At a Glance
Positive About Inclusion was commissioned by Curo to complete an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) project in February 2021. Curo required support with the implementation of an approach to EIAs that ‘promoted successful equality and diversity outcomes for Curo customers, colleagues and the wider communities it serves’.
About the Client
A West of England housing association, Curo provides great homes and high quality care and support services. Owning and managing more than 13,000 homes, Curo is one of the largest landlords in the South West with a diverse portfolio of affordable and market rented homes. The name Curo comes from Latin meaning ‘I care’ and the organisation’s values reflect their commitment to putting equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of the business.
Challenges and Objectives
Curo wanted a thorough review of their approach to EIAs, to ensure that their use and understanding of their value was embedded throughout the business. They required consultation with colleagues and customers, revised guidance notes and an EIA template, support with internal housekeeping arrangements and comprehensive training for colleagues to enable them to confidently complete equality assessments.
The initial part of the project was to complete a consultation exercise with Curo colleagues and customers. What we heard through this was significant positivity from across the business for the use of EIAs; colleagues and customers really felt that their completion was aligned to the organisation’s values and that they would make a positive difference. However, colleagues felt they needed more clarity on when to complete them, guidance on how and a greater understanding on making assessments in relation to the Protected Characteristics.
From this consultation we identified that the key challenges were to create a bespoke EIA template and accompanying guidance notes that provided enough detail but were easy to understand, and to design and deliver engaging training for colleagues from across the business that provided them with fluency and positivity about EIAs.
“I loved the way you delivered the training. It was upbeat, informative and informal.”
“You made it very straight forward and easy to understand, thank you.”
Working with Curo we redesigned the EIA process, implementing a ‘people impact’ screening question to determine whether a full or summary EIA was required. We clarified the ‘when’ and the ‘how’ as part of the colleague guidance notes which now include a completed example of an EIA, ensuring the the whole bespoke suite of EIA documentation now reflects the Curo ‘tone of voice’. A key element of the guidance notes, to support Curo colleagues with the assessments, were comprehensive notes and prompts in relation to the Protected Characteristics.
We subsequently delivered training and 1-2-1 coaching sessions to roll out the new process and associated documentation, using a game of ‘Spin the Wheel’ to embed the learning. The level of engagement was really high and the approach we took to delivering the training ensured that participants felt comfortable and able to discuss a wide range of both equality and policy related issues.
“I have a much better understanding of EIAs now and don’t feel so overwhelmed so thank you.”
Quantitative data was captured as part of the colleague consultation undertaken during the first phase and a subsequent measurement was taken on the levels of confidence at the end of the project. The table below demonstrates the positive impact:
Curo colleagues reported that following the training they had increased confidence and felt significantly more positive about not only completing EIAs in the future but also about the value they would add to the organisation moving forward.
” Curo is firmly committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and this commitment comes from right at the top of the organisation through our Chief Executive and Board Chair. Our colleagues are committed too but didn’t always feel confident about their own ability in “getting it right” so we have worked with Positive About Inclusion to take a fresh look at how we complete our Equality Impact Assessments.
It has been a pleasure to work with Karen and Lucy, with them we have revised our approach, created new guidance and provided colleagues with more tools to help them. The training Positive About Inclusion carried out was engaging and comprehensive which received really positive feedback. Colleagues now feel more confident about taking EDI considerations into everything they do.”
Jane Jones, Director of People, Curo