Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Policy

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Policy APRIL 2023

The Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts believes that a healthy cultural ecosystem requires a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI; defined below). We recognise that, as an organisation made up of artist Members and staff we play a role in advancing those commitments in all facets of our programmes – artist facing and public facing.

The RHA prioritises EDI values as intrinsic to our mission to support artists at all stages of their career and to develop, challenge and affirm the public’s engagement with art. To this end, we intend to

  • Identify and mitigate barriers resulting from identity-based disparities and systems of discrimination as they affect the RHA’s work;
  • Cultivate and value a diversity of perspectives among RHA members and staff and artists in our exhibition, School and studio programmes and in the communities we serve; and
  • Foster a work environment in which everyone involved in whatever capacity feels respected, supported in their growth and able to contribute fully to the organisation’s work.

Embodying these values requires an ongoing, deliberate process of learning, dialogue, and adaptation in service of our mission.

Equity & Diversity & Inclusion: Definitions

Equity is working toward fair opportunities and outcomes for all people or groups by addressing barriers resulting from unique disadvantages and challenges. Equity is different from equality, which assumes everyone starts on equal footing or with the same opportunities, ignoring basic differences among individuals and groups.

Diversity refers to the variations of different characteristics in a group of people—the people all around us. These characteristics could be everything that makes us unique, such as our cognitive skills and personality traits, along with the characteristics that shape our identity (e.g., age, cultural background, faith practice/religion, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, geography, occupation, race, sexual orientation, political views, socio-economic status and many more).

Inclusion can be defined as achieving an environment in which every participant feels respected, is granted equitable access to growth, and is able to contribute to the organisation, community, or any other group of people. Inclusion provides an atmosphere where all team members belong, feel connected to the group, and can thrive.

EDI with the Irish Framework

The Employment Equality Act 1998, promotes equality in the workplace and opened new potential for equality in covering the nine grounds of gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability, age and membership of the Traveller community.

To this the Arts Council has added socio-economic status.

The RHA  is committed to working together to maintain a workplace environment that encourages and supports the right to equality, diversity and dignity. All employees are expected to respect the right of each individual to dignity in their working life. All employees will be treated equally and respected for their individuality and diversity.  All artists, students and the public using the RHA are entitled to expect the same behaviour.

This policy applies to all individuals in RHA whether directly employed or contracted by the gallery. All individuals, have a duty and responsibility to uphold this policy. To endeavour whatever the task or project to ensure through supports and sensitivity that the outcome for all is the same.

1. Aims:

  • To ensure that the artist membership of the Academy reflects the diversity of the practising artists in the society.
  • That the RHA Exhibition, School and Education functions are conscious of creating diversity in its programming
  • To ensure that all exhibiting artists, School students, employees, job applicants and visitors are given equal opportunity and that RHA is representative of all sections of society.
  • Each employee will be respected and valued and able to give their best as a result.
  • All visitors will be treated with respect and dignity and support the aim that all who visit the RHA have a positive experience.
  • Create and maintain a positive working environment that recognises and protects the rights of each individual at work whether they are:
  • Exhibiting artists
  • Artists conducting educational activities
  • Artists in RHA Studios onsite or offsite
  • Artists enrolled in RHA School courses
  • Visiting the RHA or using our services.
  • Applying for a job or already employed by RHA.
  • Trainee employees, interns or students on work experience or placements. Volunteers.
  • Contract Staff

2. Implementation of the Policy:

Each member of the RHA, artist members and employees,  have specific responsibility for the effective implementation of this policy and all our team are expected to abide by the policy and help create an environment whereby equality in the workplace is a core objective.

In order to implement this policy RHA shall:

  • Communicate the policy to Academy members, employees, job applicants, volunteers and exhibiting artists, artists in courses and relevant others.
  • Incorporate specific and appropriate duties in respect of implementing the equal opportunities policy into academy membership, artistic programming, job descriptions and work objectives of employees.
  • Support the RHA Council and Director, in developing, monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the Equality and Diversity Policy.
  • Incorporate equal opportunity notices into general communications practices.
  • Ensure that adequate resources are made available to fulfil the objectives of the policy.
  • Identify and prevent unconscious biases.
  • Be aware of indirect discrimination.

3. Recruitment and Selection:

  • Promotion and advancement will be made on merit and all decisions relating to this will be made within the overall framework and principles of this policy.
  • Job descriptions will be developed in line with our equal opportunities policy. Job requirements will be reflected accurately in any person specifications.
  • RHA will adopt a consistent, non-discriminatory approach to the advertising of vacancies.
  • All applicants who apply for jobs with the RHA will receive fair treatment and will be considered solely on their ability to do the job.
  • Short-listing and interviewing will be carried out by more than one person.
  • Interview questions will be related to the requirements of the job and will not be of a discriminatory nature.
  • Selection decisions will not be influenced by any perceived prejudices of other staff.

4. Conduct and General Standards of Behaviour

All Academy Members, employees and volunteers are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and considerate manner at all times.  The gallery will not tolerate behaviour such as:

  • Making threats or physical violence.
  • Shouting or swearing at others or persistent rudeness.
  • Isolating, ignoring or refusing to work with certain people.
  • Telling offensive jokes, name calling or displaying offensive material such as pornography or sexist / racist cartoons, or the distribution of such material via email / text message or any other format.
  • Any other forms of harassment, bullying or victimisation.

5. Complaints:

The RHA will thoroughly investigate all complaints of unlawful discrimination on any forbidden grounds made by Academy Members,  employees, clients or other third parties and will take action where appropriate.

All Academy Members, employees are encouraged to resolve misunderstandings and problems informally wherever possible, depending on the circumstances. However, whether dealt with informally or formally, it is important for Academy Members and  employees who may have caused offence to understand that it is no defence to say that they did not intend to cause offence, or to blame individuals for being overly sensitive. It is the impact of the behaviour, rather than the intent, that counts, and that should shape the solution found both to the immediate problem and to preventing further similar problems in the future.

All complaints will be investigated in accordance with the gallery’s disciplinary procedure, as appropriate and the complainant will be informed of the outcome in line with these procedures.


1. Introduction:

At the core of RHA’s mission is the aim to bring people together to experience art, to consistently promote high artistic standards and believe in the value of visual art to society.  A key objective for the RHA is to ensure that the building, collections, exhibitions, studios, school, programmes and services are accessible to all individuals, including people with additional needs or disabilities.

2. Aims:

Building on a firm foundation of commitment to accessibility, the RHA continues to identify, prevent and remove barriers to participation on an ongoing basis, in a timely manner.

3. Implementation of the Policy:

RHA works in partnership with Academy Members, employees, volunteers and visitors, to meet, where possible, the requirements of the Disability Act 2005 and to serve our artists, employees and volunteers with disabilities and visitors to the RHA by:

  • Creating a welcoming and respectful environment.
  • Designing public spaces that can be navigated with ease.
  • Presenting works of art in creative ways that can be enjoyed and understood by individuals with various types of disabilities.
  • Delivering programmes that enable personal connections with art and accommodate the needs of visitors with disabilities, where reasonable.
  • Providing the appropriate accommodations for staff and volunteers to undertake their responsibilities.
  • Activating public feedback mechanisms to respond to questions and suggestions, and enable us to continually strengthen and improve our service to individuals with disabilities.

 4. Facilities

  • Disabled Parking:
    • There is a disabled parking space in the car park directly in front of the RHA Building.
  • Entrance:
    • There are no steep gradients on approaches to RHA.
    • There is level access to the gallery.
  • Reception and Information Desk:
    • The reception is located three metres from the front entrance.
    • Front of house staff will help with any questions visitors have about the artworks, building and facilities.
    • There is level access to the reception from the entrance.
    • Lighting levels are bright.
    • The information desk is accessible to all wheelchair users.
  • Toilets:
    • All toilets are single use toilets.
    • Disabled Toilets is located as part of the toilet block on reception level.
    • There is level access to all toilets and the lighting levels are bright.
    • There are emergency pulls in the disabled toilet.
    • Lever taps are provided in the disabled toilet.
    • There is an emergency pull cord in the disabled toilet.
  •  Seating:
    • Visitors will be welcome to sit on the wooden benches which are located throughout the gallery.
    • A wheelchair is available on request
  •  Lifts:
    • There is one large passenger lift, located on the ground floor.

4.7. Guide and Assistance Dogs:

RHA welcomes guide and assistance dogs in all areas of the gallery

4.8. Café:

There is a level access to RHA Margadh Cafe, in the gallery

  • Assisted service is available.
  • There is ample room for a wheelchair user to manoeuvre.
  • The distance between the floor and the lowest dining table is 70 cm.

  List of Relevant Legislation:

  • The Employment Equality Act 1998.
  • Equality Act 2010.
  • Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014.
  • General Data Protection Regulations, 2018.
  • Disability Act 2005.

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