What is an Impact Assessment?

It’s what used to be called an EINA (Equality Impact and Needs Assessment). We revised the EINA paperwork to include economic and environmental impacts so we can make better, more joined-up decisions about delivering services or making changes.

An Impact Assessment is not ‘just a form’; it’s a process we use to make sure we have considered the most effective way to use our resources to advance equality and reduce inequalities between groups, to reduce environmental harm and support the economy.

The things we consider during impact assessment are all the things we should do anyway when we debate the options for a strategy, service or policy such as market research, analysing data and evidence about service users and their needs, consulting, weighing up the risks and the costs, considering how we can meet the desired outcomes in the best way, providing recommendations to decision makers.

The form is just a way to record what we considered and what evidence we used to come to a recommendation or decision. Under the Equality Act we have a legal duty to publish information about the way people are affected by our policies and practices.

Do I need to do an impact assessment?

It’s not always necessary – check the guidance on the Toolkit page first.

If you are running an event and you want to make sure it’s as accessible as possible, use the Equality checklist for events

And if you’re creating reports, web pages, newsletters or any other written communication and you want to make it accessible, use the pointers in our Accessible Communications Guidelines