Rural proofing

Rural proofing is the process by which all major policies and strategies are assessed to determine whether they have a differential impact on rural areas and, where appropriate, adjustments are made to take account of particular rural circumstances.

Guidance on Rural Proofing

‘Thinking Rural - a guide to rural proofing’ provides guidance on rural proofing.

Training on Rural Proofing

A half day training course 'Thinking Rural' has been developed by DAERA and the Centre for Applied Learning (CAL) to help NICS policymakers undertake effective rural proofing of their policies.

This course explores the role of rural proofing in policy making and explains how to undertake the rural proofing process. It also provides an introduction into producing a rural proofing statement. This training is primarily targeted at officials who are involved in policy development.

Rural Needs Act

The Rural Needs Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 received Royal Assent on 9 May 2016.  The Act, once commenced, will place a duty on public authorities, including district councils, to have due regard to rural needs when developing, adopting, implementing or revising policies, strategies and plans and designing and delivering public services.  It also requires public authorities to provide information to DAERA on how they have fulfilled this duty on an annual basis to be published in a monitoring report to be laid before the Assembly. 

Further advice

While individual Departments are ultimately responsible for undertaking rural proofing of their own policies and for any subsequent decisions, DAERA provides a support and advice service to Departments on the rural proofing process. For further information please contact DAERA at the address below.

Rural Proofing Branch
Room 409
Dundonald House
Upper Newtownards Road

Telephone: 028 9052 4107
Textphone: 028 9052 4420

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