Equality outcomes, reports and policies

Equality Mainstreaming Report

Our Equality Mainstreaming Report 2021-23 includes updates on SQA's progress against the equality outcomes we published in 2021, our mainstreaming activities, employee information, equal pay audit and statement of equal pay.

SQA’s detailed workforce equality monitoring data report and equal pay audit should be read alongside our Equality Mainstreaming Report.

Equality Outcomes 2021-25

Our equality outcomes set out the actions we will take to achieve the revised outcomes and how we will measure our progress. We also provide information about the sources of evidence that we considered to review our priorities and revise SQA’s equality outcomes.

Equality impact assessments

As part of our work to revise SQA’s equality outcomes and action plans, we identified areas for improvement relating to equality impact assessments. This work aims to further emphasise the importance of embedding equality in policy development, planning and decisionmaking processes in SQA.

Equal pay statement

SQA is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to ensuring that all staff are treated equally regardless of their age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, marital/civil partner status, religion or belief, disability, pregnancy or maternity. We support the principles that all employees should receive equal pay for the same or like work or work of equal value and will operate a pay and reward system which is fair, transparent and free from bias.

Pay policy

SQA’s objective is to ensure that it implements fair, just and lawful practices with regards to pay.

In order to meet this objective SQA will:

  • Carry out an annual equal pay review to identify any differences in pay between men and women including occupational segregation. In 2016, SQA extended this review to cover race and disability
  • Review the current pay system in conjunction with SQA’s recognised trade unions to ensure it meets Equal Pay obligations and is consistent with our Corporate Objectives and Values. This includes the maintenance and application of Job Evaluation, in line with SQA’s Job Evaluation Guidance underpinning SQA’s grading structure
  • Carry out Performance Management in line with SQA’s published Performance Management Handbook providing a tool by which an individual’s performance can be measured by their line manager against the achievement of operational objectives
  • Provide advice and guidance to those involved in determining staff salaries in line with SQA’s Pay Procedures
  • Inform staff as to how the pay system operates and how their own pay is calculated in line with SQA’s Pay Procedures
  • Ensure that staff are aware that they can enquire about their pay and grading (including salary progression). Provide prompt response to enquiries and inform staff that, if not satisfied, they can use the procedure set out in SQA’s Dispute Resolution Policy and Procedure

SQA’s equal pay review and occupational segregation information is published as part of its Equality Mainstreaming Report.

Commitment to race equality in employment

We pledge to put in place the recommendations of the Scottish Parliament's Equalities and Human Rights Committee’s Race Equality, Employment and Skills: Making Progress? report.

Public Sector Leadership Summit – Joint Commitment

The Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee inquiry of 2020 has highlighted the persistent issues that impact on outcomes for minority ethnic people in Scotland during their employment lifecycle.

The Committee’s recommendations below highlight both systemic issues perpetuating race inequality in recruitment practice and in the workplace, as well as the need to improve practices such as the gathering and analysis of workforce data to inform action plans and determine measurable outcomes. The Committee recommends:

  • those in public authority leadership positions undertake an assessment of their organisation’s understanding of racism and the structural barriers that may exist within their organisations. Public authorities should integrate their ambitions into their next strategic plan. Their strategic goal should be underpinned by specific outcomes and supported by timely monitoring. Public authorities should be transparent about their targets and their progress in delivering their outcomes
  • public authorities should review their recruitment procedures and practice against the Scottish Government’s toolkit and make the necessary changes
  • all public authorities subject to the Scottish-specific Public Sector Equality Duty should, as a minimum, voluntarily record and publish their ethnicity pay gap and produce an action plan to deliver identified outcomes.

We accept these recommendations and are committed to implementing them.

We recognise that taking forward the recommendations represent further steps in tackling race inequality. It is important that we make this commitment clear to our employees and members of our community.

As a public sector leader, and as a member of the Public Sector Leadership Summit, SQA is committed to take action to advance equality for minority ethnic staff and service users as outlined by the Scottish Government. We will be bold and transparent. We will embed the recommendations of the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee’s Race Equality, Employment and Skills report into the strategic objectives of our organisation and the performance objectives of our senior leaders. We will take responsibility to assess our organisation’s understanding of institutional racism and proactively challenge and change practices that disadvantage minority ethnic communities. Vitally, we will ensure that minority ethnic communities are involved in shaping this change.