We believe that everyone has some passion, skill or talent that can make a difference to his or her lives and the lives of others.

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1 1. Vision Volunteering is at the heart of defining Scotland, its people and places and our Volunteer Landscape in all its diversity helps shape a positive, healthy, fair and learning society at home and abroad. 2. Mission To learn about the Volunteer Landscape of Scotland, and serve as the National Centre for volunteering to appreciate and maximise the positive impacts of volunteering on individuals, groups, organisations, communities and society. 3. Key Aims To develop and strengthen the Volunteer Centre network in Scotland To provide services which address members needs To provide an Advocacy role with government and the media To develop Partnerships and Innovative projects To provide a Scottish Centre for Research To provide a Training, Information and Knowledge Exchange Service To provide a national clearing house for Disclosure and PVG Checks for the Voluntary Sector in Scotland. 4. Our Values 4.1. Diversity We believe that everyone has some passion, skill or talent that can make a difference to his or her lives and the lives of others Inclusiveness We believe in enabling diverse groups and individuals to access quality volunteering opportunities Partnership Working We believe in working in partnership with others and in the mutual benefits of so doing Sustainability We believe in the long-term benefits of building diversity into our work on a day-to-day basis Leadership We believe in leading by example by advocating the benefits of diversity through all our services, publications, policies, procedures and practices.

2 4.6. Our Culture In our ways of working we seek to be: Making a difference - drawing on the talents and potential of all Innovative - encouraging creativity and new approaches to work Collaborative demonstrating respect for others Accountable taking responsibility for one s own actions so that Volunteer Scotland is true to its values Cost-effective making the best use of resources, including experience and knowledge 5. Equality and Diversity Policy Volunteer Scotland is an equal opportunities employer. This means that all our policies incorporate the endorsement from the Volunteer Scotland s Board (and Chief Executive) to ensure that no unlawful discrimination occurs against any person on the grounds of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity, race (which includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), sexual orientation, religion or belief, or because someone is married or in a civil partnership. These characteristics are known as protected characteristics under the Equality Act Legislation also provides additional protection against discrimination on the grounds of unrelated criminal convictions, trade union activity, long term unemployment or because an individual has Aids or is HIV positive. Volunteer Scotland is committed to the elimination of discrimination, both direct and indirect, by perception/association, and third party harassment in all its services, procedures and practices. 6. Legislation Volunteer Scotland s Equality and Diversity policy operate within the parameters set out by the Equality Act (2010). 7. Diversity Volunteer Scotland believes that diversity broadens the concept of equal opportunities beyond the issues covered by the law. It recognises that people have different abilities to contribute to organisational goals and performance, and that the visible and non-visible differences between people can also lead to differences in experiences, values, attitudes, ways of thinking, behaving, communicating and working. Volunteer Scotland believes that: Valuing diversity can be a resource because it can produce many business benefits for the organisations which relate to recruitment, new ideas, credibility and membership. The lives of all human beings are of equal value, and everyone should have an equal right to access resources and opportunities to realise their potential. Volunteering is an accessible way in which individuals can realise their potential, overcome social exclusion and contribute to the wellbeing of communities both locally and nationally. By making the best use of everyone s talents and potential it is possible to create a productive environment in which organisational goals are met efficiently and effectively. Volunteer Scotland 2

3 Through incorporating diversity into all its policies and procedures, practice, publications and activities, Volunteer Scotland can model and promote the importance and benefits of diversity to its staff, volunteers, membership and others. 8. Responsibility and Implementation 8.1. Responsibility Volunteer Scotland through the Board of Directors, takes its responsibilities for equality and diversity seriously and recognises that any discrimination that exists can only be eliminated in partnership with staff. Appropriate action will be taken to address any deficiencies in the implementation of the Policy, and disciplinary procedures may be used in the case of a breach of this policy. The Chief Executive Officer has overall responsibility for ensuring that this Policy is carried out. Line Managers are responsible for the effective application of this Policy in their Teams, supported by Senior Management, ensuring that this policy is communicated to all employees: Obtaining commitments from other persons or organisations such as subcontractors or agencies that they too will comply with the policy in their dealings with Volunteer Scotland and its employees; Taking appropriate action against any employee who has not complied with any aspect of the policy; Ensuring that all individuals involved in recruitment and selection processes receive appropriate training; Enabling employees and Directors to participate in equality training as part of the induction process and at in-house training courses. Taking appropriate action where instances of third party harassment are reported to them as defined in the Dignity at Work Policy. Employee responsibility all employees have a personal accountability to ensure that their responsibilities under this policy and the Equality Act 2010 are adhered to. All members of staff will promote, support and uphold this policy in all their dealings with other employees, Volunteers and external stakeholders Implementation Volunteer Scotland has established an Audit and Scrutiny Group which is a Standing Committee of Volunteer Scotland s Board, chaired by a Board Member and has specific responsibility for the implementation of the Volunteer Scotland Equalities and Diversity Policy by Identifying issues of organisational development and ensuring that diversity is embedded in all our policies and practices Planning and setting targets in relation to the implementation of the Equality and Diversity Policy on an annual basis in line with the financial year Monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the Equality and Diversity Policy Reviewing and accounting to Board, Staff and Members on Progress Volunteer Scotland 3

4 9. Equality and Diversity Policy in Practice Volunteer Scotland will seek to develop its practice in the following areas 9.1 Employment and Recruitment of Staff By building a diverse workforce Volunteer Scotland aims to take steps to ensure that knowledge of vacancies reaches underrepresented groups (as below). Positive Action i.e. Underrepresented groups will be encouraged to apply for training and employment opportunities with Volunteer Scotland. Wherever possible, special training will be provided for such groups to prepare them to compete on genuinely equal terms for jobs and promotion. However, actual recruitment to all jobs will be strictly on merit. Wherever possible, efforts will be made to identify and remove unnecessary/unjustifiable barriers and provide appropriate facilities and conditions of service to meet the special needs of disadvantaged and/or underrepresented groups. By treating all employees and applicants for employees for employment fairly and ensure they are not discriminated against because of any protected characteristic. By regularly reviewing its recruitment and selection procedure (see Recruitment and Selection Policy) to ensure fair access to all jobs. People will be selected on merit, based only their skills, abilities and qualifications to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the post for which they have applied. By ensuring a good worklife balance for all staff by the application of People Friendly Policies (see Staff Handbook) By ensuring that all employees are valued and treated with dignity and respect. Where harassment, victimisation or bullying is found in the workplace this will be dealt with through the appropriate procedures. Each employee has a responsibility to challenge and report inappropriate behaviour. By providing fair access to training and development opportunities By supporting and respecting employees in their cultural and religious beliefs By considering adapting organisational requirements or existing practices where they are contrary to employees cultural and religious needs Volunteer Scotland will, wherever reasonable and practicable, provide equipment, facilities and/or training for all disabled employees. (See Retention Policy) 9.2 Training for Volunteer Scotland Board and Staff in Equality and Diversity Volunteer Scotland offers a programme of training in equality and diversity for all staff, and recognises that specific training is required by managers, new staff and Board Members. 9.3 Service Delivery Volunteer Scotland will: Carry out an Equalites Impact Assessment (EQIA) for any proposals in terms of its functions and policies which could potentially cause barriers to access by vulnerable groups or individuals. Provide quality services designed to meet a wide range of different needs and regularly review them to ensure that no one is disadvantaged Provide appropriate and equal access to services, including producing clear information in Volunteer Scotland 4

5 alternative formats on request e.g. audio tape, Braille, or via our website Provide and publicise clear information on how members, non-members and stakeholders can comment about the services they have received. This can be dealt with through our Customer Care Policy Consult and actively listen to our members, non members and stakeholders Seek to ensure that all venues used for external meetings and events are accessible 9.4 Policy Development Internal human resource policies will be developed and reviewed against the context of the Equality and Diversity Policy. 9.5 Monitoring and Evaluation Specifically monitoring will cover : Recruitment and selection, and measuring change in the composition of the workforce. Information collected will be analysed and used to check that our employment policies and practices are fair and prevent discrimination Developing the use of monitoring approaches to analyse and evaluate how effectively our services meet the needs of members, non members and stakeholders The Volunteer Scotland membership base Board of Directors Volunteer Scotland 5

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