are a means of ensuring that we pay due regard to the Equality Act (2010) but that’s not why we’re doing them. We all want to make the University of Cambridge the very best it can be, and any changes you make will ultimately benefit everyone.



For more information, or if you have any questions, please speak to the ED&I section at


What requires an EIA?

An EIA should be carried out when a new policy is being developed, or there are changes suggested to a current policy, particularly where large numbers of staff or students will be affected by it. A policy is any decision, principle, plan or set of procedures that determines the way we carry out our business.

What groups of students and staff should be considered in an EIA?

The Equality Act 2010 requires the University 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 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

You may also wish to consider whether the policy would have an impact on staff or students with caring responsibilities, or those on part time rather than full time work or study patterns.

Often characteristics intersect, and the impact of a policy may be different for this group. For example, gender and ethnicity may intersect in a way that could impact on how policies are developed and implemented.

When should an EIA be carried out?

An EIA of a new policy should start as early in the planning and development process as possible. This helps to make sure that there is adequate time to make any adjustments identified in the EIA to ensure that the policy will be inclusive.

Speak to the ED&I section ( for advice about how to get started, any ED&I related data, address any steps required and to plan a suitable way forward.

Existing policies, processes, functions or services should undergo an EIA as they come up for review.

EIA Form and Guidance

The EIA Form is available to download. It can be completed electronically and saved whilst undertaking the different stages of the EIA. 

More detailed guidance has been produced to support the completion of EIAs. It is essential to refer to this whilst undertaking an EIA.