Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan

On 22 June 2020, the Applied Arts Scotland Board published our Anti-Racism Statement responding to the global Black Lives Matter movement. In it, we committed to identifying and dismantling barriers to participation at AAS and among the wider craft sector, taking a wide view across all protected characteristics and other non-protected characteristics that can limit access to and participation in the craft sector. We have an Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy in place, but we recognise this alone is not enough. We will take action as per our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (PDF). Read our first update on progress against this here, and know that we’re always working away on this even if we’re not publishing reports.


Applied Arts Scotland SCIO (referred to in this Policy as ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’) recognise people face discrimination, harassment and victimisation because of particular characteristics or beliefs. Applied Arts Scotland (AAS) are opposed to this and we will provide an environment where individuals are treated fairly, with respect and dignity.

We value the diversity in our role supporting professional makers and a successful craft sector, and we will promote equal opportunities to all involved and associated with the organisation, its opportunities and services. 


We will ensure all Board members, Advisors, AAS Members, employees, volunteers, self-employed people working under contract, partners and users of our services, are treated equally and as individuals regardless of age, physical disability, ethnic or national origin, gender, marital or parental status, caring responsibilities, gender reassignment, political belief, race, linguistic ability, religion or sexual orientation, or because of where they live.


We are committed to compliance with relevant equality legislation, including the Equality Act 2010, and relevant codes of practice. 

We will observe this Policy across all aspects of our work, including:

a) Appointment of Board members and Advisors
b) Encouragement and approval of AAS membership applications
c) When working in partnership
d) Provision of opportunities and accessible application procedures with clear criteria
e) Collection of data from those interacting with us to monitor the impact and inform the improvement of our services/activities
f) Recruitment and appointment of people working under contract


We aim to make our services available to as wide a range of the public, specifically the craft sector, as possible. In accordance with this Policy, we will take steps to remove barriers which prevent Board members, Advisors, AAS Members, employees, self-employed people working under contract, volunteers, partners and users of our services from having equal access to the organisation’s opportunities and services. We will stop discrimination, harassment and victimisation from occurring in our organisation, in respect of those associated and interacting with it.

We will undertake the following actions to keep this Policy active:

a) Ensure activities take place in venues and premises which are accessible by all people
b) Provide facilities for people, as per their needs, to enable them to participate fully in offline activity
c) Ensure on and offline materials and resources are accessible in terms of print, format, etc.
d) Encourage and enable people from underrepresented groups to access our opportunities and services 
e) Ensure a variety of channels to contact us are provided along with a notification of reasonable response time 
f) Publish this Policy online in a variety of formats
g) Remain informed on changes to equal opportunities legislation to inform policy updates and revisions 

Furthermore we will uphold the importance of Equal Opportunities Policies to all craftspeople / makers and craft organisations we support and work with.


We will ensure that no applicant, employee, self-employed person working under contract or volunteer receives less favourable treatment than another on the above grounds.

We are committed to undertaking open recruitment and selection procedures for employed, volunteer and contracted opportunities. Wherever possible, all vacancies and contracts will be advertised widely, with fair and equitable shortlisting and interview processes followed.

Our employees, volunteers and self-employed people working under contract with us will be informed of this Policy. Employees and volunteers will undertake equal opportunities training as appropriate.

We will ensure the changing and developing needs of employees and volunteers are recognised and appropriate adjustments made to working conditions and / or training provided.


The AAS Board are responsible for the implementation and monitoring of this Policy. They will review it annually, or as legally required in the event of changes to equal opportunities legislation. Board members will aim to undertake equal opportunities training.


We are committed to learning and changing to ensure this Policy is upheld and updated. Anyone wanting to tell us about their needs, enquire or complain about this Policy not being upheld can raise this with the AAS Board via the published contact channels.

The AAS Board will treat enquiries, challenges and complaints about discrimination, harassment and victimisation seriously and fairly. They are responsible for investigating complaints and deciding on the appropriate action to take. AAS will support people who feel they have been harassed or discriminated against and will not victimise or treat them differently because of this. Any decision to discipline, disassociate or exclude a person from AAS due to discriminatory or harassing behaviour will be made in line with this Policy, AAS’s constitution and related policies.


The Policy will be reviewed annually. It was last reviewed in July 2020.