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Promoting equality, diversity and inclusion


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

Strengthening our approach to EDI for regulators and Accredited Registers

We announced in Spring 2023 (7 June) that, as part of our strategic focus on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), we are changing the way we assess the performance of the organisations we oversee. This includes the 10 statutory regulators and the Accredited Registers.

The statutory regulators are assessed each year against our Standards of Good Regulation. Standard 3, which was introduced in 2019, considers whether the regulator understands the diversity of its stakeholders and ensures that its processes do not discriminate unfairly. Since early 2022, the threshold for meeting this Standard has been under review as we work towards increasing our expectations of the regulators’ performance, having seen improvements across the board since its introduction. We recently published an updated evidence framework and guidance for regulators on Standard 3, outlining our increased expectations for 2023-26.

Organisations in the Accredited Registers programme are assessed against our Standards for Accredited Registers. Following a public consultation earlier this year, a new EDI Standard will be introduced over the coming months which will look at how organisations which hold a Register demonstrate their commitment to EDI and ensure their processes do not discriminate unfairly.

Consumer research - Perspectives on discriminatory behaviour in health and care

We have now published the report of research we commissioned on perspectives on discriminatory behaviour in health and care. This is a piece of qualitative research looking at what constitutes discriminatory behaviour in health and social care and the different ways in which this behaviour may have an impact on public safety and confidence. This research arose from our observations outlined in Safer care for all in relation to how regulators deal with racist and discriminatory behaviour within the fitness to practise process. The report was published on 14 June to coincide with our Chief Executive speaking at a session on equality at the NHS Confed Expo 2023 in Manchester. We envisage that the research will help to inform a consistent and appropriate response by regulators and Accredited Registers towards the various types of discrimination.

Background/context to our first EDI action plan

The murder of George Floyd and the associated Black Lives Matter movement brought into focus the fact that society and organisations still have a long way to go in addressing systemic racial inequalities. The pandemic has further exposed inequalities in relation to race, sex, disability, and socio-economic status, as has the murder of Sarah Everard. The Authority is not unique in facing challenges in relation to its approach and track record on EDI. We have, therefore, been looking at our role.

In November 2020, we commissioned an audit by Derek Hooper to gain feedback from our staff and external stakeholders on EDI to identify areas for improvement. The audit included an assessment of how we were perceived by regulators. It identified key strengths, including the commitment of the leadership and staff to EDI and the work we had already done to encourage regulators to consider EDI as part of their obligations.

The audit also showed that, while the PSA has a commitment to EDI, it still has some way to go in making sure that every employee feels included and able to get their voice heard. Regarding its external role, the organisation was seen by its regulatory community to be lacking credibility on EDI due to its lack of visibility on these issues in the past. We therefore need to improve our performance in this critical area to demonstrate our commitment to EDI in spirit and in practice.

The audit highlighted the following areas for further work and development:

  • Culture
  • Leadership Development
  • Diversity profile of the PSA
  • Staff Development
  • Policy development and EIAs
  • EDI Communication and Messaging
  • EDI in regulation and the role of PSA.

Following that, we appointed Mehrunnisa Lalani to help us develop a plan to embed EDI into our work and culture. Mehrunnisa worked with our staff and Board to prepare an action plan for us to carry forward.

Our vision is to:

Live our values and foster a culture where all our people feel included and are empowered to achieve their best, where we welcome and celebrate diversity, where inequalities and unfair treatment is called out and addressed and, where we set the example for what good looks like for all those we interact with internally and externally.

We have developed three objectives that will give a focus to our work on EDI.

  1. We will develop our capability so that we have the knowledge and understanding to lead by example in creating an empowering and inclusive culture
  2. We will promote an inclusive workplace culture where everyone feels empowered, engaged and valued
  3. We will use our influence to encourage the promotion and progression of EDI across health and social care regulators and accredited registers.

You can download the action plan in Word or as a PDF.

Get in touch

Please let us know if you need our material in other formats. Email

National Inclusion Week 2023

The week ran from 25 September to 1 October 2023 and the theme for this year was 'take action, make impact'. We took the opportunity to reflect on what action we have taken over the last few years and you can find out more in this visual summary.

We also asked some of our colleagues 'What does inclusion mean to me?' You can find out how they answered in the short vox pops below (but there are a few clues in this word cloud).

An image of a word cloud showing words associated with an inclusive workplace

'What does inclusion mean to me?' Watch our videos:
Amrat Khorana, PSA Associate Board Member

Nefo Yuki-Igbinosa, First participant on the PSA’s Work Experience Scheme

Christine Braithwaite, PSA Director of Standards and Policy

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 beyondIt discusses how there are still unequal and unfair outcomes for protected groups in aspects of professional regulation. Find out more here.

Read our blogs

Reflections on the Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation’s 2023 Annual Educational Conference

In September, the PSA attended and presented at the Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation (CLEAR) 2023 Annual Educational Conference in Salt Lake City, USA. CLEAR’s mission is to ‘promote regulatory excellence through conferences, educational programs, webinars, seminars and symposia.’

A predominant theme at this year’s conference was Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). EDI has become an area of increasing focus for a range of organisations in recent years and we noticed that many presentations – like ours – considered it.

Steve Wright, a colleague from our Performance Review team, and I presented on the PSA’s approach to EDI for statutory regulators and Accredited Registers. We started with a discussion on the changes we are making to the statutory regulators’ EDI Standard (Standard Three), which has been in place since 2019. In our most recent assessments, all the regulators met Standard Three. We decided to review this Standard last year and engaged with stakeholders for feedback on our proposed changes, which focused on driving improvement. We also presented on the development of the new EDI Standard (Standard Nine) for the Standards for Accredited Registers. We discussed our approach, the results of the public consultation and the challenges faced in developing a new Standard.

Our presentation was well received and from the discussions with other organisations, it was clear that there is a lot of innovative work in train; however, it was also clear that for many, this journey is just beginning. Similar issues were raised across a range of sectors; one being the collection of data. How do you encourage people to complete EDI data surveys to ensure that any results are meaningful? How do you assure people that this data is going to be used for positive change? What about the safe storage of data and potential legislative barriers to collecting it?

Another theme that emerged was the equity vs equality debate, which examines the difference between everyone having appropriate access based on their needs and circumstances to achieve fair outcomes, and everyone having the same access regardless of differences. This is not something we have particularly focused on in our Standards and it isn’t always part of the conversation when we are discussing EDI. The debate certainly gave us some food for thought; a greater focus on equity is something we should consider in the future. 

I also attended presentations on complaints handling, which highlighted the importance of kindness and compassion when handling complaints – not only towards complainants but towards registrants. Terms such as ‘caring regulation’ and ‘compassionate regulation’ were used. Presenters discussed the importance of prevention and having clear and accessible standards so that registrants know what is expected. They also talked about creating ‘compassionate communications’ throughout the process to increase the likelihood of registrants engaging and complying with any sanctions and/or changes to their practice, with the result that they would be less likely to leave the occupation.

There is a lot of innovative work being done to protect the public by regulators from across different countries and sectors. Many are grappling with the same issues, whether that be how to assess EDI or how to implement good practice in complaints handling. The conference was an effective forum for sharing knowledge and good practice; and prompting us to keep thinking about how this applies to our work and the assessments we do.