Equal Opportunities Policy

1. General Information

  1. This document supplements the organisation's constitution, and the Notes for the Guidance of University Clubs & Societies published by the University of Cambridge.
  2. Cambridge Hands-On Science (CHaOS) is committed to equal opportunities policy and practice and will ensure that all committee members, volunteers and service users, both actual and potential, are treated equally and as individuals regardless of age, disability, ethnic or national origin, gender, marital or parental status, socio-economic status, political belief, race, religion or sexual orientation.
  3. This equal opportunities policy will be implemented in the appointment of members to its committee, and all dealings with volunteer demonstrators and the public.
  4. The committee will be responsible for ensuring that the equal opportunities policy is properly implemented and reviewed.

2. Volunteers and the committee

  1. CHaOS will ensure that no volunteer or committee member receives less favourable treatment than another on grounds of age (subject to our child protection policy)[1], disability, ethnic origin, marital or parental status, political belief, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  2. Any student may become a volunteer, subject to a suitable level of scientific understanding to be able to act as a demonstrator, and meeting the requirements of our child protection policy.
  3. Where a volunteer requires special adjustments to participate in CHaOS activities, the committee will make all reasonable adjustments to enable participation.[2]
  4. The CHaOS equal opportunities policy will be available to all CHaOS volunteers.
  5. Behaviour or actions against the spirit and/or letter of the equal opportunity laws, on which this policy is based, will not be tolerated.

3. Members of the public

CHaOS aims to make its events accessible to as wide a range of the public as possible, and in order to achieve this will take steps to remove barriers which prevent potential audience and participants from having equal access to the organisation's activities. This will include:

  1. Endeavouring to hold events in venues and premises which are accessible to disabled people.[3]
  2. Where practical, arranging facilities for disabled people to enable them to participate fully in activities.
  3. Endeavouring to provide appropriate information on access on our website, and a suitable link on publicity material
  4. Encouraging and enabling people from under-represented groups to attend and participate.


[1]Legally, any student volunteer under the age of 18 is a child, and the issue of child protection must therefore be considered. This should not typically present a problem for one day events (though the committee should ensure that the volunteer is well supervised, as they probably are not able to take legal responsibility for the safety of their experiment by signing the risk assessment, and might wish to ask for parental consent for the volunteer taking part). Things are more complicated if a volunteer is under 18 at the time of the summer roadshow (or other event that requires them to spend an extended period away with CHaOS); such cases ought to be carefully considered by the committee on a case-by-case basis. The consent of the volunteers parent/guardian would certainly be required, and it might be necessary for an individual committee member to agree to act in loco parentis for the underage volunteer for the period that they are on the roadshow. It may also be necessary for the committee to consider other issues, for example whether the presence of an under-18 would make finding food at a reasonable price more difficult in cases where pubs do not allow under-18s on the premises.

[2] Possible adjustments might include allowing a carer to come on the Summer Roadshow to support a disabled volunteer, booking a room in a Travelodge (to provide suitable bathroom facilities etc). Funding for such adjustments might be sought by application to funds intended to support participation by disabled individuals (such as the Charlie Bayne Trust, which provides funding for students of the university of Cambridge).

[3] When booking venues for the Summer Roadshow, committee should remember to enquire as to stair-free access, disabled parking bays, hearing loops, etc. in order that this information can be made available to the public.