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Promoting equality, diversity and inclusion

We are committed to supporting and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion.

We have an overarching EDI action plan running in tandem with our three-year Strategic Plan 2023-26.

We have set two equality objectives to progress our continued journey to drive forward EDI.

Objective 1: Develop our EDI leadership 

As an independent body overseeing regulation and registration and setting standards for organisations, we recognise we have an important role in championing EDI practice and outcomes. This is why our first equality objective is focused on developing our EDI leadership. We understand that developing our EDI leadership includes promoting EDI in our work and those we oversee. It also includes using our influence and convening powers to be timely, visible and current in responding to emerging and ‘new’ EDI issues, whist maintaining the profile of more longstanding and persistent EDI matters.

Our Strategic Plan sets out our aim to make regulation and registration better and fairer. In doing so it sets out our intention that by 2026 EDI indicators across the regulators and Accredited Registers show significant progress when compared to 2022/23.

Objective 2: Build an inclusive workplace

We recognise that creating and sustaining inclusive workplace practices requires continuous commitment and action. This is why our second equality objective focuses on driving forward EDI within the workplace and more specifically building and improving upon our existing inclusive practices.

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Read our blogs

Inclusion starts with equity and respect

To support National Inclusion Week 2023, we are asking ‘What does inclusion mean in the workplace?’. Nefo Yuki-Igbinosa who joined the PSA for three weeks in September as part of our Work Experience Scheme shares her thoughts on what an inclusive workplace looks like. Nefo spent time shadowing colleagues across the PSA before heading off to study English at University. Having previously worked as a tutor, Nefo was keen to get a flavour of a corporate environment and the different roles within it.

"The mistake that many employers and organisations make when it comes to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is that their approach lacks humanity. This is the difference between equality and equity.

Of course, organisations will not operate in the same way that a single individual would, and so naturally attempts at inclusion will differ. But the issue is that inclusion is not about equality but rather equity. It is about a combination of being proactive in celebrating differences, but also reactive in responding to the needs of those in your organisation.

Ultimately this can be reduced to acknowledging those that you work with and respecting their differences.

For example, I am a black woman with 4c hair, and I was tasked with playing back a recording of a meeting and taking the minutes. The headset proved quite a challenge to get over my head and my hair as a result of my hair’s volume. Naturally, I think we all tend to shrink away from speaking up if we need a adjustment, which is something that the workplace needs to normalise in order for all staff to feel included, but I digress.

Despite my silence, my co-worker noticed my difficulty in getting the headset over my head, as well as my resulting discomfort when I finally managed to. Her observation did not end when I succeeded in putting the headset on, but she thought deeply about whether I was truly comfortable, and what she could do to help. She then suggested that I could have a go at connecting my personal headphones, as they would obviously be more comfortable for me. This is where inclusion begins. My co-worker saw me as an equal who was entitled to just as much comfort as she was.

Equality is giving me the same headphones as my co-worker, but equity is taking my physical differences into account. Equity is giving me headphones of the same quality, but perhaps in a different model that would fit over my hair a bit better. It is equity that truly makes members of staff feel included.

In this year’s National Inclusion Week, perhaps keep an extra eye out on your colleagues. Do they seem isolated or left out? There are lots of small actions we can take to make our workplaces as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This year’s theme is all about taking action and making impact – this could be by going the extra mile to correctly pronounce a fellow staff member’s name, or respecting dietary requirements regardless of your personal views, or even enlarging the font size before your colleague with a visual impairment has to ask. It can be awkward to have to ask for adjustments that everyone can see you really need – inclusion is about not making anyone feel othered by their differences.

This is the difference between Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion."

No more excuses - tackling inequalities in health and care professional regulation

This is the first chapter in our report - Safer care for all: solutions from professional regulation and beyond we looked at the impact of inequalities on patients, service users and registrants, and on public confidence more widely. We also took a closer look at what professional regulation (and beyond) could do to tackle inequalities in health and care. 

We have recently held two events:

On 14 December 2023 more than 90 participants joined us online to explore whether health and care professionals in the UK should have an explicit responsibility in supporting action to address these disparities as they do in other countries. And, if so, whether regulators need to reinforce such a role through their training, standards and guidance.

We then started the new year off with a joint online seminar on tackling barriers to complaints with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). The event followed on the heels of an earlier in-person event with patient and service-user organisations held in Edinburgh in September 2023. 

The event brought together over 100 stakeholders from across the health and social care sector to discuss and explore the barriers that currently existing and can prevent patients and service uses from complaining. Along with our PHSO colleagues we wanted to share examples of innovative actions to widen and improve access to complaints services and to encourage and promote further joint work to tackle barriers to complaining. The event gave us much food for thought and we will look to continue this work in 2024/25.

You can find out more about both of these events here.