Equality and Diversity Policy
In the UK, equality is about promoting and fostering every individual’s right to be different. There are Laws in place to protect us from discrimination and to ensure we are valued as individuals, with the right to your own beliefs and values.
Diversity means varied and different.
Diversity, therefore, is about more than equality; it’s about creating a culture that values individual differences and variety for the benefit of society, individuals and our organisation.
The Academy is a place where physical, social and economic barriers to access are minimised, we aim to create a working/learning environment that is welcoming and supportive and where everyone accepts their responsibility to uphold equality and show respect. Embedding equality and diversity in everything we do is important for our learners, our staff and the communities we serve. We strive to provide a learning experience that includes everyone.
Smart Dental Academy aims to deliver high quality dental nurse training to all learners, by putting them in the centre of all we do, enabling them to reach their potential. We believe in the worth and dignity of each individual. Our aim is to nurture their gifts and talents by providing a caring, challenging and stimulating environment in which effective teaching and learning takes place. We aim to create an optimistic and positive environment that holds high but reasonable expectations of every learner.
At Smart Dental Academy we share a common set of core values. These are the values which define who we are. They help us understand how we should behave and guide us in all the work we do. We are an open, welcoming and supportive academy. Our commitment to equality and diversity underpins everything we do. We build and sustain positive relationships with many communities.
We are committed to working towards equality and to creating and promoting a culture where the diversity and dignity of learners and staff are respected and valued by all. Smart Dental Academy will ensure that all learners and staff, both actual and potential, are treated fairly and respectfully and not discriminated against regardless of age, colour, disability, ethnic or national origin, gender, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation. These are known as ‘protected characteristics’ under the Equality Act 2010.
Our ambition is to ensure, promote and implement Equality and Diversity in all aspects of our training.
This policy applies to all academy members including employees both full and part-time, self-employed personnel and learners (including apprentices).
This policy should be read in conjunction with the Disability Rights under the Equality Act, The Human Rights Act and the Anti Bullying and Harassment policy.
The aim of this policy:
The aim of this policy is to achieve equality of care experience by removing any potential discrimination in the way that people are cared for and treated by the academy, including:
The purpose of this policy is to:
The rights of our learners and our staff with regards to discrimination are protected by anti-discrimination legislation including:
Smart Dental Academy also aims to meet the current General Dental Council and Care Quality Commission standards by positively promoting equality, dignity and human rights for learners and staff.
By adopting this policy, we accept our responsibility to ensure that discrimination does not take place and that everyone is treated fairly and equally.
The current legislation identifies 9 (nine) protected characteristics defined as follows:
∙ Age - Where this is referred to, it refers to a person belonging to a particular age (e.g. 32 year
olds) or range of ages (e.g. 18 - 30 year olds).
∙ Disability - A person has a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment which has a
substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day
∙ Gender reassignment - The process of transitioning from one gender to another.
∙ Marriage and civil partnership - Marriage is defined as a 'union between a man and a woman'.
Same-sex couples can have their relationships legally recognised as 'civil partnerships'.
∙ Pregnancy and maternity - Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby.
Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment
context. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after
giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.
∙ Race - A group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship)
ethnic or national origins.
∙ Religion and belief - Religion has the meaning usually given to it but belief includes religious and
philosophical beliefs including lack of belief (e.g. Atheism). Generally, a belief should affect your
life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the definition.
∙ Sex - A man or a woman.
∙ Sexual orientation - Whether a person's sexual attraction is towards their own sex, the opposite
sex or to both sexes
The Equality Act is a basic framework of protection against direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation in services and public functions, work, education, and associations. It provides protection for people discriminated against because they are perceived to have, or are associated with someone who has, a protected characteristic and applies a uniform definition of indirect discrimination to all protected characteristics.
We aim to promote the development and delivery of high-quality education opportunities for 16-19 and adult learners regardless of their sex, race, age, religion or belief, married or civil partner status, sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity, gender reassignment or disability and to foster good relations between staff and learners who share or do not share a protected characteristic.
Smart Dental Academy aim to:
Smart Dental Academy aim to:
For Staff and Stakeholders
As an employer Smart Dental Academy aims to:
A plan for implementing any changes will be developed in consultation with staff. The Program Director has the overall responsibility for the effective operation of this policy, the responsibility for communicating this policy to the team and for investigating any concerns or complaints under this policy
Putting this policy into practice
We aim to develop and support equality and diversity measures by:
Comments and Concerns
Smart Dental Academy welcomes and values any feedback. The Academy views feedback as potential opportunities to learn lessons and improve the service. Any learner, learner’s advocate or member of staff has the right to complain if they feel they have been:
The concern will be investigated, promptly and efficiently, in a full and fair way, and a full, constructive and prompt reply will be given by the Program Director and appropriate action will be taken.
If you believe you have been treated in any way contrary to this policy or you have any comments on how we can ensure that it works better, please contact Nickie Thompson, Academy Program Director.
Monitoring and Review
The following data will be monitored by the Program Director to ensure consistency and set targets against set benchmarks:
This policy will be reviewed annually as a minimum. The annual review will consider and incorporate, where appropriate:
Governing bodies, staff, learners and stakeholder (including apprentice employers) will have access to the equality and diversity policy and the academy will advertise its commitment to equality via the student handbook and the employer handbook. Its commitment to equality and diversity is underpinned through the tutorial program, the staff training program and the academy website. All members of the academy community will be made aware of action that will take place in the event of any breach of these policies and the monitoring of equality data will be on-going with annual findings presented to governing bodies. The Equality Policy will be revised annually, as a result of this monitoring activity and we will monitor the effectiveness of this policy and the impact on all other relevant policies and practice. This review will happen when necessary and as a minimum annually.
As both an employer and a training provider, the academy wishes to verify our commitment to both the general and specific duty of the Equality Act 2010.
Smart Dental Academy is committed to complying with the relevant regulations, legislation and the GDC Standards to provide an inclusive environment for all learners. For the purpose of this policy, the term ‘disability’ may include physical and sensory impairments, learning disabilities, chronic or terminal illness and use of mental health services. People are protected from unlawful discrimination through the application of our policies and procedures.
When communicating with learners or staff who have a disability, team members:
Are prepared as necessary to:
The academy always welcomes views and suggestions on how services or access can be improved.
The Program Director is responsible for ensuring that the Equality and Diversity Policy is implemented in all aspects of the Academy’s strategies, alongside monitoring and reviewing the policies and its objectives which will be produced in an annual action plan.
The program Director is responsible for the monitoring and implementation of all aspects of the Equality and Diversity Policy relating to the employment of staff. This includes the monitoring of fair selection procedures and their impact on the staff profile.
All staff have a responsibility, as stated in their job description and contract of employment, to promote and implement the Equality and Diversity Policy in all aspects of their work.
Learner employment placements are required to have an Equality Policy. They will be made aware that the Academy has a clear Equality and Diversity Policy of its own and that it will take action to support any learner who has experienced discrimination of any kind as defined in this policy.
All staff are responsible for ensuring that:
We aim to provide equality of opportunity for all our learners and we welcome applications from all social backgrounds and faiths. We require that learners support the aims of Smart Dental Academy as expressed in the Mission and Values Statement.
We aim to expand our learning environment and understanding of learning styles. Potential learners with disabilities and/or learning difficulties will be assessed positively.
In the first instance, learners should contact their tutor or alternatively our Academic Support Lead (Sarah Tucker) for guidance. The recruitment process invites candidates to disclose if they have a disability/learning difficulty. Should an applicant indicate a need they will be contacted individually and, if possible, seen before their interview. As far as is possible and practicable, applicants with learning difficulties/disabilities will be interviewed by tutors with a responsibility for learning support.
The Academy aims to provide equality of opportunity for all staff and welcomes applications from all backgrounds and faiths. We require that all staff support the aims of the Academy as expressed in the Mission Statement. Equality monitoring will consider the proportion of candidates who apply, are shortlisted and are selected for posts. This will be completed in relation to protected characteristics and form part of the annual action plan and review of equality objectives. Selection procedures, including questions asked at interview, will be open and transparent and reviewed to ensure they are consistently fair in treating people without prejudice. Each applicant will be assessed according to his/her relevant qualifications, experience and professional competence. These factors will form the criteria for recruitment and promotion and assist with steps to ensure the needs of candidates with a protected characteristic are met. All staff will be required to complete a DBS - Disclosure and Barring Service check.
The Academy seeks to employ staff to represent the scope of the community’s profile.
The following data will be collected and monitored by the Program Director to ensure Equality and Diversity is implemented during staff recruitment processes:
Equal access to appropriate staff training will be provided both internally and externally, annually for all staff by the Academy.
A continuous programme of staff development will be set out to help ensure equality and diversity are a prominent feature within the Academy; this will be monitored by the Program Director and reviewed annually. The academy’s Equality and Diversity Policy, its objectives and equality training will form part of the induction programme for new staff members and will ensure all staff recognise that they are role models for learners and consequently, ensure that their own approaches to managing young people and other adults is appropriate and inline the with academy’s policies and procedures.
The Program Director is responsible for the organisation of all in-house training, but other aspects of the tutors training are solely their responsibility in accordance with the General Dental Council standards and maintain continual professional development. Each staff member has enrolled in a continued professional development program, allowing access to over 120 training courses. Staff are required to keep a portfolio of the training sessions they have completed and records of this training, are also kept within their personnel file, in line with DPA/GDPR, for audit purposes.
Staff appraisals are carried out initially at 3 months, 6 months, then annually thereafter.
Should the need arise for a member of staff to alter their working pattern, the Program Director will treat each request individually and will accommodate any changes, where possible to do so.
All the criteria used by the Company that contribute to the decisions for promotion are objective, free from bias, justifiable and must not discriminate unlawfully either directly or indirectly.
Equal opportunities for promotion will always be made available to all staff and no employee should be restricted from promotional opportunities because of their colour of skin, religion, gender or any other discriminatory reason.
It is part of Smart Dental Academy’s equal opportunities policy to ensure that discussions are regularly held with all members of staff, in which employees can talk about how they see their career developing, and ask for any training and support should they wish to progress into more senior roles in the company.
The academy has clear equality objectives in relation to staffing. With these in mind, it commits to ensure that job vacancies are available to all sectors of the community regardless of gender sex, race, age, religion or belief, married or civil partner status, sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity, gender reassignment or disability. All vacancies will be normally be advertised, excepting where an employee with a disability, is transferred to a vacant post, to make a reasonable adjustment in respect of their disability.
The Academy’s marketing team will recognise and reflect the Academy’s commitment to equality. Images used in publicity materials will set out the Academy’s pledge to advancing equality and will avoid stereotyping.
Contractors and Visitors
All visitors and contractors will be expected to adhere to the Equality and Diversity Policy and will be informed as such. All agreements with contractors and other partners will ensure a commitment to equality and diversity.