Public sector equality duty

Public sector equality duty

1. Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited under the Act

The Research Excellence Framework (REF)

We have produced a Code of Practice on the selection of staff for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) for submissions. In selecting individual staff, our University’s approach demonstrates fairness and will meet the REF principles of transparency, consistency, accountability and inclusivity. As part of the selection process there will be the opportunity for staff to disclose both clearly defined circumstances and complex circumstances requiring individual consideration. The former relates to issues such as part-time working, maternity, paternity or adoption leave, secondments or career breaks. The latter refers to examples such as disability, ill-health or injury, mental health conditions and constraints related to pregnancy or maternity, childcare or other caring responsibilities. Such circumstances can potentially lead to a reduction in outputs for submission.


Our University is working to ensure it is accessible to a wide a range of students. We continually anticipate the general requirements of disabled people with a wide range of impairments and health conditions and build these into our policies and procedures.

Our University recognises that some students and staff will require individual adjustments to enable them to access our assessment, learning, teaching and employment provision. For this reason we have a trained Disability Support Team and Occupational Health Service which can assess where any reasonable adjustments need to be made.

Further details on disability support are available here.


Our HR Team offers a programme of essential training on equality and diversity for all staff and managers and the Governing Council.

The aims of this programme are to:

  • Identify and understand the difference between equality and diversity.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of equality and diversity legislation.
  • Identify the benefits of equality and diversity at our University.
  • Affirm how prejudice and discrimination happens and the impact it has on individuals, teams and the institution.
  • Understand how to recognise what language might cause offence and how to use respectful language in the workplace.

Equality and diversity training is also included in our generic recruitment and selection provision for any staff taking part in recruitment panels. We are training participants in:

  • Fair recruitment and selection
  • Fair interview techniques

Further details on diversity training are available here. (Staff only)

2. Advance equality of opportunity between people from different groups


The Outreach role in the University is to raise awareness and aspirations for higher education and land-based careers to those groups that are currently under-represented in our society.

What we offer:

  • Residential summer schools
  • Primary taster sessions
  • Farm to fork
  • Subject enrichment days
  • HE experience days
  • Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG)
  • Skills for life
  • Access to higher education

Student Ambassador Scheme: The RAU has a fantastic team of dedicated Student Ambassadors - if you would like to find out more about the scheme, or need a few Student Ambassadors to support an activity you are running, just drop us a line and we can help you.

Faith and wellbeing

The University Chaplaincy offer opportunities for you to meet other students for socials, films, discussions, prayer and for one-to-one conversations.

The Chaplaincy seeks to support all students and staff at the University for a wider range of pastoral, spiritual and religious needs. The Chaplains visit the University weekly and students and staff can chat informally with them about concerns or worries they may have. Further details on faith and wellbeing are available here.

Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP)

All academic staff are required to undertake a PGCAP which includes specific guidance and development on equality, diversity and inclusive learning environments, and is underpinned by a range of professional values set out in the UK Professional Standards Framework - including respecting and valuing diversity.

Graduate Trainee scheme

To help graduates get onto a career ladder, the RAU offers Graduate Internship opportunities for ambitious graduates to work within the University. The scheme helps to provides graduates with the training, skills and experience necessary to become professionals of the future.

International students

With students joining us from over many different countries, the Royal Agricultural University has a long history and tradition of providing a great place to study and enjoy student life. The university has an international reputation for teaching and research excellence and prides itself on having strong links with industry around the globe.

Further details on international students are available here.

African Fellowships

Since the Fellowship was launched in 2005, over 1.3 million pounds has been generously provided by donors in support of the programme. This funding has provided for leadership training; the development of professional networks and supporting industrial experience, together with study opportunities on the master’s programmes in agriculture, food and rural development at the Royal Agricultural University. Scholarships cover tuition fees, board and accommodation, flights to and from the UK and South Africa, provision for networking and a short industrial placement mainly in South Africa.

Chinese Students and Scholars Association

The RAU Chinese Students and Scholars Association is a member of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA-UK), which is under the guidance of Education Section, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the UK. The RAU Chinese Students and Scholars Association organises various activities/programmes to help Chinese students to get familiar with their academic and daily life in the RAU, in Cirencester and in the UK.

The activities which have been organised include:

  • A seminar on how to write dissertations
  • BBC Symphony Orchestra - London
  • Bath Christmas Market - supported by RAU Student Union
  • Sharing Chinese tea culture – RAU Campus
  • Visa application issues – London Direct Associates Ltd
  • CSSA UK PhD Forum – Oxford
  • Chinese New Year celebration – RAU

Detailed about CSSA-UK can be found on the website.

Work experience for people with a conviction

This institution promotes the recruitment of people with a conviction to change lives and build safer communities. The RAU is working with HM Prison Leyhill to help ex-offenders integrate back into society.

3. Foster good relations between people from different groups. This involves tackling prejudice and promoting understanding between people from different groups

Inclusivity, Equality and Diversity (IED) events

The Royal Agricultural University is committed to promoting and integrating diversity at every level within our institution and in everything that we do. Both the Governors and the Senior Management Team are determined to ensure that the University works towards being a truly inclusional, equality conscious and diverse place to study, work and visit. Over the recent years, the Royal Agricultural University has worked positively to reinforce the benefit from having a diverse community that helps enrich the learning process, the educational and employment opportunities we offer and enhance our international reputation. We recognise that achieving diversity is an evolutionary process that requires a continued renewal of our commitment to strategies of inclusion. With greater diversity, we can be more creative, effective and fair, and by bringing more varied perspectives and experiences to the processes of change, we can all take ownership in shaping the future.

We celebrate a range of events including IED Conferences and Diversity workshops. 

Diversity Impact Assessment

Through systematically examining each department of the RAU we have created a three-year Equality Action Plan (2014 – 2017). To help us achieve this, our Equality Consultant me with each head of department to carry out a Diversity Impact Assessment (DIA). Diversity Impact Assessments are the single most important tool we have to make sure that the services we deliver are helping us to meet our vision to make the RAU an equal community which recognises and respects people’s different needs, situations and goals, and removes the barriers that limit what people can do and can be.

There are four sections to the DIA:

  1. Being really clear about what we’re trying to do or achieve
  2. Understanding who is using our service and who we might expect to use the service
  3. Working out if any groups are unreasonably being excluded from what we do
  4. Making changes to make our service fairer.

Equality and diversity policies, procedures and schemes

The University’s Single Action Plan support these commitments and highlights how the University will progress equality and diversity. The Scheme is regularly reviewed and reflects the requirements of the Equality Act. In addition, the University is also updating relevant policies and procedures to ensure they too reflect the requirements of the Act.

Reports and monitoring data

As part of the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), the University will also publish information on how we are performing and on what we are doing to meet the requirements of the PSED. This information will contain a breakdown of data in relation to the age, disability, race and sex of staff and students.

Compliance with the Public Sector Duty will be monitored by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and we welcome comments from all staff, students, colleagues and stakeholders in relation to any of the above. For further information or to provide feedback, please email