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Equality and diversity policy

1. Introduction

The policy covers CITB requirements for equality of opportunity, diversity and considerations for special access and particular assessment requirements for delegates and candidates.

The policy details CITB commitment to equality of opportunity and diversity and is openly available to Approved Training Organisations (ATOs) and candidates/delegates through the CITB website. The policy has also been communicated and agreed by CITB staff including all contractors.

CITB require ATOs and centres to have a written up to date policy for equality of opportunity and diversity. This must also take account for special considerations for candidates that have particular assessment requirements prior to submitting any application to become a CITB ATO or approved centre.

2. Scope

All CITB approved training standards and products including:

  • assured training standards delivery;
  • approved CITB owned products (i.e. CITB health, safety and environment (HS&E) test and Site Safety Plus (SSP) suite);
  • third party Recognised products.

3. Definitions

The following outlines the definition parties, products, and protected characteristics that are covered by this policy.

Equality and diversity

CITB is committed to giving everyone who wants to gain a qualification or undergo industry recognised training, through an Approved Training Organisation (ATO) an equal opportunity of achieving their goal.

CITB require all ATOs to have policies and procedures that demonstrates and ensures that ATOs:

  • Support candidates in line with current UK legislation and EU directives, and through its support do not intentionally or unintentionally disadvantage;
  • Support equality of opportunity and diversity regardless of their culture, sex, ability, disability, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, marital, employment or social  status;
  • Actively discourage discrimination, bullying and harassment for all;
  • Actively promote inclusion for under represented groups.

This must be made available for review upon request by the CITB team as part of the approval process or visits, and as part of ongoing monitoring.

Third party recognised products

For ATOs that deliver third party recognised products from other awarding organisations and bodies, it is agreed that these bodies will monitor the equality of opportunity and diversity arrangements which are already in place for the associated qualifications.

In addition, the application requirements for notification and any subsequent actions given by the third party organisation supersede any requirement given by this policy, and must be referred to and followed.

If assured and approved CITB products are delivered alongside, then CITB's policy requirements will also be applicable in those circumstances.

General guidance

ATOs and CITB centres are advised to consider any access arrangements that may be required before a candidate/delegate is enrolled for any training.

Candidates must be made aware that in order to gain a successful outcome, they must achieve all of the requirements as listed in the relevant training standard or course requirements.

No amendments to the learning outcomes or performance requirements may be made. However, candidates may meet the requirements of the training in a different way if listed as an option in the standards/course requirements.

The ATOs must where practical, identify if a candidate/delegate is capable of achieving the learning outcomes of the training programme at the induction/initial assessment stage of the process. This will avoid the candidate being disadvantaged.

Provided the ATOs hold evidence of a need for an access arrangement or particular assessment requirement, then it should be put in place before the candidate begins training/assessment.

CITB does not need to be consulted, provided the access arrangements comply with the ATOs/CITB centre strategy for assessment and/or training, and the candidate can meet the training standard/course requirements.

Where health and safety forms part of the training standard, the candidate will need to demonstrate that they can meet the learning outcomes of the standard.

Assumptions about health and safety implications must be avoided. Where there is reason to think that a particular circumstance(s) is a risk to the candidate, then ATOs/CITB centres must carry out and document a full risk assessment.

The assessment must reference those particular circumstances and be carried out by a competent and qualified person. It should take into account any access arrangements which might reduce or remove the risk.

If there is any doubt about the acceptability or appropriateness of an access arrangement, then the ATOs should consult their senior quality consultant or CITB's quality assurance department before putting it in place.

Access arrangements should assist candidates/delegates in demonstrating what they have learned, so that they can meet the training standard and/or course requirements in full.

Where an access arrangement has been put in place, ATOs/CITB centres must ensure that records are kept for quality audit purposes.

Use of language other than English, Welsh or Irish (Gaeilge)

There is an implicit assumption that someone holding a certificate in England will have a competence in English at the level required to operate safely within the role. Delivery can also occur in Welsh or Irish (Gaeilge).

Training delivery in any other language (including use of a translator) is only permissible if specifically referred to in the related product/scheme guidance, as is the case for CITB HS&E test and CPCS.

4. Special adjustments

ATOs are advised to consider any access arrangements which may be required before a candidate is enrolled on a course.

Access arrangements cover the entire course and should be determined as early as possible to ensure the correct arrangements are made. The candidate does not necessarily have to have a disability (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) to be allowed an access arrangement, neither will every candidate who has a disability be entitled to an access arrangement.

The arrangements are intended to increase access to training and assessment but cannot be granted where they will directly affect performance in the skills that are the focus of the training.

See the Equality and Human Rights Commission's definition of disability.

Accessibility arrangements

In making alternative access arrangements to allow a candidate/delegate to meet training requirements, steps must be taken to ensure that the person is still able to meet the required learning outcomes.

An arrangement must not weaken or invalidate these requirements and must reflect their normal way of working.

Eligibility and evidence requirements table

Eligibility and evidence requirements
Access arrangement Eligibility and/or evidence requirement
Extra time where assessment is time framed - up to a maximum of 25%
  • Statement of special education needs relating to secondary education
  • Psychological assessment carried out by a qualified psychologist, or specialist assessment carried out by a specialist tutor
Extra time where assessment is time framed - above 25%
  • Visual/hearing impairment
  • Physical disability
  • Multiple-disabilities
  • Learning difficulties
  • Hearing impairment
  • Candidates requiring extra time
Alternative accommodation/venue away from the ATOs premises Medical/psychological report
Amplification equipment Normal way of working
Sign interpreter (BSL, ISL and other sign languages) Hearing impairment
Read aloud Normal way of working
CCTV Normal way of working
Communicator Hearing impairment
Live speaker Hearing impairment
Low vision aid Visual impairment
Modified assessment material
  • Visual impairment
  • Hearing impairment
OCR scanners Visual impairment
Practical assistant Candidate with physical disability
Prompter Normal way of working
  • Psychological assessment carried out by a qualified psychologist, or specialist assessment carried out by a specialist tutor
  • Alternative evidence for candidates in the workplace
  • Visual impairment
  • Physical disability
  • Psychological assessment carried out by a qualified psychologist, or specialist assessment carried out by a specialist tutor
  • Alternative evidence for candidates in the workplace
Rest breaks where assessment is time framed Medical/psychological
Transcript Handwriting is difficult to decipher
Transcript of tape Hearing impairment

5. Hearing impairments/production of written work

Candidates who are pre-lingual deaf, whose first language is British Sign Language (BSL) and who present their own written work, should have the content of their work assessed fully in those languages, and not against the standard of English (refer to the use of other languages in section 2 for further guidance).

This is unless the quality of English is stipulated in the training standards or course requirements. A candidate should not be penalised for their quality of English if he/she can demonstrate that they meet the learning outcomes of the standard/course requirement.

Where the candidate produces written material, either by hand or by computer, a transcript of the whole or part may be prepared if all or part of the material cannot be easily read. Alternatively, oral questioning of the candidate can be undertaken using BSL if appropriate.

The provision of support personnel and application for extra time for candidates with hearing impairments is the responsibility of the ATOs to provide and obtain. It is also the ATOs/CITB centres responsibility to ensure authenticity of a candidate’s work, and to avoid any special assessment arrangements providing an unfair advantage over others.

Written material should only be requested where it is a requirement of the standards or scheme criteria. Alternative methods other than written should be considered, for example, questioning or the use of audio and visual devices.

As long as the candidate can demonstrate he/she meets the learning outcomes, then the lack of written or literacy skills (unless specifically stated in the standards/criteria) should not prove to be a barrier to the candidate successful meeting the training standard/course requirements.

6. Temporary illness, injury or indisposition

Candidates suffering with temporary illness, injury or indisposition at the time of training delivery should be given the opportunity to reschedule to a time convenient to both the ATO and the candidate. 

ATOs do not have to make applications for rescheduled training unless given as requirement of the training standard or course.* They may seek guidance on eligibility from the CITB quality assurance department or senior quality consultant.

* Please refer to specific course guidance or scheme rules (e.g. Site Safety Plus).