Perthshire Open Studios CIC Equal Opportunities Policy

Equality is a statutory responsibility for anyone providing a service. While Perthshire Open Studios CIC (POS) does not employ anyone at this time, supporting equal opportunities is an important part of what we do. While we do not use the word 'service' to describe our work, we feel that what we do is a service to Perthshire artists[1] and the people of Perthshire.

Statement of intent

We fully accept and welcome that society and artists with society consist of many diverse groups and individuals and that this diversity is an asset to the community. We also recognise that certain groups and individuals are discriminated against and we are opposed to this. We recognise that we have a responsibility to promote equal opportunities and we will pursue equality in all our work.

As a Community Interest Company, we want:

  • the opportunities we offer to members to be accessible to the broadest extent to Perthshire's artists.
  • the activities we organise to be accessible to all parts of our community and wider society.

Issues we particularly recognise.

Despite our wish otherwise, it is possible to, unintentionally, discriminate against certain sections of the community, particularly minority or disadvantaged groups. We are aware that the very nature of what we currently do could bereducing diversity among Perthshire artists, as well is restricting the public's ability to access art.

  • Our priority for this Equal Opportunities Policy is initially Perthshire artists but we recognise that our wider society must also be addressed in the future.
  • We recognise that a membership fee and an event registration cost can, in itself, reduce diversity of membership.
  • While we have agreed that there should be no judgment on skill or type of activity around inclusivity, we recognise that this needs to be monitored as people find it hard to resist judgment based on what they do and don't like.
  • Those who volunteer with POS, particularly in rural environments, are likely to fill the profile of volunteers in the wider community and tend to be artists themselves.

This document has been prepared to set out POS's commitment and as a statement of its intent. The Policy will be reviewed at the AGM to ensure effective implementation. POS is committed to the development of policies to provide for equality of opportunity in all aspects of its work. We will work to ensure that all our services are provided in a way that promotes awareness of the rights and needs of people from minority groups and enables all people to access to them.

Implementing an Equal Opportunities Policy

We will:

  1. Make efforts to increase members' understanding of equal opportunities and diversity related policies.
  2. Monitor the diversity of POS-involved artists in relation to the population in Perthshire.
  3. Identify (at each the AGM) a target group we wish to develop links to and seek advice from that results in actions to encourage the inclusion of that group either as artists or as visitors to our events.
  4. Form an advisory group of specialists who individually have a wider focus and knowledge than that of the POS directors and team (who are all volunteers). We aim to develop understandings and approaches that are more inclusive and reach wider audiences of both artists and the public.
  5. At each AGM, there will be a report of a review of equal opportunities data available to us and an agenda item that reviews the previous year's activities in light of our Equal Opportunity Policy objectives  and the identification of an agreed target for increasing diversity among artists and visitors. The AGM will start the process of debating and developing ideas around how that group could be reached.
  6. Continue to develop and follow an organisational model of multiple activities that allow different groups on society to benefit (financially and for their wellbeing) from both the creation of art and the contact with art.
  7. Seek advice on maintaining and updating of our polices.
  8. Bring to the attention of all members, staff and volunteers the provisions of the Policy and will provide such training as is necessary to ensure the effective implementation of the Policy. While the operation of the Policy is the Directors' responsibility, all members and volunteers have a duty to do everything they can to ensure that the Policy operates in practice.

Code of Conduct

  • People will be treated with dignity and respect regardless of race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, age, or political opinion.
  • At all times, people's feelings will be valued and respected.
  • Language or humour that people find offensive will not be used, e.g., sexist or racist jokes or terminology that is deemed derogatory.
  • No one will be harassed, abused, excluded or intimidated on the grounds of their race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, age, or political opinion.
  • Foul, insulting, abusive or racist remarks will not be tolerated from anyone associated with the organisation and behaviour of this type may lead to expulsion from the organisation.
  • Incidents of harassment will be taken seriously. If the matter cannot be resolved by way of an acceptable apology and an undertaking that the offence will not be repeated, the following action will be taken:
    • In a case involving a member of the organisation, membership to the organisation may be withdrawn.
    • In the case of a helper/volunteer, action may be taken as appropriate and if deemed necessary their involvement with the organisation may cease.
  • Any directly involved person has the right to appeal against a decision made by the management committee who will consider that appeal before a decision is made, and that decision will be final.

[1] We define the term artist as those that create art as they perceive it.

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