providing assistance. Where possible, activities should be carried out free from bias, inequality, or discrimination i.e. fair. If it is not possible to be fair then there needs to be justifiable reasons for exceptional treatment i.e. reasonable. Often Council activities are governed by legislation but that should have been designed to be fair or reasonable and then the Council must apply it in a fair and reasonable manner. If the assessment shows activities are not always fair or reasonable, then steps must be taken to address the issues. Assessment Details Assessment Area Customer Services, which includes the Civic Centre, Contact Centre, Reception, Switchboard, Cashiers, the Post Room, Caretaker and Cleaning Services. Date of Assessment 5 th July 2011 Directorate & Service Strategic Manager Carol Russell Lead Officer Carol Russell Key Questions Answers/Notes
Step 1 Scoping the assessment
1. What are you looking to achieve i.e. aims/outcomes? The confirmation that the service meets customers needs. That Customer Services responds to enquiries in a concise, efficient and courteous manner. 2. Who will be affected? The general public and staff of Dartford Borough Council. 3. How do the activities/changes a) contribute to any national indicators? b) Meet or hinder other policies, values or objectives of the Council? Supports the main vision of the Council by delivering high quality services, offering value for money and demonstrating customer satisfaction and a culture of continuous improvement.
4. Which aspects of the activity are dictated by legislation / regulation and where do we have discretion in how they are delivered? The Council has chosen to benchmark its Customer Services using the International Organisation of Standardisation and as a result the service has reached ISO 9001 quality standard. The service is not dictated by legislation and there is complete discretion in how it is delivered (inside the governance arrangements of the Council)
Step 2 Consideration of data and information
Note: Data from relevant SNAP Surveys can be found at: <\\serverc\common data\Equality and diversity monitoring> 5. What do you know about the groups who will be affected e.g. demographic information etc? According to the 2009 population estimates provided by the KCC Analysis Team: · The population of Dartford was 93,000 which is made up of 51% females and 49% males. · People aged 4044 make up the highest proportion of the population with 8.2% of all people. · The 85 plus age group make up the smallest proportion of 1.8% of all people. · 87.9% of the population are white · 12.1% are from a BME community. Dartford has the 2 nd highest number of people from a BME community in Kent. · 14.3% of people in Dartford have a limiting long term illness (based on the 2001 census) The Contact Centre collects, name, full address, contact details and
The Contact Centre does not record the number of customers Who require information in other languages or who are blind/deaf/illiterate. However, this information is collected when we access Applied Language Solutions for translating documents and providing either face to face or telephone translations. 6. What consultation has taken place with affected groups? Who was consulted and what were the key findings? The last satisfaction monitoring was undertaken 2 yrs ago. Customer Services record any customer feedback that they receive. These comments, compliments or complaints are forwarded to the relevant service managers for action or consideration, where appropriate. Any feedbacks is regularly debriefed as part of regular Service & Monitoring Review meetings and Customer Services Team meetings and are acted upon to enhance service delivery and customer expectation if appropriate and if budget constraints allow. 7. What additional research is needed to ensure that all ‘equality groups’ needs are taken into account? In order to ensure that we reaching all equality groups, we will: · Use Mosaic to analyse type of customers using our service by ethnicity and social grouping. This will also be used to analyse the nature of call, thus highlighting any particular problems which are only common to particular groups. · Undertake a survey of Disabled Bay users to determine whether access to building and service could be improved. 8. How do you propose to gather the additional information? See above
Step 3 Assessing the equality impact
9. Based on information you already know, in relation to each of the following groups, consider: a) for existing activities, how they are actually working in practice for each group
b) whether there is anything in any proposed activities/changes that could discriminate or put anyone at a disadvantage or assist in promoting equality of opportunity.
a. Age There is a variety of different contact channels i.e. face to face, telephone, online, email and written to suit all customers requirements. Our services can be accessed by all. However, if on the rare occasion, a service is online only i.e. Parking Consultation, Customer services will act as the customer’s representative and will pass on any feedback directly. In addition to the services provided at the Civic Centre, similarly the majority of services can be accessed face to face at Swanscombe Cash Office. The response times for customer service emails (2 days) is shorter than the corporate requirement for written letters (10 days): However, the volume of letters into Customer Services is very low. Therefore Customer Services, aim to respond within the same time as emails.
b. Disability · The Civic Centre and Swanscombe cash Office are both DDA compliant. · Services are available from lower service desks that are wheelchair accessible at both locations. · Initial signposting at Reception would further identify any additional customer requirement or needs. · Cash Offices fitted with Induction hearing loops (signage displayed). · All service desks are fitted with hearing loops. · The Civic Centre offers private interview rooms that are wheelchair accessible. · The Civic Centre offers disabled parking bays both for members of the public and employees. However, we do not currently advertise this on the internet. · Form assistance can be provided by Customer Services. · Customer Services Advisors are able to offer advocacy services · Typetalk is available to all as another means of communication. · Customer Services has a number of advisors that are proficient in British Sign Language. However, this is not widely advertised. · The Civic Centre has a fully DDA compliant Customer toilet · The Customer Queuing system is both visual and audible. c. Gender (including reassignment) · The toilet facility is a single customer cubicle – available to all. · The ability to amend personal customer contact details on the CRM (to reflect any gender reassignment) · Customers Services can request to speak with either a male or female advisor. (Currently have 3 FTE Male Advisors and 12 FTE Female Advisors)
d. Race Although leaflets are available from Customer Services, it is the individual Service department responsibility to produce documentation in other languages. The council uses Applied Language solutions to verbally interpret face to face customer enquiries. All customer Services Advisors are trained on how to use this service. The Council offers the six most commonly used languages available as a dedicated telephone line and customers are able to leave messages or requests for the Council. These telephone numbers are printed on most leaflets and publications. The requests from these telephone lines are actioned by Customer Services and passed to Medway Council for translation before passing to the relevant service. The existing Customer Services Charter does not include the most recent translation strap line. This will be updated at the next review before it is made publicly available to all. It is not immediately obvious to ethnic minority customers, how to obtain information in other languages. It would be useful to investigate the possibility of advertising the translation service on the Queuing System display TV.
e. Religion/Belief In some faiths a customer may wish to speak to a male advisor or vice –versa (link to Gender) Customer services do not collect/ask for a customer’s religion or belief. When taking customer contact details, they will ask for Surname and first name. f. Sexual Orientation We do not collect this information. g. Pregnancy/Maternity We do not collect this information. The Customer Toilet does however, have baby changing facilities. Whilst we do not have a baby feeding facility, we are able to act upon requests for private
to deliver activities/changes, please describe any that could give rise to inconsistent customer experiences?
Step 4 Reviewing and scrutinising the impact
11. Summarise any positive or adverse impact you have identified and who is affected. Sign Language facilities and Disabled parking bays not advertised to customers. Translation Services also not advertised on Customer Services Charter. 12. What changes can be made to address any adverse impact? The Customer Services Charter and Customer Services website page amended to reflect this. 13. If an adverse impact remains, how can this are fairly justified? 14. Summarise the expected residual impact once steps have been taken to minimise adverse impact and identify who remains affected.
Based on your answers to questions 1114, please finalise your actions here. These actions will then be incorporated into our equality action plans. Identified impact (including who is affected) Action Monitoring (include expected outcomes, milestones and targets) Date for Completion Responsible Officer If an adverse impact was found or unmet needs identified, which actions will you put in place to address this: Disability Advertise on the DBC website: Disabled Parking bays Sign Language Record usage of bays to determine whether requirement is adequate. Record number of requests Ongoing Carol Russell Ethnicity Update & publish Customer Services Charter to include latest corporate translation strap line. Investigate the possibility of advertising translation facilities on the Queuing System TV display Monitor & review trends of numbers accessing translation services. 31.03.2012 31.03.2012 Carol Russell Carol Russell If the impact is still unclear, list the actions you will put in place to gather the information you need: All Groups Use Mosaic to analyse type of Customer using the service and to analyse the nature of the recorded customer contact. Analyse the Mosaic output report and use the data to suggest revisions or improvements to the service where appropriate. 31.03.2012 Carol Russell
Disabled Parking Bay users to gauge customer feedback regarding accessibility of building whether access is suitable or whether improvements could be made. 31.03.2012 Carol Russell If you did not find any evidence of unmet needs or adverse impact, list the actions you will put in place to maintain good practice:
15. Which decision making process do these changes need to go through i.e. who do they need to be approved by? Customer Services Manager Strategic Director 16. How will you continue to monitor the impact of the activity/service/ policy on diverse groups? Ongoing monitoring of customer contact Customer Feedback Complaints 17. When will you review this Customer Access Review? April 2013