1. The Royal Air Force aims to achieve universal
acceptance and application of a working environment free from
harassment, intimidation and unlawful discrimination. This is
consistent with our legal obligations where all personnel have
equal opportunity to realise their full potential in contributing
to the maintenance and enhancement of operational effectiveness.
Every individual is valued for his or her unique contribution
to the RAF, irrespective of race, ethnic origin, religion or gender
and without reference to sexual orientation or social background.
The principals of equality of opportunity in employment, promotion
and trainingbased on ability, performance, experience and
aptitudenow underpin all RAF personnel policies.
2. The RAF Strategy for People (RAFSP),
endorsed by the Air Force Board Standing Committee and introduced
in April 2000, embraces a vision and a set of strategic aims and
objectives covering the fundamental functions of the management
of all personnel. These complement, and are entirely consistent
with, the Armed Forces Overarching Personnel Strategy (AFOPS).
Within the RAFSP, one of the greatest challenges identified is
promoting a multi-cultural working environment. The priority policy
initiatives endorsed by the Air Force Board Standing Committee
include achieving our ethnic minority recruiting targets.
3. The RAF welcomed the Partnership Agreement
with the CRE and a great deal of progress has already been made.
The following paragraphs set out the details.
Policy and Communication
4. RAF Ethnic Minority Recruiting Implementation
Team (EMRIT) and Strategy. An Ethnic Minority Implementation Recruiting
Team (EMRIT), comprising key recruiting and policy staffs was
formed in April 1997. It produced and has subsequently been responsible
for maintaining and updating an Ethnic Minority Recruiting Action
Plan. However, as it became apparent that some aspects of ethnic
minority recruiting were outwith the control of the Directorate
of Recruiting and Selection, the team developed a more strategic,
forward looking role, monitoring progress and re-focusing resources
in support of the RAF Ethnic Minority Recruiting Strategy and
a revised Action Plan issued in January 2000.
5. Lack of significant ethnic minority recruitment
progress led to a further review of the RAF strategy in-year,
a process that involved discussions with the CRE. This review
served to confirm that our general aims: to increase awareness
among young people from ethnic minorities and their influencers
about career opportunities in the RAF; to reassure ethnic minorities
that the RAF is committed to equality of opportunity; to contribute
to and adopt best practice; to commission and contribute to research
to inform future strategies and plans; to demonstrate both internally
and externally the efforts being made to achieve the targets,
remain relevant. However, learning from experience, we have refocused
our resources in what we intend to be a more productive manner.
The Strategy is reviewed annually and that Action Plan remains
subject to continuous review and update by the EMRIT.
6. Whilst the mere existence of strategy
documents will not deliver success, ensuring that the RAF Ethnic
Minority Recruiting Strategy is firmly embedded as a priority
within our wider policy framework serves to emphasise the importance
attached to this issue. Moreover, it recognises recruiting as
a whole Service responsibility and acknowledges that equal opportunity
does not exist in isolation but as an intrinsic principle of all
7. Ethnic Minority Presence in the Field
Force (FF). The presence of personnel from ethnic backgrounds
in the FF has been increased over the years by actively encouraging
them to join the FF; establishing an Ethnic Minority Recruiting
Team and actively canvassing serving personnel to assist in recruiting
activities. Progress in each of these areas is detailed below:
a. FF. At the non-commissioned level,
the FF, which comprises the major part of the Careers Information
Service (CIS) is a volunteer organisation. Serving personnel from
ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to consider tours in recruiting
and suitable candidates who pass the Recruiting Course join the
FF. Posts in certain Armed Forces Careers Offices (AFCOs) in areas
with high ethnic populationsBirmingham, Leeds, Leicester,
London and Manchesterhave been identified as locations
for placement of such volunteers.
b. EMRT. Authority to create a separate
Ethnic Minority Recruiting Team (EMRT) was received in 1998. Originally
comprising one officer and three sergeants, it was extended to
include an additional sergeant and three corporals the following
year. Their initial remit was to work as a team covering initiatives
across the UK whilst also providing some continuity of effort
in their local areas, again chosen for their proximity to large
ethnic populations. We intend to extend the team still further,
appointing a wing commander (wg cdr) to take the lead and establishing
four more posts in AFCOs where there is no EMRT representation.
c. Experience has shown that as a limited
resource, it is not productive to spread the work of the EMRT
too wide. Therefore, the modus operandi of the EMRT has been refined
and now places greater emphasis on the monitoring and mentoring
of ethnic applicants with a view to achieving better conversion
rates in those areas where we have already created interest.
d. The EMRT (one officer, four senior
non-commissioned officers and three corporals), together with
serving personnel from ethnic minority communities in the FF (two
officers, six senior non-commissioned officers and four corporals),
currently comprise 8 per cent of the CIS.
e. Use of Serving Ethnic Minority Personnel.
In addition to the ethnic minority members of the FF and the EMRT,
a database of approximately 200 serving ethnic minority personnel
willing to assist in recruiting and PR initiatives has been established.
Their presence at recruiting events has already proved beneficial,
as role models with which prospective applicants can readily identify.
Area Commanders are under remit to maintain regular contact with
personnel from the database to ensure maximum use of this resource
within operational constraints. Profiles of serving ethnic minority
personnel have also been made available to newspapers serving
ethnic minority communities.
8. Ethnic Minority Marketing Plan (EMMP).
Funding for marketing initiatives has increased steadily and significantly
since 1996. During 1999-2000 expenditure totalled £750.5K,
which represents 12.3 per cent of the total marketing budget.
Similar levels of expenditure (£770K, 12.2 per cent of the
total budget) have been maintained during 2000-01. As well as
advertising in mainstream and ethnic newspapers, on radio and
ethnic TV at local, regional and national level, marketing has
also been extended to include lifestyle magazines that appeal
to the target audience in ethnic minorities. Sponsorship deals
have also been increased to cover The Young Asian of the Year,
a category within the GG2 Awards, the Hindi Half Marathon and
Youth and Cadet elements of the English Basketball Associationa
sport particularly favoured by ethnic minority youth.
Review of Procedures and Criteria
9. Airman Selection Test (AST). The Ground
Trade Test Battery (GTTB), an array of tests designed to assess
a candidate's aptitude for entry into ground trades, was evaluated
in November 1993 by the Directorate of Science (Air) and shown
to have no psychometric bias against females or ethnic minorities.
During 1997 the Psychology Section of the Department of Recruiting
and Selection reviewed the content of the GTTB with the aim of
shifting the emphasis from items that required an assumed knowledge
to items that required a high degree of reasoning. This new generation
of tests is based on the results of job analysis and specifies
the types of aptitude required for success in training. During
the course of development these tests were also assessed for their
validity, bias and fairness and were found to be psychometrically
fair to both white and non-white. AST1 was introduced in April
2000 and AST2, the test administered to those sitting aptitude
tests for the second time, was introduced in October 2000. Following
their introduction, both tests continue to be monitored and the
subject of research to confirm their lack of bias.
10. Review of Ground Trades Recruiting Procedures.
During 1996-97, Ground Trades Recruiting Procedures were reviewed
with the aim of simplifying procedures and thereby reducing the
time candidates spend in the recruiting process. Whilst considerable
improvements have been made, this continues to be an area of concern,
as the date of entry to the Service can be several months after
a candidate is found suitable. In this time they may accept alternative
job offers or simply lose interest. However, this problem is not
peculiar to candidates from ethnic communities.
11. Recruiting staffs have observed that
there is a long lead-in time required before individuals, particularly
those from the Asian Community, come forward with an enquiry,
let alone an application, to join the RAF. Therefore we have to
ensure that our procedures do not disadvantage enquirers from
the ethnic minorities because of this trait. To this end additional
manual procedures are being trialed to ensure that enquiries from
members of ethnic minorities are monitored and followed up.
12. Tri-Service Selection Testing. The RAF
is represented on the Tri-Service Selection Testing Working Group,
which in conjunction with the Defence Evaluation and Research
Agency, is currently considering the merits of introducing a tri-Service
computer based selection test.
13. Complaints. In September 1996 the RAF
PO Box, run by civilian contract, failed to reply to a request
for information from a member of the ethnic community. The circumstances
of the case were fully investigated but no racial bias was found.
The complaint was withdrawn after apologies by the MoD, plus a
payment of £300 for the inconvenience caused, were accepted.
Administrative procedures were amended to prevent a re-occurrence.
We have no record of any Parliamentary Questions concerning racial
bias in the RAF recruitment procedure. However, an individual
who contends that his offer of service was rejected on the grounds
of race submitted an application to the Employment Tribunal Office
in Manchester. The case was dismissed at a hearing on 12 December
14. Equal Opportunities Directive. A new
Standing Instruction for Recruiting Offices which includes guidance
on ethnic minority recruiting, the Race Relations Act and religious
and cultural guidance, together with other equal opportunities
subjects, was issued to the CIS in January 1999.
15. Positive Action. The Directorate issued
guidance to all recruiting staff in January 2000 to clarify the
difference between positive action and positive discrimination
in recruiting practice, and to reassure members of the recruiting
field force that all RAF initiatives are both desirable and legal.
In addition, because the wider Service is becoming more involved
in ethnic minority recruiting, for example in hosting events and
visits, a similar article was written for the Air Secretary's
Bulletin, which is distributed throughout the RAF.
16. Statistical Analysis. Since the start
of the Partnership Agreement, much statistical data has been produced.
Systems for collecting and analysing information have been developed
and are still being refined in light of experience and changes
in IT. For example, the large number of "unspecifieds",
a record of entry for which there is no ethnic origin data, has
been a perennial problem. Following the introduction of an interim
solution in December 1999, permanent amendments have now been
made to RAF IT systems whereby ethnic origin data will be entered
onto the mainframe much earlier in the process than was previously
the case. However, examination of this area highlighted difficulties
in reconciling recruiting and in-service statistics. Information
on an individual's ethnicity is provided on at least two occasions:
at AFCOs and on arrival for Recruit Training at RAF Halton or
for Initial Officer Training at RAFC Cranwell. The AFCOs and stations
use different IT systems and it is not uncommon for each to show
a different ethnic code for the same individual. This may be due
in part to clerical error. However, it may be that individuals,
for whatever reason, choose to change their ethnic code. This
is a matter of concern for two reasons: firstly, because it leads
to inconsistent statistics and secondly, because it may indicate
a perception on the part of the individual that one ethnic background
is somehow more acceptable than another. Thus, irrespective of
their prime purposetracking progress against targetstatistical
analysis is invaluable in highlighting areas of fact and perception,
which require further investigation.
17. With regard to tracking progress against
goal, the statistics show that we have not achieved the goals
set in the timescales agreed. However, in officer recruitment
we have consistently exceeded our annual goals and continue to
show improvement, albeit slow, in other areas. Improvements in
non-white recruitment can be summarised as follows: a year on
year and long-term trend of increase in officer enquiries and
a long-term trend of increase in officer applications and selections;
a year on year and long-term trend increase in other rank enquiries
and a long-term trend increase in other rank applications and
selections. There has also been a recent trend of increase on
officer selections and a recent trend of increase in other rank
enquiries and selections.
18. A comparison between figures for 1998-99
and 1999-2000 is also worthy of note. This shows that whilst there
has been a reduction in the total number of enquiries, down by
30 per cent overall, the level of enquiries from members of ethnic
communities is being maintained. This tends to suggest that our
efforts to establish the RAF as a potential employer in the eyes
of those from ethnic communities is beginning to take hold. However,
it is a long and slow process. Frustrating as it may be, disappointment
at the level of achievement against the goals should not allow
us to lose sight of the very real progress that has been made
in establishing close and lasting links within ethnic communities.
19. Attracting More Ethnic Enquirers. Early
initiatives elicited little interest from among ethnic minority
communities although some headway was made in local liaison work
among ethnic organisations including Race for Opportunity and
Race Equality Councils. The formation of the EMRT to spearhead
initiatives and assess the effectiveness of work undertaken has
clearly been a move in the right direction. It is also clear that
attracting more enquiries from members of the ethnic communities
involves a range of initiatives. Large events such as Opportunity
for all Days (OFADs) and intensive recruiting campaigns certainly
raise the profile of the RAF, as does judicious use of sponsorship.
However, key to any success is the motivational work undertaken
by the FF and EMRT, particularly as it is the FF and EMRT who
are responsible for maintaining the interest generated by larger
events. Without their intensive follow-up such events would be
counter-productive, as whatever we undertake must be sustainable.
In this way our presence will be made credible by its permanence.
20. Negative Influences. During the last
few years the Services have had to contend with a number of negative
influences, not least of which have been the press reporting following
racial or sexual harassment cases. Doubts about the future of
the Services, particularly around the time of the Strategic Defence
Review, also gave rise to a great deal of uncertainty about the
viability of long-term careers in the Armed Forces. Moreover,
when the Armed Services are active in areas of conflict between
differing cultures, both of which have communities in the UK,
it is reasonable to assume that it may have a negative effect
on recruitment, even though this may prove transitory. Most of
these negative influences are items over which recruiting staffs
have very little control.
21. RAF Recruiting Course. All members of
the FF attend the RAF Recruiting Course prior to taking up their
appointments. This course included an Equal Opportunities Awareness
module delivered by an external consultant. The module covers
EO legislation for gender and racial equality and explores issues
of discrimination and harassment as well as the religious and
cultural diversity among ethnic communities in Britain today.
A member of the EMRT also provides input on his experiences, making
future recruiters aware of the role of the EMRT within the FF
and details of initiatives that have proved successful.
22. Recruiting Initiatives. Recruiting initiatives
fall into two main categories: routine motivational work and high
a. Routine Motivational Work. Since
1996 the FF has been engaged in a variety of activities with the
aim of encouraging more people from ethnic minorities to apply
to join the RAF. These activities include advertising, which over
the years has been extended from the ethnic press and radio to
TV and cinema. Visits to schools, Air Training Cadet Squadrons
(ATC Sqns), careers and job fairs continue to be a regular feature
of both FF and EMRT activity. Much innovative work has been shown
in putting together these and other events. For example, AFCO
London organised, in conjunction with the Community Relations
Section of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, a RAF
Careers Opportunity Café in Ladbroke Grove. The Café
format allowed many youngsters the chance to find out about careers
in the RAF in an informal environment via the internet or in discussion
with serving personnel. It continued to provide opportunities
for follow-up several months after the event and some of the contacts
made proved useful during the intensive recruiting campaign held
in London, 18 September to 6 October. The possibility of establishing
website hyperlinks with the local Race Equality Council is under
discussion in AFCO Chatham. Local school road shows have also
been mounted in several areas and in some areas, schools, which
had previously shown little interest in allowing presentations
on RAF Careers, are now providing access. However, motivational
work does not deliver immediate results; time has to be allowed
for measures to become effective.
b. High Profile Events. High profile
events form an important part of our motivational work, generating
interest for the FF and EMRT to capitalise upon in more local
activities. Particular initiatives worthy of comment in this report
include Opportunity for all Days (OFADs), Newham and our two-year
cycle of area recruiting campaigns:
(1) OFADs. OFADs have helped to raise awareness
of the RAF and over the three years of their existence they have
been revised and extended in light of experience and feedback
received. The first OFAD, held in June 1998 at RAF Cosford, proved
successful in raising the profile of the RAF among schoolchildren
from ethnic backgrounds and their influencers. In 1999 the event
was extended and three OFADs were held during September at RAF
Halton, RAF Cosford and RAFC Cranwell. Over 1,300 individuals
from approximately 200 schools attended the events. The results
of the post-event research showed that the expectations of the
majority attending had been exceeded. These events also generated
significant publicity, including three major national press articles
about RAF careers. They also confirmed the need for the RAF to
be more accessible to the youth of today, as many of them have
little accurate knowledge of the Service. However, the amount
of travelling required by schools to visit the RAF Stations involved
was a drawback. Consequently, the format for 2000 was revised
and 16 Stations around the UK were chosen to host a visit on a
single day, 27 September. Each station hosted up to 130 schoolchildren,
2,000 in total, drawn from schools around the UK in areas with
high ethnic populations. Visits focused on the lifestyle; sporting
and job opportunities available. Immediate feedback from schoolchildren
and teachers suggests that the event was popular and successful.
(2) The benefit of OFAD is in bringing people
to the RAF to look at what is on offer at first hand. During visits
they can talk to serving personnel from ethnic backgrounds, whose
presence is invaluable in correcting misconceptions and providing
role models for future recruits. However, interest generated but
not sustained is effort wasted. Therefore, contacts made are followed-up
through the FF and EMRT.
(3) Newham. The RAF provided a Wg Cdr to
work as the Ethnic Minority Liaison Officer (EMLO) in support
of the MoD initiative in Newham during the course of which a Pre-enlistment
course was developed in partnership with Newham College of Further
Education. The syllabus included numeracy and literacy skills,
team working, confidence building exercises, physical fitness
training, adventurous training activities and a community project
within Newham. In addition, students visited RN, Army and RAF
establishments and were briefed on career opportunities within
the Armed Forces. The value of this initiative in purely ethnic
minority recruiting terms is debatable, although it may well have
value as a general youth initiative. The secondment of a Wg Cdr
to work full time as the EMLO for Newham ceased at the end of
(4) Recruiting Campaigns. We have a programme
of intensive recruiting campaigns, the aims of which are to maintain
and consolidate our presence in areas in which we are already
established and extend our influence into new areas. The first
was staged in the Leeds/Bradford area from 13 Sep to 9 Oct 99,
since when similar campaigns have been run in Bristol (3-14 Apr
00), Birmingham (15-26 May 00) and London (18 Sep-6 Oct 00), all
of which will be revisited in 2002. A return campaign will be
held in Leeds this year together with initial campaigns in Manchester
and the East Midlands.
(5) Planned and phased correctly these campaigns
provide us with considerable exposure in the local ethnic community:
in Leeds it was estimated that 20,000 pupils visited the Mobile
Recruiting Office and approximately 5,000 pupils, 450 parents
and 200 teachers attended presentations during a campaign which
included visits to 64 schools, 11 temples/community centres and
four ATC Sqns in addition to the five outdoor shows mounted at
various venues. Thereafter, there follows a prolonged period of
follow-up activity which includes revisiting the schools and community
centres in order to offer practice interviews; advice on completing
application forms and compiling CVs; remote testing and guidance
on how to prepare for aptitude tests. This motivational work is
supported by comprehensive administrative arrangements, developed
in Leeds and disseminated to the rest of the FF as best practice
via a workshop held in July 2000. This particular example of best
practice is geared towards ensuring that all ethnic minority enquirers
are the subject of close monitoring. This has proved necessary
because of the long lead-in time that often exists between enquiry
and application. For this reason we believe it is right to place
as much emphasis on the follow-up and sustainability of a campaign
as on the initial raising of awareness. It is to support this
approach that our resources have been refocused.
23. Recruiting Goals.
24. The following priorities have been identified for
the next five years:
a. Achieve and improve upon the 5 per cent goals.
b. Secure additional funds as required to maintain
and extend EMRT within the FF.
c. Using the FF, EMRT and serving personnel, focus
on motivational work in schools, colleges, ATC Sqns and youth
organisations where our target audience is to be found.
d. Focus on monitoring and mentoring all enquiries
and applications from members of ethnic minorities including test
failures and successful candidates awaiting draft, with a view
to improving conversion ratios.
e. Continue to stage EO careers events, evaluating
their effectiveness and revising their format as required.
f. Make greater use of existing and planned RAF
public events eg Royal International Air Tattoo, Air Shows and
Open Days to increase exposure of RAF to members of ethnic minorities.
g. Maintain two-yearly cycle of campaigns to consolidate
our presence where established and expand into new areas.
h. Capitalise on contacts made during the recent
campaign in London and increase the size of the London EMRT to
extend our footprint in the capital, which contains the highest
ethnic proportion of our target audience anywhere in the UK.
i. Conduct research to confirm the ongoing validity
and fairness of aptitude tests.
j. Monitor, and review where necessary, all recruiting
procedures to ensure there is no bias against ethnic minorities.
k. Continue to share and assist in the development
of best practice.
25. The slow progress towards achieving the goals is
most disappointing. We recognise the need for and value of goals,
but believe that if we become too fixated on them we run the risk
of undermining the very real steps that have been taken to advance
the cause of equal opportunities both within and without the RAF.
Undoubtedly, pressure on achieving goals is focusing resources
on achieving immediate in-year results, whereas we must ensure
that we do not neglect the important long-term motivational work
that will lead to success. A period of stability is required to
allow measures to bear fruit and to avoid undermining the morale
of personnel engaged in such work, the more so because at present
the effort is out of all proportion to the success rate.
26. Feedback from our most recent initiatives in 1999-2000
suggests that our profile and credibility as an EO employer has
improved within ethnic minority communities. This appears to be
reflected in recent and long-term statistical trends showing that
interest from ethnic minority youngsters in pursuing a career
in the RAF is growing. We now have to concentrate our efforts
on translating that interest into Service intake. The long-term
nature of the effort required to achieve this cannot be underestimated;
nor should our commitment to it.
Plans and Policy
27. General. The RAF established an Equal Opportunities
Focus Group (EOFG) in September 1996, with responsibility for
all equal opportunities (EO) matters including formulating and
updating the EO Action Plan. The EOFG subsequently acted as a
focal point for advice on EO policy and casework, producing training
modules and conducting EO Awareness Workshops on RAF Stations.
As a result of RAF EO Policy being integrated fully into the RAF's
primary personnel management organisation (the RAF Personnel Management
Agency, the EOFG was rebrigaded within the wider Employment Policy
Area. Responsibility for EO training was also transferred to the
Training Group Defence Agency (TGDA) in Mar 00, allowing EO staffs
to focus on policy, the EO Action Plan, interpretation of legislation,
advice to the command chain and monitoring and evaluation.
28. RAF EO Directive. The RAF Equal Opportunities Directive
was issued as a Defence Council Instruction (DCI) on 20 September
1996. DCI's which are widely distributed throughout the Service,
represent the best method of rapidly disseminating information.
The Directive included: a statement of policy; establishment of
the EOFG; a summary of relevant legislation; guidance on individual
responsibilities; details of the complaints procedures; and terms
of reference for all Command and Station Equal Opportunities Advisers
(EOAs). The Directive and DCI have subsequently been amended on
several occasions to reflect changes to the Armed Forces Act and
access to Employment Tribunals (ET). The latest version was promulgated
as DCI RAF 59-2000 on 1 December 2000 and reflects the revised
policy on sexual orientation which became effective on 12 January
29. RAF EO Action Plan. The RAF Equal Opportunities Action
Plan was relaunched in 1996 and has undergone continual revision.
The latest version, issued on 1 September 2000, includes challenging
training targets to ensure that EO awareness is raised throughout
the RAF, together with revised arrangements for EO training. The
new Action Plan covers a three-year period, thereby enabling long-term,
medium and short-term objectives; it also allows for more meaningful
evaluation and reporting at all levels across the RAF. The Plan
will, however, continue to be subject to an annual review. With
this in mind, improved monitoring and evaluation systems were
put in place in July 2000, requiring all RAF units to provide
quarterly reports covering training, EO related complaints (both
formal and informal) and the perceived EO "climate".
This will greatly assist the planning process and highlight areas
of deficiency that may need formal audit.
30. EO Training in the RAF has evolved over the past
few years. Initially, EO Awareness Training was incorporated as
a module; providing an introduction to RAF EO policy, the complaints
procedure and advice on who is available to help when required,
delivered during initial training for both officers and airmen.
This was subsequently expanded to include all command and staff
training courses for officers and NCOs. A one-day training workshop
was also produced and taken to Units by the EOFG, primarily targeting
line managers. Unfortunately, only about 3,500 personnel were
trained by this method over a period of three years. Therefore,
during the past year, the TGDA (with the assistance of EO Policy
staff) have produced a training package for use by RAF station
EOAs and other trainers to broaden and supplement EO training.
This will allow all personnel at RAF units to receive Awareness
training. The latest RAF EO Action Plan has set a challenging
100 per cent EO training target to be achieved by 31 December
31. The RAF also utilises the Tri-Service Equal Opportunities
Training Centre at Shrivenham. Training courses include the Senior
Officers Awareness Seminara one day course providing EO
training to senior officers, and Group Captain station commanders,
and a five day course to train EOAs. So far 166 senior officers
and 159 EOAs have been trained. 2001 will see a 40 per cent increase
in the number of RAF EOAs.
32. In 1997, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) authorised
a survey of all ethnic minority personnel, plus a control group
of white personnel, to try to establish the extent of racial harassment
or discrimination within the RAF. The survey provided much valuable
information on the concerns of individuals, and resulted in a
simplified and more responsive internal complaints procedure.
The Continuous General Attitude Survey, which is an ongoing survey
of RAF personnel selected at random, also highlighted similar
concerns about the complaints procedure. A formal complaints database
has since been established and is maintained by EO Policy staff
who submit a quarterly report to Service Personnel Policy. Analysis
of the results from a Sexual Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying
Survey, conducted in October 1999, suggests that the revised complaints
procedures and the RAF's proactive measures to eradicate discrimination
and harassment have been well received.
33. Databases have also been established in order to
monitor the effectiveness of EO Policy within the RAF and to detect
and target any areas of weakness. The RAF Ethnic Origin database
now includes 99 per cent of personnel (1 per cent is unspecified
or have not classified their ethnic origin). Analysis of this
data is forwarded by way of quarterly returns to the Commission
for Racial Equality, through Service Personnel Policy. In producing
these reports, close scrutiny is given to both officer and airman
promotion systems and personal files to ascertain the reasons
for premature exits by EM personnel. This is set to continue for
the foreseeable future, although in terms of premature exit, no
definitive trends have been identified. It is likely that in the
near future, EO Policy staff will be given direct access to the
database which will greatly broaden the range of in-Service monitoring
work conducted on RAF ethnic monitoring and EO issues generally.
34. The EOFG commenced a random audit of personal dossiers
of airmen in the non-white category. The audit involved checking
all entries since enlistment, end of course reports and annual
appraisals for any sign of discrimination, establishing whether
the individual had appeared before a promotion board and, if so,
how he/she fared. Additionally, in 1999 all serving EM personnel
were asked if they would be willing to participate in PR activities.
Over 200 EM personnel volunteered to undertake such tasks and
this information is maintained in a database provided to RAF recruiting
and marketing staffs for future use.
35. Recently an "Open Appraisal" system was
introduced for all RAF personnel in which Reporting Officers (ROs)
are required to comment on an individual's behaviour, if it is
considered to be inappropriate. Conversely, ROs may comment on
any positive EO aspects of an individual's performance. In 2001
the Officers Joint Appraisal Report will include an assessment
of the subject's EO credentials in two of the 10 graded attributes.
EO Information Sources and Advertising
36. The RAF's Harassment Helpline was established in
December 1997 to enable personnel to seek confidential advice,
specifically, though not exclusively, on EO matters. As a result
of concerns arising from the Racial Discrimination and Harassment
Survey, the Helpline was further advertised using posters and
pocket guides and via the RAF Harassment & Bullying Booklet.
Calls to the Helpline have increased in number, especially over
the past year. However, very few calls of a racial nature are
received; only three of 124 in this calendar year. It is envisaged
that the rise in number of calls to the Helpline is due to an
increased awareness of EO rather than an increase in the incidence
of discrimination or harassment.
37. Various methods have been used to raise awareness,
above and beyond EO training. An EO Booklet (intended for crew-room,
rest-room etc availability) provided comprehensive information
about EO in the RAF, including the complaints procedures, was
distributed widely in 1997. This booklet has since been amended
to accommodate the revised complaints procedures and was issued
to all RAF stations in January 2000. An EO Newsletter is also
issued periodically to update personnel on current issues. The
most recent edition concentrated on the future training strategy,
the revised policy on sexual orientation and the European Convention
on Human Rights. The "Zero Tolerance" campaign was given
further impetus by the production of posters and credit card aides
memoire, issued in June 1999. All such publicity appears to have
been well received and has raised awareness, borne out by the
recent number of calls to the Helpline. The RAF remains committed
to driving home the message that intolerance, discrimination and
harassment have no place in today's Service.
38. The Partnership with CRE remains key to the RAF's
EM policies and practices. The RAF enjoys membership of the EOC's
"Equality Exchange" and "Race for Opportunity".
A number of other initiatives are also being pursued in order
to promote equality, these include the RAF(EO) Policy staff joining
the International Harassment Network, in order to develop best
practice and to improve understanding of workplace harassment,
and CAS signing up to the CRE "Leadership Challenge".
The RAF also sponsored the "Young Achiever of the Year"
award at this year's GG2 Diversity and Leadership Awards. At this
Ceremony, Air Commodore David Case was joint winner of the Hammer
Award, further recognition of the fact that there is no glass
ceiling preventing personnel from the ethnic minorities reaching
the highest ranks of the RAF.