Diversity and Equality Policy

The ASA Awarding Body (ASAAB), as a service provider and across its awarding function, is committed to the principles and practices of equal opportunities. All ASAAB members of staff, ASA quality assurance workforce, training providers, ASA qualifications workforce, consultants, volunteers, suppliers and contractors (referred to as stakeholders), whether permanent or temporary, are responsible for the promotion and advancement of this policy.

We recognise the need to acknowledge equal opportunities and are committed to the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of religion, belief, race, ethnicity, gender, age, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, disability, ability, occupation, political opinion, those with or without dependents or on any other grounds or status (referred to as protected characteristics).

Policy aim and purpose

The ASAAB will not tolerate unlawful discrimination or unfair treatment, as identified in appendix 1, whether intentional or unintentional, direct or indirect towards any learner. Therefore this policy has been produced with the aim to prevent discrimination and outline handling procedures for the investigation of allegations relating to harassment, bullying or victimisation.

Objectives

To ensure equality, diversity and inclusive practices are implemented across the breadth of ASAAB operations, the following objectives have been developed to ensure the continued monitoring of qualifications for any feature which may present a disadvantage for a learner with protected characteristics.

The management team will:

  • Ensure this policy is effectively communicated across the governance and management structure of the organisation via inductions, continuous development and appraisal system
  • Ensure continual review of the effectiveness of this policy in line with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010, taking prompt actions to rectify any deficiencies Ensure this policy is current, published and available to all.

The quality assurance team will:

  • Ensure all ASA Approved Centre’s publish and implement an equal opportunities policy in line with the operation of this policy
  • Promote fair access to units and qualifications by ensuring all ASA Approved Centre’s are aware of and comply with the ASAAB Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations Policy
  • Encourage the reporting of any allegations of harassment, bullying or victimisation, whether direct or indirect, through appropriate channels and handle this effectively in accordance with the ASAAB Complaints Policy
  • Recruit, train and deploy suitable quality assurance workforce, such as External Verifiers and Centre Reviewers, to guide and monitor centre compliance with the eligibility criteria contained within the ASAAB Approved Centre and Qualification Application Form
  • Effectively manage risk and performance across all centre activity, applying corrective action where applicable to maintain ASAAB commitment to equality and diversity across its awarding function
  • Maintain quality records, analyse and report on data (inclusive of age, gender, ethnicity and disability) to monitor and evaluate diversity to eliminate unlawful or unfair treatment.

The qualification development team will:

  • Raise awareness of the ASAAB Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations Policy to the ASA qualifications workforce and learners through qualification specifications and guides
  • Ensure that there is no barrier to entry of units or qualifications. Through consultation with learners, third party representatives and/or technical advisors, the ASAAB will ensure:
    • Units and qualifications are developed to promote inclusivity and diversity
    • Registration entry requirements are appropriate to the intended purpose of the unit or qualification
    • The aims and learning outcomes of each unit are relevant and appropriate for the intended purpose, as well as expressed in a clear and unbiased language
    • The assessment criteria are relevant and appropriate to the intended purpose of each unit, as well as expressed in a clear and unbiased language
    • The requirements of practical demonstration are clearly and appropriately outlined; the rationale for such requirements are made clear and explicitly justified in terms of maintaining the integrity of the unit or qualification
    • Learners are signposted to the ASAAB Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations Policy should a barrier be identified
    • Those barriers identified are alleviated and mitigated whilst maintaining the integrity and purpose of the unit or qualification
    • A process for consultation will be available with the concerned learner, third party representative or centre should instances arise outside of ASAAB protocol
    • All details of how effects of identified barriers will be alleviated and mitigated will be recorded in line with the stipulated policy.

The administration and customer support team will:

  • Manage and maintain awarding data, inclusive of age, gender, ethnicity and disability, in accordance with the established policies and procedures
  • Validate and process certification for units or qualifications achieved through the process of recognition of prior learning.

Monitoring and review

This policy will be reviewed annually to ensure it remains fit for purpose and complies with the requirements of the Equality Act.

The next policy review will take place in September 2014.

Appendix 1: Terms of reference

The ASAAB regards bullying, discrimination, harassment and victimisation as serious misconduct. Any concerns relating to discrimination will be taken seriously and appropriate measures, inclusive of disciplinary action, may be brought against any stakeholder who unlawfully discriminates against an individual.

Unlawful discrimination can take any of the following forms:

Type of discrimination Type of discrimination
Type of discrimination Type of discrimination
Direct discrimination Treating somebody less favourably than you would treat others because of a protected characteristic.
Indirect discrimination Putting rules or arrangements in place that apply to everyone, which could put somebody with a protected characteristic at an unfair disadvantage.
Harassment Engaging in unwanted conduct relating to a protected characteristic or of a sexual nature where the conduct has a purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.
Victimisation Treating somebody unfairly because they have made a complaint about discrimination or harassment in line with the Equality Act 2010.