When do I need to do an Impact Assessment?

Typically, new or changing services, policies and strategies (including commissioned services and changes to funding) require some kind of assessment if they will have an impact on people or the environment. The impact assessment must be a well informed process with results brought to the attention of decision makers. It can also be used to inform reviews, such as a scrutiny review or service/policy audit.

If you are unsure, check with the Corporate Equality Officer. Once you have established the need to carry out an Impact Assessment:

  1. Read the guidance before starting!!
  2. Identify what information you need to gather and analyse.
  3. Identify colleagues who can help with information or expertise.


Before you get started:

Guidance for carrying out the assessment:

Guidance for writing up the assessment:

Please use plain English. Guidance on plain English is available on the staff website.


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, check our Accessible Communications Guidelines.


Publishing: Please email your completed assessment to the ‘impact assessment’ mailbox in PDF format, dated and ‘signed off’ by the Head of Service or Service Manager. Please also ensure your document name reflects the title (subject). You can publish a draft for consultation via this route and send the final version later. Officers may also ask for support via this route.

For more minor policies or strategies, or those where reducing inequality is a key part, an equality impact statement within the policy or strategy may be sufficient, provided consideration of diversity (protected characteristics) and the Public Sector Equality Duty are visible.

My service has ten policies to be reviewed – do I have to do an Impact Assessment for each one?
Not necessarily. It might make more sense to review all the policies together to judge their cumulative impact, or it might be more manageable to review a large policy its own. Do whatever makes the process manageable and meaningful.

Sources of community data and information

Please see the Useful Information section for information about communities and protected characteristic groups that could be useful for your assessment.

Training and support

If the guidance above seems daunting, one to one coaching/mentoring or advice is also available from the Corporate Equality Officer. Please make contact at the earliest opportunity (before you begin your assessment). Half day workshops can also be arranged for teams.

Also contact the Corporate Equality Officer to book some time at an Equality Reference Group ‘Surgery’ (a group of external stakeholders from the Voluntary/Community Sector) – please do this early on in your process. Meetings are held six times a year.

Equality webpages