Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan for 2014/15 (Archived)

Published 26 August 2015

Revised 2014/15 EDI Action plan

A mid year review of the 2014/15 action plan highlighted a number of actions which need to be revised. We have revised the timescales set for some actions either because the scope of the work had not been set when the action plan was first published and therefore the time to deliver was an estimate, or because the action is now being delivered as part of a wider piece of work. There are some actions which needed to be reframed for clarity and some actions have been added or removed. The original 2014/15 action plan is still available to view. We have set out the completed actions in a separate table.

Objective 1 - develop a more diverse workforce and promote an inclusive culture, equality of opportunity for all staff and the behaviours and capabilities required to regulate proportionately, fairly and free from bias.

No. Activity Executive Director Responsible Delivery Date
1. SRA Board and governance
1.2. Review the work of the SRA Board and the other SRA committees, to ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion is fully integrated into their business and decisions. Executive Director, External Affairs January 2016
1.3a Take steps to attract a wide and diverse range of candidates when vacancies arise on the SRA Board and Committees to continue to make the SRA a more diverse organisation at all levels. Group HRD Director December 2015
1.3b Take steps to attract a wide and diverse range of candidates for Adjudication Panel appointments to continue to make the SRA a more diverse organisation at all levels. Executive Director of Legal & Enforcement & Post-Enforcement March 2016
2. Staff training and development
2.1. Develop and deliver a mandatory bespoke Inclusive working/ Inclusive Leadership module for the SRA Board and Committees and all SRA staff tailored to their needs and roles. Group HRD Director May 2016
2.4. The equality, diversity and inclusion training needs of staff in fulfilling their specific role within the SRA, will be identified and built into the SRA technical training programme. Executive Director of Operations and Quality October 2015
2.5. Provide training sessions to support Employee Forum representatives including their role in supporting the SRA's diversity and inclusion vision and strategy. Group HRD Director July 2015
2.6. Provide recruitment and selection training to all hiring managers so they are confident in their ability to manage recruitment and selection in an objective and evidenced based way, recognising unconscious bias and how to eliminate it from the process. Group HRD Director December 2015
2.7. Provide decision making training for staff, to include managing unconscious bias and writing good regulatory decisions. Executive Director of Operations and Quality Ongoing to December 2015
3. Staff engagement and communication
3.6. Deliver the Employee Engagement survey which will demonstrate improvements in outcomes and review departmental action plans across the SRA. Group HRD Director Survey to go live September 2015
4. Staff diversity management information
4.2. Provide SMT with six monthly reports outlining patterns and trends in respect of workforce diversity in relation to applications, short-listing, hires and internal promotions. This will inform the development of any positive action initiatives to address under representation. Group HRD Director April 2015 and every six months
First paper to SMT in May 2015
5. Bespoke activities
5.3. Apply under the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index programme in 2016 and be rated within the Top 100. Executive Director, External Affairs / Group HRD Director December 2016
5.4. Review our corporate social responsibility work to ensure it is inclusive. Executive Director, External Affairs October 2015

Objective 2 - ensure that the way we operate, our rules and the decisions we make are proportionate, fair and free from bias and help firms and individuals understand and comply with our requirements.

No. Activity Executive Director Responsible Delivery Date
6. Regulatory reform agenda
6.2. Review how we are assessing our impact on equality for each of the proposals within our programme of regulatory reform (as set out in our Corporate Strategy) to ensure our regulation is more targeted and proportionate. Executive Director of Policy & Education Ongoing
6.3. Review and update our published Enforcement Strategy and make clear how we use our regulatory tools so the profession better understands our approach to supervision and enforcement. Executive Director of Legal & Enforcement & Post-Enforcement July 2015
7. Support in meeting Prinicple 9
7.1. Review the outcomes in chapter 2 of the Code of Conduct so the profession has a better understanding of the outcomes expected for compliance with Principle 9. Executive Director of Policy & Education October 2015
7.2. Monitor and publish information about the reports received in relation to Principle 9. Executive Director, External Affairs December 2015
8. Regulatory decision making
8.1. Review our decision making criteria and embed equality and diversity in our decision making framework and supporting processes. General Counsel June 2016
8.3. Develop and establish a revised and improved quality assurance function and processes so as to demonstrate that our regulatory decisions are fair, consistent and free from bias. Executive Director of Operations and Quality October 2015
9. Diversity monitoring our regulatory work
9.1a Review our approach to diversity monitoring our regulatory work to ensure we are monitoring all key areas of our decision making to identify any disproportionality. Executive Director, External Affairs December 2015
9.1b Publish an annual report of our regulatory monitoring data. Executive Director, External Affairs December 2015
9.1c Publish at least 2 additional reports looking in more detail at an agreed area of disproportionality. Executive Director, External Affairs April and November 2015
10. Engagement with the regulated population and other stakeholders
10.2. Engage with all sectors of the regulated community about professional standards to explore attitudes about the relative seriousness of regulatory events that are referred to us. Executive Director of Operations and Quality October 2015
10.5. Continue to develop our engagement with the profession to promote understanding of how we work - each directorate to consider potential areas to cover, working where we can in partnership with other groups or organisations. Executive Director, External Affairs Ongoing to October 2015
11. Complaints about the SRA
11.1. Ensure that all staff are provided with an appropriate level of training on handling complaints of discrimination. Corporate Complaints Manager October 2015
11.2. Take steps to raise awareness of our complaints handling policy among our stakeholders at an early stage in our dealings with them. Corporate Complaints Manager September 2015
11.4. Publish information about complaints of discrimination received by the SRA. Corporate Complaints Manager December 2015

Objective 3 - to work with those we regulate to support them in achieving a more diverse and representative profession.

No. Activity Executive Director Responsible Delivery Date
12.   Diversity in the profession  
12.1. Work with the Law Society, other representative bodies, firms and solicitors to identify ways to improve the co-ordination of efforts to improve diversity within law firms. Executive Director, External Affairs January 2015 onwards
12.2b We will provide the profession with further guidance on the requirement to publish their diversity data. Executive Director, External Affairs October 2015

Completed actions

No. Activity Executive Director Responsible Delivery Date
1.1. Recruit additional members to join the SRA Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Committee. This will help us deliver the SRA's vision and strategy for diversity and inclusion and compliance with our equality duties and provide external insight and challenge to our approach. Group HRD Director / Executive Director, External Affairs January 2015
2.3. Deliver an E-learning diversity and inclusion training course to be completed by all SRA staff to provide a baseline of knowledge in respect of diversity and inclusion, dignity at work and unconscious bias. Group HRD Director November 2014
3.1. The CEO will act as the Diversity and Inclusion Champion for the SRA to demonstrate and deliver senior level commitment in this area. Chief Executive October 2014 and ongoing
3.2. Diversity and inclusion to be a fixed monthly agenda item at the SMT, Leadership Team meetings, Employee Forum and Business Champion meetings to help us maintain momentum and focus in achieving our vision and strategy. Chief Executive October 2014 and ongoing
3.3. The EDI performance of Executive Directors and the Leadership team will be assessed against the SRA values, one of which is being 'Inclusive' and how effectively they have embedded EDI in their objectives. Chief Executive Ongoing through the appraisal year
3.4. SRA internal events for staff will be held, with internal and external speakers across a broad range of areas to provide an environment of open discussion and build awareness and understanding of a range of diversity and inclusion issues. Group HRD Director / Executive Director, External Affairs Minimum of 1 talk per quarter, from Dec 2014
3.5. Research the viability of establishing employee networks for the purpose of providing expertise and learning to inform key policy and service developments and to provide options / recommendations to SMT. Group HRD Director April 2015
4.1. Conduct an exercise to gather and cleanse diversity data for a minimum of 90% of our staff in order to produce an accurate set of workforce data. Group HRD Director October 2014
5.1. Recruitment pages of the SRA website to be reviewed to help ensure all diverse groups such as Black African-Caribbean, LGB and disabled people are attracted and apply for roles. Group HRD Director TBC
6.1. Publish a discussion paper of proposals for the more proportionate regulation of smaller firms to inform our regulatory reform agenda, both in relation to any changes required to our formal regulatory requirements and the way we supervise and engage with smaller firms. Executive Director of Policy & Education December 2014
10.1. Review how Supervision engages with the profession and the purpose of our engagement to assess the impact of our approach on the profession. Executive Director of Operations and Quality April 2015
10.3. Develop a specialist approach to supervision and engagement with small firms in line with our policy on proportionate regulation. Executive Director of Operations and Quality August 2015
10.4. Review our approach to stakeholder engagement, including with equality groups representing the profession about all areas of our work and implement our new engagement plans. Executive Director, External Affairs January 2015
10.6. Hold a seminar with other regulators and academics to discuss disproportionality in regulation. Executive Director, Strategy May 2015
11.3. We will consider if and how we can introduce diversity monitoring of those raising complaints against the SRA to provide a richer understanding of what our complaints data is telling us. Corporate Complaints Manager January 2015
12.2a Provide the profession with a range of information and tools to help them promote diversity in the profession, including: a diversity data benchmarking tool for law firms; a paper and a webinar on diversity in the profession. Executive Director, Strategy December 2014 (firm data tool)
January 2015 (webinar)