Equality analysis

Under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), the University must consider the potential and actual impact on people with different protected characteristics of all its policies, procedures and decisions, as well as of informal practices and customs. The duty applies to any activity where equality and good relations may be relevant, though the level of scrutiny will vary according to their significance.

The duty applies to all levels of the organisation and to individual decision-makers as well as to committees taking major decisions. The main areas of attention are likely to be:

  • Organisational policies and functions
  • Key decisions
  • Policies that set criteria or guidelines for others to use

Examples include: policy decisions, budgetary decisions, public appointments, service provision, statutory discretion, individual decisions, employing staff and procurement of goods or services (EHRC, 2014).

Having ‘due regard’ to equality means considering: 

  • The potential impact during policy development rather than after implementation
  • The cumulative impact of multiple policies or decisions
  • The impact of implementing policies that have been developed elsewhere.
Guidance on equality analysis

When designing and implementing policies and making decisions, the University must have ‘due regard’ to the need to:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Equality Act.
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
  • Foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not share it.

There is more information on the Public Sector Equality Duty and ‘due regard’ on the Legal Framework webpage.

The key points for policy officers and decision-makers to consider are:

  • How relevant is equality to the policy or decision? Take a proportionate approach.
  • What evidence do you have to support your analysis?
  • Do you need help collecting evidence or consulting people with different protected characteristics?
  • Consider both negative and positive impacts:
    • Can you avoid any negative impact? Can you justify it? Can you mitigate it?
    • Is there any positive impact? Could you create any or enhance it?
  • Record your analysis to inform the decision and keep for future reference.
  • Continue to monitor and review equality impact in case the situation changes.

Briefing, checklists and templates to support University staff with responsibility for implementing the PSED in policy and decision-making.

Internal and external equality data is available elsewhere on this page.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has provided guidance on Meeting the Equality Duty in Policy and Decision-making

Comprehensive guidance on the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) is available 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 adrienne.hopkins@admin.ox.ac.uk
Equality data and PSED sara.smith@admin.ox.ac.uk
Staff networks (BME, Disability, LGBT+, Women) equality@admin.ox.ac.uk


Contact the Oxford SU if you wish to consult with student groups.

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


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

Equality data

The University collects and analyses staff and student data across the protected characteristics to help us assess the impact of our policies and practices on equality and good relations. This is important for:

  • Identifying inequalities
  • Setting objectives and targets
  • Prioritising activity
  • Planning engagement
  • Minimising negative impact, and
  • Enhancing positive impact.

We publish a summary of staff and student equality data together with information on how we are meeting our strategic equality objectives in the annual Equality Report.

University and college data are separate, though with many overlaps, e.g. in relation to jointly appointed academic staff as well as student admissions and attainment. The University records workforce data on staff with joint university and college appointments.

You will require a Tableau account in order to access the majority of these reports. Please contact SDMA (sdma@admin.ox.ac.uk) in order to set up an account. In most cases, access will only be given to individuals nominated by their college or department due to the sensitive nature of much of the information.

Annual Programme Statistics by level of study sdma@admin.ox.ac.uk
Equality – On-course students sdma@admin.ox.ac.uk
Equality – Undergraduate admissions sdma@admin.ox.ac.uk
Equality Report – Graduate admissions mike.eeley@admin.ox.ac.uk


Collegiate Offers Report (UG) sdma@admin.ox.ac.uk
Departmental Offers Report (UG) sdma@admin.ox.ac.uk
Departmental Acceptances Report (UG) sdma@admin.ox.ac.uk
PG Admissions – Long Term Data Trends michael.eeley@admin.ox.ac.uk


Examination results by gender sdma@admin.ox.ac.uk
Norrington Table sdma@admin.ox.ac.uk


Student Data for Athena SWAN awards (collated sources) sdma@admin.ox.ac.uk
Athena SWAN – PG data michael.eeley@admin.ox.ac.uk
Staff Data for Athena SWAN award application (includes Humanities and Social Sciences)    hr.reporting@admin.ox.ac.uk


Detailed ethnicity data are not published within the University due to their sensitive nature. Aggregated data are made publicly available at:

Equality Report sara.smith@admin.ox.ac.uk
Student Statistics sdma@admin.ox.ac.uk
Staffing figures hr.reporting@admin.ox.ac.uk

The EDU will compile additional staff and student data for the University’s application to the Race Equality Charter Mark. Contact race.equality@admin.ox.ac.uk for details.

The EDU can provide departments with anonymised, aggregated recruitment monitoring data, provided this does not identify individuals or reveal sensitive personal data. Please contact equality@admin.ox.ac.uk to discuss your requirements.

The University subscribes to HEIDI – the Higher Education Information Database for Institutions – which permits comparison of staff and student data across UK universities. Contact heidi@admin.ox.ac.uk to set up an account.