Equality analysis

The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) requires organisations to consider the potential and actual impact on equality of all their policies, procedures, decisions, informal practices, etc. The scope of the law is very broad so could apply to any activity within the University, though in practice there will be many areas of little or no relevance. Decision-makers need to bear in mind several key points:

  • Judge the relevance of the PSED  and take a proportionate approach
  • Provide evidence-based analysis using statistical data where possible
  • Ask the EDU for help with consultation and engagement in high risk areas
  • Assess both negative and positive impacts
    • Can you eliminate, mitigate or justify the negative impact
    • Could you enhance any positive impact?
  • Keep a record of your consideration as appropriate
  • Continue to monitor impact as necessary.


We have published a suite of resources to support those responsible for implementing the PSED in relation to policy and decision-making (SSO required). These will be of particular relevance for committee chairs and secretaries and include:

  • An annotated version of the briefing on the Public Sector Equality Duty delivered to committees and policy teams
  • Brief guidance on carrying out equality analysis
  • A checklist for recording steps and outcomes
  • Template text for committee papers and minutes to signal that due regard has been had to the equality duty;
  • An annual reminder paper for committees; and
  • A draft template for conducting equality analysis during the earliest stages of a project.

There is also a comprehensive list of sources of internal and external equality data to help inform decision-making.

We aim to publish examples of equality analysis undertaken within the University as a way of sharing good practice (SSO required). We would welcome additional examples for this site so please contact Sara Smith if you would like to share your analysis.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published concise guidance on meeting the Equality Duty in Policy and Decision Making.

Advice and consultation

Guidance on the PSED from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Please email the Equality and Diversity Unit for general advice on equality at Oxford, or if you would like to consult the staff networks.

Policy and governance kevin.coutinho@admin.ox.ac.uk
Equality data and PSED sara.smith@admin.ox.ac.uk
Staff networks (BME, Disability, LGBT, Women) sara.smith@admin.ox.ac.uk

Contact OUSU if you wish to consult particular student groups:

VP Access and Academic Affairs  vpaccaff@ousu.ox.ac.uk
VP Welfare and Equal Opportunities  vpweo@ousu.ox.ac.uk
VP Women  vpwomen@ousu.ox.ac.uk

Contact the Legal Services Office if you require legal advice: lsoweb@admin.ox.ac.uk.