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INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE POLICY

Policy Statement

All learners applying at Best Practice People have an entitlement to impartial Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) at every stage of their learning journey.

Our Aims
To provide all learners and potential learners with impartial information and advice that empowers them to make self-determined choices about learning and progression
To actively promote the provision of information and advice that meets the matrix standard throughout Best Practice People, and for all stakeholders

Our Objectives
To ensure that quality, current information and advice is readily available to learners in a range of formats and forums at different stages of the learner journey
That staff are appropriately supported and trained to deliver information and sometimes advice that meets the matrix standard
That we provide information and advice about Best Practice People courses, choosing the right course, learning support and progression
That learners are signposted or referred within or beyond Best Practice People when appropriate
That Best Practice People policies relating to Quality and Diversity, Complaints, Appeals against Assessment, Confidentiality, Safeguarding, and Data Protection are applied within the service
That learners are provided with a range of opportunities to feed back on the IAG service
That information from feedback results in improvements to the service which are widely communicated

The information we provide and sometimes advice may be:
Before enrolling
Provide information on a range of course options
Choosing a course that is most suited in terms of location, content, level, delivery style, qualification accreditation, entry requirements, and support available
Information may be provided in a number of ways, either, verbally, by email or through printed materials

At induction
Provide information on course structure
Awarding Body requirements
Assessments and certification
Programme goals, target dates, record of progression
Provide IAG with embedded Equality & Diversity, Health & Safety

On programme
Advices on available learner support
Possible progression/employment routes
Job search techniques and help with creating a CV

On exit
Further learning or employment opportunities and job search websites
List of Agencies/providers, e.g. colleges or IAG services
Signpost or refer to other agencies as required

At any time
Referral to another organisation for advice on careers, work and learning that may be outside the scope of BEST PRACTICE PEOPLE

Policy
Best Practice People is committed to providing a high quality, free and impartial information and advice to all existing and potential learners. We also recognise our own limitations and refer enquirers to other agencies, within the quality network, when required IAG cannot be provided by us.

To ensure that IAG services are accessible to all and of good quality, Best Practice People will:
Ensure that the delivery of IAG within Best Practice People is responsive to changes and developments both internally and externally.
Support the improvement of learners’ completion and progression rates
Work proactively and collaboratively internally to enhance the effective delivery of IAG
Work towards the Matrix IAG quality mark and ensure that IAG services meet the standards within this framework.
Ensure that marketing, promotional and information materials are comprehensive, accessible and available in a range of formats
Provide staff with effective IAG to enable them to continually develop their knowledge, understanding and expertise in specific areas, perform their own job role effectively and to ensure their understanding of:
IAG policy, strategy, aims, objectives, procedures and performance indicators
Equality and diversity
Confidentiality issues
Learner support
Referral systems (internal and external)
Customer care
Technological support
Information sources
Continued Professional Development

Monitor effectiveness and improve the quality of IAG via:
Customer feedback
Staff feedback
Analysis of referral data
Annual renewal/update of information materials
Develop and review partnerships and networks to support provision of impartial IAG and referral to appropriate partners.
Embed IAG in quality assurance, staff development and training and appraisal processes

Matrix Standard
The matrix standard is the national quality standard for any organisation delivering Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) on learning and work. The standard ensures that anyone thinking about entering publicly funded education receives high quality information, advice and guidance.

The matrix standard is made up of four elements:
Leadership and Management
Resources
Service Delivery
Continuous Quality Improvement

Detailed information on each element can be found on the matrix standard website: http://matrixstandard.com/

Best Practice People as a company will:
work towards achieving accreditation of our IAG via Matrix assessment
continue to improve the service we provide
provide learners with effective signposting to other services
embed the Framework for Excellence or other quality initiatives through the SFA
continue to provide effective and robust staff training and CPD
welcome suggestions for improvement
offer learners the chance to say what they think about our IAG provision
collect and analyse feedback from learners

Organisational Support Procedures
All learners and potential learners who participate in our training programmes are entitled to receive unbiased information, advice and guidance from suitably qualified staff with the relevant knowledge and experience.

Our service to learners:
Pre-course information:
Course information, locations and dates
Leaflets with course contents
Appropriate and suitability of training programmes on offer and to redirect enquirers who do not meet our eligibility and/or entry requirements.

Enrolment:
Receive a detailed induction
Have an initial assessment
Agree an individual learning plan
Agree review dates for the action plan
Information regarding learning support
Receive information about compliments, appeals, complaints and suggestions

During training:
Receive regular reviews and feedback on training progression
At any time during the programme receive information about progression, be signposted or referred as appropriate

At the end of the training:
Receive IAG information about progressions, job search support and careers advice
Signposted or referred when appropriate
Obtain feedback from learners on course and IAG services

Our Staff Training
All staff will be appropriately supported and trained to deliver information and advice that meets the matrix standard. All staff will be aware of:
Their own role, limitations and when to refer within or beyond Best Practice People when appropriate
Best Practice People courses and training on offer
IAG services available from partner Colleges
Information on the National Careers Services and other agencies within the quality network who can assist learners with IAG
Training opportunities to address individual CPD needs of staff

A flow chart is available for those members of staff who are engaging in first point of contact and delivery of IAG together with guidance on signposting and referring.

 

Privacy Policy

Policy statement

At Best Practice People we respect the privacy of the all learners, employers and partners. The personal information that we collect about you is used only to provide appropriate learning and training, maintain our service to you, and communicate with you effectively. Our legal basis for processing the personal information relating to you is so that we can fulfil our contract with you.

Any information that you provide is kept secure. Data that is no longer required* is erased after you have informed us that you no longer wish to work with us.

We will use the contact details you give us to contact you via phone, text, email, social media and post so that we can send you information and other relevant news, and also so that we can communicate with you regarding payment of our fees.

We will only share personal information about you with another organisation if we:

  • have a safeguarding concern

  • are required to by government bodies or law enforcement agencies

  • engage a supplier to process data on our behalf

  • have obtained your prior permission.

You have the right to ask to see the data that we have about yourself, and to ask for any errors to be corrected. We will respond to all such requests within one month. You can also ask for the data to be deleted, but note that:

  • we will not be able to continue to engage with you if we do not have sufficient information

  • even after you wish to no longer work with us, we have a statutory duty to retain some types of data for specific periods of time* so cannot delete everything immediately.

If you have a complaint about how we have kept your information secure, or how we have responded to a request to access, update or erase your data, you can refer us to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Data Protection Principles
The Company complies with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the principles of the Act, your personal data will be:

  • Fairly and lawfully processed.

  • Processed for limited purposes and not in any way incompatible with those purposes.

  • Adequate, relevant and will not be excessive.

  • Accurate.

  • Not kept for longer than necessary.

  • Processed in accordance with your individual rights.

  • Secure.

  • Not transferred to countries without adequate data protection.

Your Agreement
Certain types of personal data may be processed for particular purposes without the consent of individual data subjects. However, it is the Company’s policy to seek express consent whenever practical from individual data subjects for the main ways in which the Company may hold and process personal data concerning them. This is to allow individuals an opportunity to raise any objections to any intended processing of personal data. The Company will consider any such objections but reserves the right to process personal data in order to carry out its functions as permitted by law. Therefore, all Employees, Temporary Employees, Students, Tutors and Self-Employed Contractors will be asked to sign a consent form regarding particular types of information which Best Practice People may in due course hold/process about them. All existing employees will also be asked to sign a consent form (Annexure A).

Your Personal Data
The Company only holds and processes personal data directly relevant to your employment or study for various purposes (for example, the administration of Individual Learner Paperwork, the effective provision of academic and welfare services, to record academic progress and to operate the payroll services). This data is collected as and when required, such information includes, but is not limited to:

  • Third-party employment references.

  • Employment reports or assessments, including performance reviews.

  • Disciplinary details, including informal or formal warnings.

  • Grievance procedures and outcomes.

  • Salary reviews, benefits records and expenses claims.

  • Health records.

  • Student records (ILR’s or College Application forms)

  • Assessments

  • Tutorial files

  • Admission files

  • Vetting and barring information

This information is only collected to assist the Company in monitoring performance, achievements, health and safety, and complying with the law on the appointment of staff in regulated activity roles for example. It is also necessary to process information so that staff can be recruited and paid, courses organised and legal obligations to funding bodies and government complied with.

Your personal data may be disclosed within the Company to those within the human resource department and management, including your immediate manager. Your personal data will not be disclosed to your peers or any other employees that do not require access to the data in order to carry out their own roles within the Company.

Learner Information
The Company collects information about all our staff and learners for various administrative, academic and health and safety reasons. Because of the Data Protection Act 1998, we need your consent before we can do this. To provide an effective learning service we need you to sign a consent form on your application form. If you do not do so, we will be unable to offer you a course place, and may withdraw any offer already made.

Questions
If you have any questions regarding this policy document and how it applies to you, including how to request access to your personal data please email skills@bestpp.co.uk

ANTI-RADICALISM 

Policy statement
Best Practice People takes the responsibility of safeguarding learners very seriously. Best Practice People is committed to the Safeguarding of learners and staff, and committed to supporting the recovery of individuals who may be targeted by the circumstances outlined in this policy. The policy of support and prevention of extremism and radicalisation (Prevent) has been devised to be complimentary to work alongside the main safeguarding policy.

This policy, whilst a standalone policy is integral to other policies including Equality and Diversity, Health & Safety and Whistleblowing.

Government prevent policy
Section 21 of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on certain bodies to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. The Government’s Prevent Strategy was published in 2011 and forms part of an overall Counter Terrorism Strategy known as CONTEST. The Contest Strategy has four elements which are:

  • Pursue

  • Protect

  • Prepare

  • Prevent

Prevent is a key part of the Contest Strategy which aims to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. Early intervention is at the heart of Prevent in diverting people away from being drawn into terrorist activity as Prevent happens before any criminal activity takes place. It is about recognising, supporting and protecting individuals who might be susceptible to radicalisation.

The Prevent Strategy objectives are as follows;

Terrorist ideas should be identified and challenged.

Vulnerable people should be supported and protected from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorists
Communities, institutions and the Government should all work together to tackle the problem of extremism.

The Government’s Prevent Strategy was explicitly changed in 2011 to deal with all forms of terrorism and target not only violent extremism but also non-violent extremism which can create an atmosphere conducive to terrorism and can popularise the views which terrorist exploit.

The United Kingdom currently faces a range of terrorist threats. All terrorist groups who pose a threat to the UK seek to radicalise and recruit people to their cause. A system of threat levels has been created which represents the likelihood of attacks in the near future. The current Government threat level from international terrorism in the UK is “severe” which means that a terrorist attack is a strong possibility.

Definitions

Terrorism
The current UK definition of terrorism is given in the Terrorism Act 2000 (TACT 2000). In summary this defines terrorism as an action that endangers or causes serious violence to a person/people; causes serious damage to property; or seriously interferes or disrupts and electronic system. The use or threat must be designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public and is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.

Extremism
A vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism call for the death of armed forces whether in this country of overseas.

Ideology
A set of beliefs. These beliefs can be religious, political or personal.

Prevention
Reducing or eliminating the risk of individuals becoming involved in terrorism. Prevent involves the identification and referral of those at risk of being involved in violent extremism.

Radicalisation
The process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism.

Radicaliser
A person who encourages other to develop or adopt beliefs and views that support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism.

Radicalising locations
Venues, often unsupervised, where the process of radicalisation takes place.

Radicalisation materials
Literature or videos that are used by radicalisers to encourage individuals to adopt a violent ideology. Some of this material may openly encourage violence.

Vulnerability
Describes the condition of being able to being injured, difficult to defend; open to moral or ideological attack. Within Prevent, the work describes factors and characteristics associated with being at risk of radicalisation.

Aims and objects
The aim of Best Practice People Prevent Strategy is to ensure that we are able to monitor, manage and deal effectively with the threat posed by any individual or group of individuals engaging in violent extremism in the name of ideology or belief. This strategy has five key objectives:

  • To develop staff and learner awareness of Prevent.

  • To ensure that learners and staff are aware of their roles and responsibilities in preventing violent extremism and radicalisation.

  • To promote and reinforce shared values, to create space for free and open debate, and support the learner voice.

  • To document and recognise current practice across Best Practice People which effectively manages the risk of learners being exposed to extremism and becoming radicalised.

Our responsibilities
To ensure that Best Practice People effectively manages risks and is able to deal appropriately with issues around radicalisation and extremism we will:

Understand the nature of the threat from extremism and how this may impact directly or indirectly on Best Practice People.

Understand and manage potential risks within Best Practice People and from external influences including the display of extremist materials and use of venues.

Respond rapidly and appropriately to events in local, national or international news that may impact on Best Practice People learners.

Ensure measures are in place to minimise the potential for acts of extremism within Best Practice People learning environments.

Ensure plans are in place to respond appropriately to a threat or incident within Best Practice People
Adopt effective ICT security and responsible user policies and promote these to all staff and learners.
Teaching, learning & supporting learners

Best Practice People is committed to providing learning programmes which promote knowledge, skills and understanding in order to build the resilience of all students, by undermining extremist ideology and supporting the learner voice. This will be achieved through:

Embedding equality, diversity and inclusion across the curriculum and promoting community cohesion
Promoting wider skill development such as social and emotional wellbeing.

Delivering courses which recognises local needs, challenges extremism and promotes universal rights
Teaching and learning strategies which explore controversial issues in a way which promotes equality, diversity and inclusion.

Use of external organisations to support learning and promote respect.

To ensure that the course venues remain safe the following support will be in place for learners:

Effective support services which provide clear information, advice and guidance on preventing learners from being drawn into extremism and radicalisation.

Literature written in clear and simple language which promotes equality, diversity and inclusion and undermines extremist ideology.

Support for learners and staff and guidance on how to access support through community partners
A clear Learner Engagement Strategy to ensure that the learner voice is heard and concerns of the learner population are acted upon.

Clear channels of communication to listen to the voice of the local community and understand local tensions.

Support for at risk leaners through safeguarding and mentoring processes.

Staff Responsibilities
The designated Prevent Officer holds overall responsibility for ensuring that the Prevent strategy is implemented across Best Practice People and any concerns are shared with the relevant organisations in order to minimise the risk of learners becoming involved with terrorism.

The Prevent Officer at Best Practice People will work with the designated Safeguarding Officer to ensure that staff and learners are aware of the Prevent agenda and appropriate training is in place.

All staff at Best Practice People has a responsibility to:

To provide an ethos which upholds Best Practice People’s vision and values and promote respect, equality and diversity and inclusion.

Report any concerns around extremism or radicalisation via the safeguarding reporting channels
Report on literature displayed or used at any cause venue that could cause offense or promote extremist views.

Support the development of staff and learner understanding of the issues around extremism and radicalisation and participate in training when requested.

Participate in engagement with local communities, schools and external organisations as appropriate.

Referrals
Where there is an identified/potential risk that a learner may be involved in supporting or following extremism, further investigation by the police will be requested, prior to other assessments and interventions. The designated Prevent Officer is responsible for contacting Police or the BIS Prevent Coordinator for further advice and guidance.

Any member of staff who identifies such concerns will report these to the Prevent Officer. All relevant information will be documented.

Incidents in relation to extremism are expected to be very rare but emergency procedures will be adopted when there is information that a violent act is imminent, or where weapons or other materials may be in the possession of a learner. In this situation, a 999 call will be made and Best Practice People’ Senior Management team informed as soon as practicably possible.

Where a vulnerable adult is thought to be in need or at risk of significant harm or where investigations need to be carried out a referral to the Social Services will be made in line with Safeguarding.

TRAINING

Staff at Best Practice People
Training on Prevent will be delivered as part of the 3 yearly Safeguarding refresher training programmes which all staff are required to complete.

All new staff members of Best Practice People will receive Prevent training as part of their induction programme.

A Prevent section providing information, advice and guidance for staff will be regularly updated on the Staff Intranet site and relevant documentation will be sent to all staff via e-mail.

Related policies

Safeguarding Policy
Equality and Diversity Policy
Health and Safety Policy
Whistle-blowing Policy
Safer Recruitment Policy
Safeguarding/prevent officer

The Safeguarding Officer for Best Practice People is Grant Basson and the overall responsibility for Prevent is Grant Basson who can be contacted on 07807 058006 or by email on grant@bestpracticepeople.co.uk

Monitoring and review
This policy will be subject to review, revision, change, updating, alteration and replacement in order to introduce new policies from time to time to reflect the changing needs of the business and to comply with legislation. Any alterations will be communicated to you by the Human Resource Department.

SAFEGUARDING  

Policy Statement

Best Practice People Ltd aims to adopt the highest possible standards and take all reasonable steps in safeguarding the welfare of young people and vulnerable adults, and preventing their abuse. This policy focuses on protection from abuse and neglect and is intended to support staff working at Best Practice People Ltd. Other policies linked with this policy includes: Whistle Blowing, Complaints, Information Sharing, Disciplinary, Health and Safety and Equality and Diversity.

Objectives

Best Practice People Ltd is committed to:

  • Ensuring that the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults is paramount at all times.

  • Maximising people’s choice, control and inclusion and protecting their human rights.

  • Working in partnership with others agencies in order to safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults.

  • Ensuring safe and effective working practices are in place.

  • Supporting staff within the Best Practice People.

Definitions

Child, Children and Young People
In terms of this policy, “child, children and young people” mean those under the age of 18 as Defined by The Children Act 1989. This policy applies to students in this age group attending a further education course and young people aged 16 – 18 who attend courses in relation to their apprenticeships.

Vulnerable Adults

A vulnerable adult is a person aged 18 years or over who may be unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from harm or from being exploited.

This may include a person who:

  • is living in residential accommodation, such as a care home or a residential special school
    is living in sheltered housing.

  • is detained in lawful custody (in a prison, remand centre, young offender institution, secure training centre or attendance centre, or under the powers of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

  • is receiving domiciliary care in their own home.

  • is receiving any form of healthcare.

  • is under the supervision of the probation services.

  • is receiving a specified welfare service, namely the provision of support, assistance or advice by any person, the purpose of which is to develop an individual’s capacity to live independently in accommodation or support their capacity to do so.

  • is receiving a service or participating in an activity for people who have particular needs because of their age or who have any form of disability.

  • is an expectant or nursing mother living in residential care.

  • is receiving direct payments from a local authority or health and social care trust in lieu of social care services, or.

  • requires assistance in the conduct of their own affairs.

This also applies to temporary conditions.

Staff

Staff means all employees, full-time, part-time, teaching staff, and all agency, franchise, contract and volunteer staff working for or on behalf of Best Practice People Ltd.

Abuse

Abuse is the violation of an individual’s human rights. It can be a single act or repeated acts. It can be physical, sexual, or emotional. It also includes acts of neglect or an omission to act. In all forms of abuse there are elements of emotional abuse. Vulnerable adults may also suffer additional types of abuse such as being manipulated financially or being discriminated against. Other examples of abuse include inflicting physical harm such as hitting or misuse of medication, rape and sexual assault or exposure to sexual acts without informed consent, emotional abuse such as threats, humiliation and harassment, exploitation, ignoring medical or physical needs, withholding of necessities of life such as food or heating. This list is not definitive.

Coverage

This policy applies to all staff, learners, temporary staff, part-time workers as well as all people who work on behalf of Best Practice People Ltd.

Designated Person

The Designated person within Best Practice People, is;

NAME Grant Basson Contact number: 07807 058006

Grant Basson shall be made known to learners, employees and sub-contractors; as the designated person to whom concerns will be addressed. If the concern is about the designated person, please report to the Director at Best Practice People.

Responsibilities of Best Practice People Ltd

Best Practice People has accepted the principles laid by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and the Children Act 2004:

  • To take action to identify and prevent abuse from happening.

  • Respond appropriately when abuse has or is suspected to have occurred.

  • Ensure that the agreed safeguarding adults and child, children and young people procedures are followed at all times.

  • Provide support, advice and resources to staff in responding to safeguarding issues.

  • Inform staff of any local or national issues relating to safeguarding adults and children.

  • Ensure staff is aware of their responsibilities and to attend training and to support staff in accessing these events.

  • Ensuring that our organisation has a dedicated staff member with an expertise in safeguarding adults and children.

  • Ensuring staff have access to appropriate consultation and supervision regarding safeguarding adults and children.

  • Understand how diversity, beliefs and values of people who use services may influence the identification, prevention and response to safeguarding concerns.

  • Ensure that information is available for people that use services, family members setting out what to do if they have a concern.

  • Ensure that all employees who come in contact with vulnerable adults and a child, children and young people have a DBS check in line with the requirements of the Independent Safeguarding Authority .

Vetting and Barring Scheme.

Responsibilities of all staff

  • Follow the safeguarding policies and procedures at all times, particularly if concerns arise about the safety or welfare of a vulnerable adult, a child, children or a young person.

  • Participate in safeguarding training and maintain current working knowledge.

  • Discuss any concerns about the welfare of a vulnerable adult, a child, children or young people with their manager.

  • Contribute to actions required including information sharing and attending meetings.
    Work collaboratively with other agencies to safeguard and protect the welfare of people who use services.

  • Remain alert at all times to the possibility of abuse.

  • Recognise the impact that diversity, beliefs and values of people who use services can have.

Training

All staff should receive basic safeguarding awareness training at a level according to their role and this should be refreshed as a minimum every three years.

Reporting Abuse

The following procedure details the actions to be taken by both the complaint and Staff:
If staff suspects a vulnerable person is being abused or is at risk of abuse, they are expected to report concerns to Centre Manager (unless they suspect that the Centre Manager is implicated – in such circumstances the whistle blowing policy should be followed.

If at any time staff feel the person needs urgent medical assistance, they have a duty to call for an ambulance or arrange for a doctor to see the person at the earliest opportunity.

If at the time staff have reason to believe the vulnerable person is in immediate and serious risk of harm or that a crime has been committed the police must be called.

A report form must be completed where there are allegations of abuse and sent to the Human Resource Division at Best Practice People.

All service users/learners need to be safe. Throughout the process the service users/learners needs remain paramount. This process is about protecting the vulnerable adults, children and young people and prevention of abuse.

Alleged abuser and victims who are both service users/learners

It is important that consideration be given to a co-ordinated approach and partnership working, where it is identified that both the alleged abuser and alleged victim are service users/learners.

Where both parties are receiving a service, staff should discuss cases and work together, however meetings with both the alleged abuser and alleged victim in attendance, are not considered appropriate.

Allegation of abuse staff member

Employees should be aware that abuse is a serious matter that can lead to a criminal conviction. Where applicable the disciplinary policy of Best Practice People will be implemented.

Confidentiality and information sharing

It is important to identify an abusive situation as early as possible so that the individual can be protected. Withholding information may lead to abuse not being dealt with in a timely manner. Confidentiality must never be confused with secrecy. The Staff has a duty to share information relating to suspected abuse and the Chief Executive Officer at Best Practice People will decide whether to refer the case to the relevant body (e.g. Social Services, the Police)

Consent is not required to breach confidentiality (capacity issues must be considered) and make a safeguarding referral where;

  • A serious crime has been committed

  • Where the alleged perpetrator may go on to abuse others

  • Other vulnerable adults are at risk in some way

  • The vulnerable adult, child, children and young person is deemed to be in serious risk

  • There is a statutory requirement e.g. Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, Children’s Act 2004, Mental Health Act 1983, Care Standards Act 2000

  • The public interest overrides the interest of the individual

  • When a member of staff of a statutory service, a private or voluntary service or a volunteer is the person accused of abuse, malpractice or poor professional standards.

  • If a worker has any doubt about the legality of sharing information, they must in the first instance consult Human Resources Division dealing with safeguarding issues.

Monitoring

The Human Resource Department will be responsible for monitoring this policy.

EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY 

Equal opportunities and anti-harassment and bullying policy.

This policy document applies to your employment or study at Best Practice People Ltd, , the “Company” and all other Company sites that you may be asked to work or study at from time to time.

For any policy to be effective it must be applied throughout the Company, this policy therefore applies to all staff and learners of Best Practice People.

Policy Statement
Best Practice People is committed to equal opportunities in employment and course delivery. This means that learners, job applicants and employees will be treated fairly regardless of their age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, race, ethnic origin, disability, religion or religious beliefs. At the heart of our policy, we seek to treat people fairly and with dignity and respect.

Best Practice People will seek to promote equal opportunities and prevent harassment and bullying by publicising and communicating this policy; by providing appropriate training and guidelines for those with designated responsibilities and by raising awareness through staff and teaching development.

Further, Best Practice People will continually monitor its policies and practices to ensure that these principles are upheld. It is the employee’s and learners right to be treated with dignity and respect, which in turn will be conducive to performance, self-development and career advancement. Every executive, manager, employee and learner has a responsibility to implement this policy.

Definitions

Discrimination
For the purposes of this policy, discrimination means treating people less favourably than others on the grounds of their age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, race, ethnic origin, disability, religion or religious beliefs, whether this be direct or indirect by applying a provision, criterion or practice, which disadvantages such persons.

Age
Discrimination based upon age includes direct or indirect discrimination against a person due to either their youth or their more advanced years – whether a person is considered “too young” or “too old” and the direct or indirect discrimination they receive as a result of this. Discrimination can occur in recruitment, selection, promotion, training, pay, benefits and other conditions. It can also occur in dismissal, redundancy and retirement or selection for these. The exception to this is age discrimination for operational reasons, where discrimination is objectively justified, for example where a person is required to be within a certain age range in order to perform their role efficiently and safely. Any objectively justified discrimination must be both proportionate and designed to achieve a legitimate aim.

Sexual Orientation
For the purposes of this policy, sexual orientation means sexual orientation for a person of the same sex, different sex or for persons of both sexes, or based on a person’s civil partnership status. It does not include sexual practices or preferences. Discrimination can occur based on a perception of a person’s sexual orientation, even if that perception is wrong. It can also include discrimination against a person by reason of the sexual orientation of someone they associate with.

Gender Reassignment
For the purposes of this policy, gender reassignment means a desire to be known or to become a person of a gender different to that to which they were born.

Religion/Religious Beliefs
For the purposes of this policy, religion or religious beliefs is defined as any religion, religious belief or similar philosophical belief. It does not include philosophical or political beliefs unless that belief is similar to a religious belief. Discrimination can occur based on a perception of a person’s religion or beliefs even if that perception is wrong. It can also include discrimination against a person by reason of the religion or religious beliefs of someone they associate with.

Harassment
For the purposes of this policy harassment is defined as any hostile unwanted, unreasonable and/or offensive behaviour, which adversely affects a person’s dignity, self-confidence and well-being and creates a hostile environment and which leads to that person feeling intimidated, degraded or humiliated.

Racial harassment
For the purposes of this policy racial harassment is defined as any action, conduct, comment, gesture or behaviour that is offensive, embarrassing, insulting or intimidating. It may include derogatory remarks, quips, jokes, innuendoes, taunts or physical abuse which is racially derogatory and potentially offensive and relates to a person’s race, religion or ethnic origins.

Sexual harassment
For the purposes of this policy sexual harassment is defined as:
Any action, conduct, comment, gesture or physical contact of a sexual nature that is unwelcome and might reasonably be seen by an employee or prospective employee as placing an implicit or explicit condition on employment.
Any persistent, unwelcome action, conduct, comment, gesture or physical contact of a sexual nature that is likely to cause offence, embarrassment or humiliation to an employee or creates an offensive working environment.

Bullying
For the purposes of this policy bullying is defined as repeated treatment with the purpose of controlling individuals or making them insecure in their roles or treatment that has that effect.

Victimisation
For the purposes of this policy, victimisation is defined as treating persons less favourably because of something they have done under or in connection with asserting their rights under any employment legislation or regulations.

Monitoring
All employees, job applicants and learners will be asked to complete a form providing information regarding their age, sex, marital status, race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, religion and whether they suffer from any disabilities. This form will be used solely for the purpose of monitoring the effectiveness of the Company’s equal opportunities policy and to ensure that the Company meets its obligations as an equal opportunities employer and service provider.

Procedure for Discriminatory Conduct
Any learner or member of staff may use the Company’s grievance procedure to complain about discriminatory conduct. The complaint will be thoroughly investigated and considered based on the facts of the investigation. No individual will be penalised for raising such a grievance unless it is untrue and made in bad faith. If the matter relates to harassment or bullying of any kind the anti-harassment and bullying procedure set out below should be followed.

Any leaner or employee who discriminates against any other learner or employee on the grounds of age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, race, ethnic origin, disability, religion or religious beliefs, will be subject to the Company’s disciplinary procedure as set out in the grievance and disciplinary policy. In serious cases where such behaviour has been deemed to constitute gross misconduct it will result in summary dismissal in the absence of mitigating circumstances. This statement should be read in conjunction with the anti-harassment and bullying procedure set out below at clause 7.

Positive Action on Equal Opportunities

Best Practice People will regularly monitor the composition of the workforce, of job applicants and learner enrolments. Should inequalities become apparent positive action will be taken to redress the balance including such measures as:

Advertising learning opportunities or jobs in ethnic or female interest publications as appropriate.
Encouraging under-represented groups to apply for suitable posts or learning opportunities.

Making contact with disabled people via the local job centre.

Considering whether any reasonable adjustment can be made to work premises or the working arrangements to accommodate a disabled employee, job applicant or learner.

Introducing assertiveness training.

Anti-Harassment & Bullying Procedure
As well as its commitment to equal opportunities, Best Practice People is committed to providing a work and learning environment for employees and learners, which is free from harassment or bullying on the grounds of age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, race, ethnic origin, disability, religion or religious beliefs. This may include embarrassment, intimidation, threats or discrimination.

Reasonable measures will be taken to ensure that no learner or employee is subject to harassment or bullying. In recognition of these principles Best Practice People will also not condone any conduct, which may be construed as sexual harassment.

Any complaints of harassment or bullying should be made to Head of Human Resources at Best Practice People. The matter will be dealt with in a discreet and confidential manner and appropriate action will be taken. It is the duty of all employees and in particular management, tutors and supervisors, to ensure that the anti-harassment & bullying policy is implemented. Harassment or bullying will be taken to have occurred if a reasonable individual would or ought to have known that the behaviour was unwelcome or offensive.

Harassment and bullying are disciplinary offences that may in the most serious cases lead to dismissal. Individuals should be aware that in some circumstances they may be held personally liable for acts that are unlawful.

Incidents of sexual or racial harassment can be taken to amount to gross misconduct, which will be dealt with under the Company’s disciplinary policy and may lead to summary dismissal. Less serious infringements may lead to an apology from the harasser, letter of reprimand, suspension or relocation of the harasser.

In dealing with reports of harassment or bullying the following principles will apply:

All reports will be taken seriously, treated in confidence and investigated by trained staff who are independent of the situation.

All complaints will be progressed and dealt with according to Best Practice People’s grievance and disciplinary procedure.

Where Best Practice People has reason to believe that there is a risk to the personal safety of the complainant or of another person, or that a criminal offence has been committed, Best Practice People may take legal advice and/or inform the police before proceeding with any internal action.

The victimisation or harassment of a complainant or the respondent, or any witnesses will be regarded as a disciplinary offence.

Malicious complaints will be regarded as a disciplinary offence.

Date of Implementation
This policy is effective from 4th January 2016 and shall not apply to any actions that occurred prior to this date.

Questions
If you have any questions regarding this policy document and how it applies to you please consult The Human Resource Department at Best Practice People.

Alteration of this Policy
This policy will be subject to review, revision, change, updating, alteration and replacement in order to introduce new policies from time to time to reflect the changing needs of the business and to comply with legislation. Any alterations will be communicated to you by the Human Resource Department.

 
 
 
 

CONTACT US

0800 888 6064

skills@bestpp.co.uk

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