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Equality Framework for Local Government

Achieving the “Achieving” in Equality and Diversity

Cornwall Council is pleased to announce that after a successful peer review in April 2013, they have been assessed as “Achieving” against the Equality Framework for Local Government (EFLG). View a copy of the peer report from the Local Government Association.

The EFLG is a performance improvement and benchmarking tool which many local authorities in England and Wales have adopted to map progress of their organisation in terms of equality and diversity.

It was launched April 2009 and is ‘owned’ by the Local Government Improvement and Development Agency (formally IDeA).

It replaced and builds upon a former framework called the Equality Standard for Local Government.

It is based on three levels of achievement: ‘Developing’, ‘Achieving’ and ‘Excellent’ and aids:

  • Legal compliance (against the Equality Act 2010)
  • Excellent standards of customer care – targeting of services, increased value for money etc
  • Ensures decision making is transparent, justified and evidenced through Equality Impact Assessments

On 23 and 24 April 2013, Cornwall Council took part in an Equality and Diversity Peer Challenge Review facilitated by the Local Government Association (LGA). The Peer Challenge Team consisted of representatives from across the Local Government with Gill Elliot from the LGA leading the team as the Challenge Manager.

The aim of the Peer Challenge was to gain an independent critique of how we are performing as a Council against the EFLG. The EFLG consists of 29 areas of judgement under five key themes, these being:

  • Knowing your communities
  • Leadership, partnership and organisational commitment
  • Community engagement and satisfaction
  • Responsive services and customer care
  • A skilled and committed workforce

Our journey began two years ago when we assessed ourselves as a “Developing” Council. These early findings allowed us to complete a gap analysis against the ‘Achieving’ level of the EFLG.

It was agreed we would undergo a mock assessment in June 2011. The main aim of this mock assessment was to assess the improvements we would have to make to reach the ‘Achieving’ Level but also to:

  • Engage the wider organisation (including Elected Members and Senior Leadership teams) as well as the public and voluntary and community sector partners
  • Develop and improve organisational commitment to the EFLG and to seek organisational approval for actions needed to reach the required target level.

This would lead to:

  • An increased understanding of improvements needed to reach the desired EFLG level
  • An understanding of the ‘perception gap’ between the organisation’s practice and community experience identified through conducted interviews and the actions needed to address disparities
  • Improved organisational ‘buy-in’, understanding, engagement and commitment
  • Developing and sustaining a culture of embedding equality into core organisational practices.

Following this assessment we put together a challenging, comprehensive but realistic Improvement Plan to move the Council to ‘Achieving’ Level.

In November 2012, we underwent a further mock assessment. This looked at whether the Council was ready to be put itself forward to be formally assessed as ‘Achieving’ against the EFLG by the LGA.

The Council was formally assessed against the EFLG in April 2013. It was awarded the ‘Achieving’ level, the LGA produced a peer report which outlined the areas for improvement which is shaping our journey forward.