Bowls Development Alliance

Equality Policy

Version: 1.1

First Approved on:July 2013
Last reviewed on:September 2021
Date of next review:September 2022

Review History

Date of ReviewComments
July 2013Version 1 reviewed and approved for use
October 2014Reviewed and re-approved for use
June 2019Reviewed and re-approved for use
September 2021 

Revision History

VersionChange LogDate
1Initial release of policyJuly 2013
1.1Changed wording to include BCGBA, DBE and ESMBA as  members of the BDASeptember 2021

1.              Introduction

The Bowls Development Alliance (BDA) is the umbrella organisation for the development of Bowls in England, working with 4 NGBs Bowls England (flat green outdoor), English Indoor Bowling Association (flat green Indoor), English Short Mat Bowling Association and British Crown Green Bowling Association (BCGBA).  The Bowls Development Alliance (BDA) also works with Disability Bowls England (DBE).

This policy is written on behalf of all six organisations and as such is a policy for the sport of bowls.

 1. 1      The Bowls Development Alliance (BDA) has a desire and a duty to provide services fairly, without   discrimination, and is fully committed to the principles of equality of access and opportunity. It is widely recognised that sport has an important role to play in society. In this respect the BDA has developed this Equality Policy to illustrate its commitment to the principles of equality of opportunity.

1.2        As attitudes in sport and society are changing, it is appropriate that the BDA continually monitors its own policy and implementation programme, thereby encouraging equity in the sport of bowls.

1.3        This document sets out a number of proactive steps that will be taken to ensure the principles of sports equality are adhered to throughout bowls. This Policy is aimed first and foremost at the Board and Employees of the BDA and all Clubs, County Associations and Individuals affiliated to Bowls England, EIBA Ltd, ESMBA and BCGBA.

2.         Policy Objectives

2.1        The BDA is fully committed to the principles of equality of opportunity and is responsible for ensuring that no job applicants, employees, workers, office holders, volunteers, participants or members (together the “Stakeholders”) are unlawfully discriminated against because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation (together the “Protected Characteristics”).

2.2        In addition the BDA recognises that we live in a diverse society and will endeavour to ensure that all Stakeholders are given the same opportunities regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds.

2.3        The BDA will encourage partner organisations to adopt and demonstrate their commitment to the principles and practice of equality as set out in this Equality Policy.

3.         Purpose of the Policy

3.1        The BDA recognises that individuals (and/or certain groups in our society who share one or more Protected Characteristics) may not have been able to participate equally and fully in the sport of bowls and its related activities in the past.

3.2        In some instances this may have been as a result of unlawful discrimination. This Policy has been produced to try to prevent and address any unlawful discrimination or other unfair treatment, whether intentional or unintentional, direct or indirect, against Stakeholders that may preclude them from participating fully in the sport of bowls.

4.         Legal Requirements


4.1        The BDA is required by law, not to unlawfully discriminate against its Stakeholders and recognises its legal obligations under, and will abide by the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and any equivalent legislation (as amended) in any UK jurisdiction and any later amendments to such legislation or subsequent equality related legislation that may be relevant to the BDA.


4.2        The BDA will seek advice each time this Policy is reviewed to ensure it continues to reflect the current legal framework and good practice.


5.         Discrimination, harassment, bullying and victimisation

The BDA recognises the following as being unacceptable;

5.1        Unlawful Discrimination

Unlawful discrimination can take the form of any of the following examples, but is not necessarily restricted to only those examples:

5.1.1     Direct Discrimination: Treating someone less favourably than you would treat others in the same circumstances on the grounds of the protected characteristics.

5.1.2     Indirect Discrimination: This occurs when, for example, a job requirement or condition is applied equally to all, which has disproportionate and detrimental effects upon one sex or racial group because fewer of that group can comply with it and the requirement cannot be justified in relation to the job.

5.2       Harassment: Harassment can be described as inappropriate actions, behaviour, comments or physical contact that is objectionable or causes offence to the recipient.  It may be, for example, of a sexual or racial nature or it may be directed towards people because of their age, their sexuality, a disability, or some other characteristic. Such behaviour is unacceptable and cannot be excused on the grounds that the harasser did not intend it.

5.3       Bullying: Bullying is the misuse of power, the act of criticising persistently or to humiliate and undermine an individual’s confidence.

5.4       Victimisation: Subjecting someone to a detriment because he or she has in good faith taken action under the Equality Act 2010 (or equivalent legislation) by bringing proceedings, giving evidence or information in relation to proceedings, making an allegation that a person has contravened the Equality Act 2010 (or equivalent legislation) or doing any other thing for the purpose of or in connection with the Equality Act 2010 (or any equivalent legislation).

5.5       The BDA regards discrimination, harassment bullying or victimisation, as described above, as serious misconduct. All complaints will be taken seriously and appropriate measures including disciplinary action may be brought against any Stakeholder who unlawfully discriminates against, harasses, bullies or victimises any other person.

6.         Reasonable Adjustments

6.1        When any decision is made about an individual, the only personal characteristics that may be taken into account are those that are consistent with any relevant legislation and are relevant to the substance of the decision being made.

6.2        The BDA recognises that it has a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled persons. 

6.3       The BDA will consider all requests for adjustments and where possible will accommodate reasonable requests and will work with disabled Stakeholders to implement any adjustments that will enable them to participate more fully in the sport of bowls.

7.         Transgender Athletes


7.1       The BDA considers that bowls is a gender affected sport under the Equality Act 2010 and refers any transgender participants to its policy relating to participation by transgender persons.

8.         Responsibility

The following responsibilities will apply:

8.1        The Board of the BDA is responsible for ensuring that this Equality Policy is implemented, followed, and reviewed when appropriate.  The BDA Board is also responsible for ensuring that this Equality Policy is enforced and any breaches are dealt with appropriately.

8.2        A member of the Board will be appointed as the “Equality Champion” and will ensure that equality is included as an agenda item at Board meetings when appropriate and that the Board takes equality issues into consideration when making decisions.

8.3        The BDA Chairperson has the overall responsibility for the implementation of this Equality Policy.

8.4        A member of staff will be designated as the Equality Officer by the BDA Chairperson, and will have the overall day-to-day responsibility for the implementation of this Equality Policy and for achieving any equality related actions resulting from it.  The Equality Officer’s work programme will be amended to reflect this. If required, an internal and/or external equality group will be created to provide additional support.

8.5        All Stakeholders have the responsibility to respect, follow and promote the spirit and intentions of this Equality Policy.  Individual work programmes for all staff members will be amended to include equality related tasks where appropriate.

9.         Implementation

This Equality Policy will be implemented immediately following Board approval. Implementation requires the following;


9.1        The BDA and partners will regularly review employment practices to ensure continuing compliance with relevant legislation, and where possible good practice. All job packs sent out by all partners will contain a policy statement similar to the following:

“The BDA is committed to providing equal opportunities for all [and is committed to following best practice in the welfare of young people and vulnerable adults].  For further information please go to

9.2        No applicant for any post (including job applicants, consultant advisers and suppliers) will be placed at a disadvantage by requirements or conditions which are not necessary to the performance of the job or which constitute unlawful discrimination.

9.3        Consultants and advisers (and where appropriate suppliers) to the BDA will be required to abide by this Equality Policy and it will be referred to in any service level agreements or contracts issued by the BDA.

9.4        This policy document and supporting guidelines will be available to all stakeholders.

9.5        All stakeholders have the responsibility to respect, act in accordance with and thereby support and promote the spirit and intentions of this policy.

10.        Communication

This Equality Policy will be communicated in the following ways:

10.1      The Policy will be included in all Staff Handbooks. Reference will be made to this Equality Policy in any code of conduct. This Equality Policy is for guidance only and will not form part of any contract of employment with any employees of the BDA.

10.2      The Policy will be highlighted in all staff and volunteer inductions.

10.3      A copy of this Equality Policy will be publicly available on the BDA website at .

Copies in other formats will be available from all three organisations on request.

10.4      This policy will apply for a period of three years during which timethe BDA will monitor and evaluate its success regularly.

10.5      Each time this Policy is reviewed, all BDA Stakeholders will be consulted. Following consultation, a notice of the changes being made will be publicly available.

10.6      The BDA will promote continuing professional development for all employees and volunteers to support equal opportunities within the organisation and, where appropriate, provide specialist facilities, equipment or training.

11.        Complaints and Disciplinary

11.1      To safeguard an individual’s rights under the policy, any stakeholder who believes that he/she has suffered inequitable treatment within the scope of this policy may raise the matter through the appropriate grievance procedure.

11.2      Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against any stakeholder who violates the BDA Equality Policy.

11.3      Where the violation of the Equality Policy by way of bullying, harassment, victimisation or unlawful discrimination amounts to a criminal offence, the appropriate authority will be informed.

11.4      Disciplinary procedures are available from both Bowls England, EIBA Ltd, ESMBA and BCGBA.


Equality Policy Statement

The BDA is responsible for ensuring that no member, volunteer, employee or job applicant (together the ‘stakeholders’) receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation (together the ‘Protected Characteristics’).

In addition, the BDA will endeavour to ensure that all Stakeholders are given the same opportunities regardless of their socio-economic background.

The BDA will endeavour to ensure that everyone who wishes has an equal opportunity to participate in the sport of bowls at all levels and in all roles.


It is the aim of the BDA to ensure that all employees and Members of BE and the EIBA, at present or in the future, are treated fairly and without discrimination or harassment, whether intentional or unintentional, direct or indirect.

Commitment to Action

Specific actions will be established to address inequality and promote equality.


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