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Comprehensive Impact Assessment (CIA)

What is a Comprehensive Impact Assessment?

A CIA is a Risk and Impact Assessment tool that helps us to deliver high quality services by:

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  • Ensuring that our services are free from discrimination 
  • Ensuring that we identify and address customer needs
  • Improving transparency around the decisions we make
  • Identifying and mitigating risk
  • Identifying best practice

The Council is increasingly being required to deliver services with less money and less people so the potential for increased risk is real, the CIA will help to mitigate these risks.

CIA’s need to be carried out whenever we:

  • Develop a new policy (this is included in the Policy Development Toolkit)
  • Review or amend an existing policy
  • Review our services
  • Start a project or programme of work

The CIA has to be proportional and relevant to the risk from the likely workforce or public interest impact.

The CIA process involves looking at evidence (for example, service user data, consultation outcomes, community profiles, crime data), engaging with people, staff, service users and others when considering the effect of what we do on the whole community.

CIA’s help us to ensure that fairness is placed at the heart of policy development and service delivery. Addressing fairness issues is part of improving the way local government delivers services and employs people.

Carrying out a good CIA makes excellent business sense.

It helps us to:

  • Ensure services are targeted in the right way by assessing any potential impacts and risk – positive or negative
  • Work with others to identify and plan how negative impacts and risk can be reduced - including cross Directorate and compounded impacts and risks
  • Make sure that our decision making is justified, transparent and evidenced
  • Create an opportunity for dialogue with the community, Members, staff and other partners
  • Provide good customer service

It is important the CIA is carried out at the earliest opportunity to ensure that there is time to undertake any additional work that will inform decisions (for example community engagement).

Risk Management is the system and process put in place to identify, assess, react, monitor and report on opportunities or threats to the achievement of objectives. It is considered an essential element of good governance and decision making.

A Risk Assessment matrix is used to quantify any residual risks remaining after a comprehensive risk assessment has been carried out.

All Comprehensive Impact Assessments can be viewed at the link below.  As this is a relatively new format for assessment some of the previous Equality Impact Assessments are still valid and will also be shown on this page.