ICS Learn Equality and Diversity Policy
ICS Learn is fully committed to providing an environment that is free from bullying, discrimination, harassment or victimisation, where all members of staff, learners and other external stakeholders are treated equally with respect and dignity. The company also aims to create a culture of diversity by providing a dynamic working and learning environment where everyone is valued for their contribution and individuality.
We are committed to providing equal opportunity for all staff, learners and other stakeholders irrespective of their age, disability, ethnicity (including race, colour or nationality), gender (including gender re-assignment, marital status, pregnancy or maternity), religion or belief, Sexual orientation (including civil partnership status), educational background or trade union membership.
Disability for the purposes of this policy, according to the Equality Act 2010 (The Act), is defined as limitations going beyond the normal difference in ability which may exist among people. The impairments which give rise to the disability, must meet the statutory requirements as set out in the Act (section 6 and schedule 1) and must have a long-term, substantial adverse effect on a person’s day to day activities.
The objective of this policy is to ensure that all members of staff both current and prospective, learners both current and prospective and all other external stakeholders are selected, promoted or otherwise treated solely based on the relevant aptitudes, skills and abilities they possess. The policy also confirms our commitment to promoting and implementing opportunity in learning. We aim in all our learning programmes to offer an inclusive learning environment that encourages a diverse student population.
The application of this policy aims to fulfil Expectation 15 of the ICS Learn Quality Enhancement and Performance Framework by ensuring that learning opportunities provide every student with an equal and effective opportunity to achieve the intended learning outcomes.
This policy is applicable to all members of staff both permanent, temporary and freelance, learners and all other external stakeholders of the company. The principles of non-discrimination and equality of opportunity also applies to:
- The way in which members of staff (both permanent and freelance) should treat each other.
- The way learners interact with each other and with tutors and assessors in online forums or classrooms, online and physical workshops as well as examinations where applicable.
- The way in which tutors and assessors treat learners in providing guidance as well as grading and assessing any work submitted as evidence for assessments.
- The way in which staff and learners treat all external stakeholders such as sub-contractors, service providers, suppliers and any other persons associated with the services provided by ICS Learn.
3. Policy Statements
3.1 In applying this policy, ICS Learn will comply with its obligations and have due regard to its duties under the Equality Act 2010 and to the protected characteristics specified within it.
3.2 ICS Learn is committed to equality and valuing the diversity of all members of staff, learners, job applicants, visitors and all other external stakeholders of the company. ICS Learn will treat everyone fairly and equitably regardless of their race, colour, ethnic or national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religious or political beliefs, disability, marital status, pregnancy or maternity, family responsibility and socio-economic standing, membership of professional associations or trade unions, or any other category where discrimination cannot be reasonably justified as determined legislation.
3.3 The company will work to foster an inclusive culture which promotes equality, values diversity and maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all its staff, learners and other external stakeholders are respected.
3.4 ICS Learn embraces diversity among its staff, learners and other stakeholders and seeks to achieve equity in the experience, progression and achievement of all learners and staff through the implementation of transparent policies, practices and procedures and the provision of effective support.
3.5 With regards to learners, ICS Learn will seek to attract enrolments and applications on to its programmes of study from a diverse range of applicants regardless of their background. Decisions to admit or enrol learners will be made solely based on their individual merits and the application of the selection criteria appropriate to the relevant programme of study.
3.6 During the learner’s student journey with ICS Learn, all submitted assessments and examinations will be graded solely based on the applicable intended learning outcomes and any standards as set by the respective Awarding Organisations. Learners who request for help from the personal tutors on their programme of study will all be treated equally and fairly based on their individual learning needs and requirements.
3.7 Learners who require additional support or have special needs will be treated based on the provisions and application of other ICS Learn policies which cover their unique circumstances or disabilities as the case may be.
3.8 In respect of staff, ICS Learn will ensure that entry into employment and progression within the company are determined solely by criteria related to the roles and responsibilities of that role and the relevant salary scale.
3.9 All business dealings carried out with external partners or stakeholders will be done solely based on professional merit and the quality and value of the services offered.
3.10 ICS Learn expects all members of staff, permanent, temporary and freelance to treat each other and all external stakeholders which includes all learners, with respect, courtesy and consideration and does not tolerate any form of bullying or harassment.
We perceive bullying, victimisation or harassment of any individual as contradictory to our commitment to having a supportive working environment and it will not be tolerated. Any allegations of such behaviour will be investigated and ultimately disciplined.
To ensure that the principles of this policy are applied as effectively as possible throughout the company and business, ICS Learn will:
- Ensure staff and learners know where to access information and support regarding equality and diversity.
- Ensure that sufficient resources are made available to support and implement equality and diversity policies, schemes, plans and procedures.
- Seek to embed equality in all its activities.
4. Roles and Responsibilities
4.1 The senior management of ICS Learn has overall responsibility for ensuring that we operate within a framework of equal opportunity and diversity.
4.2 All members of staff and external stakeholders which includes learners, have rights and responsibilities in relation to the promotion of equality, and must ensure that their behaviour and actions do not discriminate unlawfully and they are not harassing or bullying others.
4.3 Members of staff who have concerns about unlawful discrimination or any form of harassment must report it immediately to their line manager or Team Leader who will then involve the HR manager and begin investigations into the allegations.
4.4 Line Managers and Team Leaders have a responsibility to:
- Ensure that discrimination or bullying are not tolerated and all claims are thoroughly investigated and the disciplinary process is effectively implemented.
- Ensure that they are not carrying out or requesting to be carried out tasks which may be deemed to be discriminatory.
- Ensure they are leading by example ensuring that all procedures are carried out in a non-discriminatory manner including recruitment and selection, selection for training, performance management and dealing with applications for any benefits being offered or any promotions advertised.
4.5 Learners who have concerns about unlawful discrimination or any form of harassment from either their personal tutors or fellow learners must immediately report to the Student Services Team for further investigation.
4.6 Members of staff both permanent, temporary or freelance, with a responsibility for teaching, support or welfare of our learners have a responsibility to identify, value and respond appropriately to varying needs and perspectives.
4.7 The Curriculum Team and all involved in the development of the curriculum and online learning platform and materials must ensure that materials used to deliver all our programmes are accessible to a diverse range of students and adjusted to meet specific needs. The materials must be free from sexist, racist and other discriminatory assumptions, images and languages unless as they are being studied as examples of such.
Awarding Organisation: An Awarding Organisation (also known as “Awarding Body”.) designs, develops, delivers and awards the recognition of learning outcomes (knowledge, skills and/or competencies) of an individual following an assessment and quality assurance process that is valued by employers, learners or stakeholders.