Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Our focus on advocating for and delivering equality, diversity and inclusion within the College and the specialties of anaesthesia, pain medicine and intensive care is fundamentally important to us. Working with our members and staff, we are at the start of our journey of asking the difficult questions, listening to, and learning from the answers and collaborating on the solutions.

The College values diversity in anaesthesia as well as in its staff group and in the work it delivers on behalf of our membership. We will seek to deliver on our commitments to demonstrate to our membership, staff, stakeholders and the public that we take equality, diversity and inclusion seriously.

The College and Faculties will also not tolerate discrimination on the basis of disability, gender identity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or other protected characteristics.

Values and principles

The College has a set of values that flow through all the work that we conduct. These values provide the guiding principles of how the College takes forward and delivers its strategic and operational activities. The College values also act as an anchor point for continued reference back to whether our equality, diversity and inclusion activities continue to add value and compliment the aims and ethos of our College strategy.


Chaired by our President, College Council is our governing body which is responsible for the development of clinical and professional policy.

Our Board of Trustees is responsible for the implementation and delivery of our diversity strategy. Board members will provide leadership on ED&I opportunities across the College.

Our pledge to equality, diversity and inclusion

Making changes to our organisations’ and specialty’s culture will take time, but we have made the decision to start the process to do so.

To our members we pledge to:

  • ask questions, listen, learn and understand
  • collect data to enhance our understanding of the diverse nature of our membership
  • store and process your data safely and confidentially in accordance with our data protection policy
  • address visible and invisible barriers to inclusion
  • educate against unconscious bias
  • support and train our staff and managers
  • set standards and guidelines
  • measure and record the impact of our work.
EDI webpage image

How we will achieve this

The College has initiated the following projects:

Equality Research Project

Comprising Council members and senior College staff, the Equality Research Project Group will investigate issues relating to equality, diversity, inclusion, representation and discrimination within the structures of the College, including and not limited to:

  • the membership
  • the anaesthesia workforce
  • the leadership positions and roles in anaesthesia
  • governance structures and committees
  • participation in, or delivery of, the College’s activities and functions such as examinations, recruitment, Advisory Appointments Committees, Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence, Nominations, Education etc.

The objectives of the Equality Research Project are as follows:

  • develop a dataset of the profile and diversity of the College’s membership and workforce
  • investigate the profile/representation (across a range of protected characteristics) in leadership positions in anaesthesia
  • be transparent in reporting and publishing data, reports and recommendations.

Data collection

For the College to understand the diverse make up of our membership and staff, ED&I data is required.

Through the Equality Research Project, the College will establish a dataset to explore the issues around diversity and inclusion across the College. This work will improve our understanding of how issues of racism, discrimination, equality, diversity, and representation impact on the College and its members.

Based on evidence, this project will make recommendations to the College’s Board of Trustees and Council on changes and improvements that should be made to improve this situation across the board. The group will also investigate the issue of representation within and across leadership positions in anaesthesia.

The College therefore encourages all members when asked, to provide details about race, ethnicity, and diversity. We will only collect data that helps us ensure our ED&I research and activities are delivered in a fair way that balances the needs of diverse groups. Check out the latest data.

All data will be stored and processed safely and confidentially in accordance with our data protection policy.


An active forum for black staff at the College has been developed and meets regularly. The aims of this forum include:

  • to create and have a safe space to speak about how staff feel about the Black Lives Matter Campaign, particularly in relation to themselves and the workplace
  • to share and vocalise concerns, worries and issues on race and equality to senior management and committees in the College
  • to provide a mechanism for senior management and the wider College to communicate with Black members of staff to deliver the aspirations in the College’s statement on Black Lives Matter
  • to develop actions and plans to deliver changes that foster a more diverse and inclusive culture within the RCoA, driving change that breaks down institutional racism and creates an open, safe space for all.

Our approach to achieving these aims will be:

  • Set, then publishing aspirational targets.
  • Publish data to show how they are progressing.
  • Do more to encourage employees to disclose their ethnicity.
  • Ensure executive sponsorship for key targets.
  • Embed diversity as a key performance indicator.
  • Participate in reverse mentoring schemes to share experience and improve opportunities.
  • Be open about how they have achieved success, in particular Chairs, CEOs and CFOs in their annual reports.
  • Ensuring unconscious bias training is undertaken by all employees.
  • Tailor unconscious bias training to reflect roles, eg workshops for executives.
  • Establish inclusive networks.
  • Provide mentoring and sponsorship.
  • Rejecting non-diverse shortlists.
  • Challenging educational selection bias.
  • Drafting job specification in a more inclusive way.
  • Introducing diversity to interview panels.
  • Creating work experience opportunities for everyone, not just the chosen few.
  • Being transparent and fair in reward and recognition.
  • Improving supply chains.
  • Being open about how the career pathway works.
  • Provide equal opportunity for everyone in the workforce, no matter their background or characteristics.
  • Provide fair salaries and benefits.
  • Provide a safe working environment.
  • Encourage anyone who feels they have been subject to discrimination to raise their concerns, so we can apply corrective measures.

Links to related content

Racism in the workplace, GMC

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