We place equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of everything we do. We want to ensure that we provide the communities of Dorset and Wiltshire with services that are accessible to everyone.
We are committed to:
- knowing our communities, staff and volunteers;
- protecting our most vulnerable people;
- taking action to make a difference; and
- evaluating our performance.
We recognise that people have different needs, and that some groups within our community share protected characteristics and have specific requirements. We try to ensure that we identify risk factors for vulnerable people and address these in our work and within the workplace.
The nine protected characteristics are:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
Evaluating our commitment
We evaluate our work in this area in a number of ways. Understanding the diversity, needs and expectations of our local communities and our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion helps us to improve our performance.
We benchmark ourselves against national equality standards to monitor, evaluate and continually improve our performance in diversity practice.
Code of Conduct
Our reputation relies on the trust we build within the communities we serve. High ethical standards are an essential part of public life and it is important that the public and our customers have confidence in us. We have a Code of Conduct, which sets out the standards that we expect from our staff and volunteers.
A Impact Assessment (IA) is a tool to help make sure that we carry out our functions and deliver our services in the way they are intended. IAs ensure that we meet our legal equality duties by assessing the likely (or actual) effects of our proposals, policies, functions or services on our diverse populations. This includes looking for opportunities to promote equality that have been previously missed, as well as negative impacts that can be removed, mitigated or justified.
When looking at who could be affected by our proposals, we have to include those with protected characteristics, vulnerable groups, all aspects of Fire & Rescue Service workforce, and the impact on the community.
Human Rights Act 1998
The Human Rights Act 1998 outlines a minimum set of standards that help to ensure a society based on fairness and respect. We have ensured that these principles are embedded throughout the Service by incorporating them into the IA process, our training and our values.