RCP equality and diversity

We believe that the RCP will thrive by actively promoting inclusivity, with people of all backgrounds coming together and achieving success.

In 2020 the RCP commissioned equality and diversity consultant Ben Summerskill, previously chief executive of Stonewall and commissioner at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, to review the RCP’s current performance on diversity within its workforce, with a strong focus on volunteer posts filled by members or others, and to make recommendations as to any improvements necessary in monitoring and reporting.

The aims of RCP's equality and diversity review were simple: to ensure that everyone who is or wants to be involved with the RCP has access to the same opportunities and the same, fair treatment.

We did not limit the project to compliance with the law, or the nine protected characteristics, but set out to look at how the RCP can become a best practice organisation in the health sector.

The project was agreed by RCP Council, sponsored by our Registrar, and fully supported by our President and Chief Executive. The work was led by equality and diversity consultant Ben Summerskill.

Project aims and outputs

The project, which provided us with useful information for the 2021-2024 RCP strategy, was responsible for:

  • reviewing the RCP’s current level of performance on equality and diversity with regard to both its workforce and volunteers, including
    • trustees
    • elected college posts
    • appointed college posts (eg junior officers, committee memberships or examiner/assessor posts).
  • providing a report to the Board of Trustees and RCP Council outlining the findings.
  • making recommendations for any improvements necessary, including in our equality and diversity monitoring and reporting.

The resulting report, A 2020 Vision – An independent report into Diversity and Inclusion at the Royal College of Physicians, has six sections looking at the current make-up of the RCP, how diversity is measured and monitored, how the RCP presents itself and how some perceive it, how the organisation recruits and retains staff and volunteers, and at its ways of working.

There are 29 wide-ranging recommendations, covering areas such as advertising, recruitment, representation, staff networks and systems and training, which will be addressed in an action plan from the RCP.

Read the 2020 report

Next steps

The RCP welcomed Ben Summerskill's report and undertook to address recommendations. A progress report was published in October 2021 and further updates have followed.