Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)
The GCC continues to demonstrate its commitment to EDI and has made good progress implementing its action plan. It created an EDI Working Group and published a new EDI policy, with a supplementary EDI Toolkit for registrants. It also conducted, and reported on, a thematic review of cases closed by its Investigating Committee (IC). The review found no concerns about the GCC’s processes but identified some areas for further development, such as improving diversity of fitness to practise committees. The GCC used its recruitment campaign of February 2023 as an opportunity to further diversify its pool of IC members.
In early 2022, the GCC set up its Patient Community – an advisory group comprising 20 chiropractic patients, to gain a deeper understanding of the chiropractic experience from a patient’s perspective. This year, the GCC published two reports on research conducted with the group: Professionalism, The Patients’ Perspective; and Consent, The Patients’ Perspective. This work informed the GCC’s development of guidance and toolkits for the profession.
New Education Standards
The GCC introduced new Education Standards this year. The development of the Standards was informed by a public consultation, focus groups with key stakeholders and publications and guidance from other relevant organisations. The new Standards have a greater emphasis on patient-centred care, EDI and collaborative and integrated working with other healthcare professionals. The GCC is supporting existing education providers to implement the changes and has transition plans and timelines in place for each provider. The GCC anticipates that most providers will admit students to qualifications that meet the new Standards from the 2024/25 academic year.
Fitness to practise timeliness
The GCC did not meet Standard 15 last year because it was taking too long to progress fitness to practise investigations. This year, there has been a significant improvement in the time taken from receipt of referral to final fitness to practise decision, so we are satisfied that Standard 15 is met. However, the time taken from referral to IC decision has increased for the second year in a row. The GCC must ensure it progresses cases promptly and does not allow a backlog of older cases to build up.
Fitness to practise decisions
We carried out an audit of the decisions made at IC this year. We found that the GCC had reasonable and proportionate controls in place to ensure good decision‑making and those controls generally worked effectively. Almost all of the IC decisions we reviewed were reasonable, with clear, accurate and detailed reasons recorded. We only saw a small number of issues in relation to decisions and were reassured to see evidence of the GCC identifying and implementing learning when issues arose.