Governance and Policy

Governance and Policy

Our work on equality, diversity and inclusion is supported by a robust governance structure which is led by Vice-Principal Education, Professor Ruth Taylor. She chairs the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (EDIC). EDIC supports working groups and short-life forums which take forward specific work and report their progress through EDIC.

Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 represents a significant change in equality legislation. The Act has harmonised and streamlined the pre-exisitng legislation. It has also strengthened it, providing more protection from discrimination to more people.

The Act has introduced the concept of 'protected characteristics'. These are the grounds on which it is unlawful to discriminate. The characteristics are:

  • Disability
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Religion/belief
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Pregnancy/maternity
  • Marriage/civil partnership.

There are four forms of discrimination under the Act:

  • Direct
  • Indirect
  • Harassment
  • Victimisation.


Equality, Diversity & Inclusion in Research

Research Excellence Framework

The University of Aberdeen submitted to the Scottish Funding Councils' Research Excellence Framework  (REF) in March 2021.  The REF aims to secure the continuation of a world-class, dynamic and responsive research base across the full academic spectrum within UK higher education. 

The selection of staff for the submission was governed by the institutional Research Code of Practice, which sets out the processes and structures for selection and takes account of equality, diversity and inclusion issues.

Access the REF Code of Practice and more information about the preparation of the institutional submission to REF2021.

If you have any questions about the REF or the selection process, please contact Marlis Barraclough.

Gender Equality in Research

"Gender Equality is integral to our University’s foundational purpose of being ‘open to all’.

I am delighted that our ongoing commitment and action to achieve gender equality have been recognised through an Institutional Athena Swan Bronze award and that eleven of our twelve Schools have achieved Bronze awards and one has been awarded a Silver level award.  This demonstrates consistent progress and provides solid foundations for bold future action.

I recognise that many challenges remain, not least the potential negative impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has posed for gender equality.

Our Institutional Gender Equality Action Plan, which has the Athena Swan Principles at its heart, has been designed to effectively target these challenges, including those pertinent to our researchers and their critical work, and we will lead it with passion and commitment and through engagement with our colleagues and students."

Professor George Boyne
Principal and Vice-Chancellor
University of Aberdeen

Read more about our commitment to gender equality in research.

Equality Impact Assessment

An Equality Impact Assessment is a tool for ensuring an organisation’s policies and practices do not discriminate against or disadvantage individuals who identify with equality characteristics. The University of Aberdeen has a legal duty to undertake Equality Impact Assessments when proposing and reviewing policies, practices and functions.

The University’s Equality Impact Assessment Toolkit can be found here.

Completed Equality Impact Assessments should be sent to Ceit Mackintosh for publishing.

Completed Equality Impact Assessment to Date
Contact Details

For support or queries regarding the Equality Impact Assessment, please contact Ceit Mackintosh - Graduate Trainee – Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

Useful Links
Internal Links

Aberdeen University Student Association operates an Equality Committee. To find out more about this Committee please contact:

Vice President Welfare & Equal Opportunities
Aberdeen University Student's Association
f: 01224 27 2977



To find how disabled students can be supported during their time at the University please click here

The University is fully committed to supporting disabled job applicants, disabled employees and employees who become disabled in the course of their employment. Our legal responsibilities are important to us, however, the moral and business case for creating an inclusive work and study environment form the basis of the strategic and operational priorities. 

Disabled applicants and employees are supported in a number of ways:

  • Guaranteed Interview Scheme
    Disabled applicants can opt into the Guaranteed Interview Scheme if they wish. The Scheme is voluntary and offers an interview to applicants who meet the "Essential Criteria" in the Person Specification.

    For further information on the Guaranteed Interview Scheme email Janine Chalmers, Equality and Diversity Adviser or telephone 01224 273883
  • Adjustments
    The University will make reasonable adjustments to allow a disabled employee to undertake their duties. This could, for example, be a change to the employee's workstation, working hours, working methods or duties.
  • Source of Support
    Disabled employees can seek advice and support from:
    • HR Adviser
    • Equality and Diversity Adviser
    • University Safety Adviser
    • Trade Union
    • Occupational Health Service
    • University Counselling Service
External Links

You may also find these external links to equality organisations of interest: