Dave Thomas is a HCPC EDI Forum member and registered occupational therapist working for the University of Kent.
As part of our commitment to being an inclusive and diverse regulator, we have launched the annual diversity data survey to gain a better understanding of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) across our professions. This is vital information that we will use to create and develop policies, regulatory processes and strategies that will accurately reflect the diversity of our registrants.
In this blog, Dave shares his thoughts on the importance of EDI and urges fellow registrants to participate in the survey.
Equity, equality, diversity, and inclusion are so important, especially when you consider the experiences of those that are most marginalised and oppressed. By definition, equity is about fairness. Equality is about apportioning equal value and equal worth to all, irrespective of their protected characteristics, socioeconomic/sociocultural or other demographic characteristics.
Diversity means respecting differences, specifically in this context, and ensuring that basic human rights are guaranteed to all. Inclusion is a unifying, all-embracing ideology that involves linking equity, equality and diversity in order to create an environment and a set of policies, practices and processes. This should include the adoption of positive attitudes in order to broaden access, redress power imbalances, build collaborative partnerships, develop and sustain clear lines of communication and equitably provide opportunities for inclusive participation in order to enable people to fulfil their potential.
It is now time to accept that we live and operate in increasingly diverse societies, globally, and that diversity and inclusion is a moral and legal imperative that concerns us all. There should be no place for racism, discrimination and so many forms of prejudice in our society and within the health and care sector. These practices are indefensible and we should always stand against them.
As an Occupational Therapist with a remit in social justice, and a Public Health Specialist, I am passionate about applying occupational therapy and looking at how social justice ideas influence individuals’ and health and wellbeing in communities. I am extremely motivated to explore how conditions required for ‘good’ equity, equality, diversity and inclusion can successfully occur in practice.
Why I got involved with the HCPC EDI Forum
I got involved in the HCPC EDI forum because I believe equality and human rights should play a central role in improving the practices, processes and policies that guide the delivery and quality of outcomes and services by health and care professionals. This should form a central part of the quality assurance processes. In order to co-create holistic understandings that are representative of staff and service users, the perspectives, knowledge and lived experiences of people from a diverse range of professional, demographic and social backgrounds should be considered when developing policies, ethical frameworks and codes of conduct.
As a cis gendered, Black person from a working-class background, I have been encouraged by the HCPC’s commitment equality and diversity and its endeavours to develop its first Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strategy. This involved consultation with the HCPC EDI Forum, of which I was invited to be a member. The HCPC EDI Forum has provided a welcoming environment where I feel valued and respected and able to share my knowledge and experiences. For me, this is very important in building a sense of belonging to the HCPC and shaping my identity as a health and care professional.
HCPC Diversity Data Survey
The survey is an opportunity for all registrants to have your voice heard and to show the HCPC what the professions on the register look like. When the HCPC has a better understanding of this information, its regulatory policies and processes will be more appropriate and more accurately tailored to our needs as registrants.
Understanding EDI is important to enable HCPC to carry out its role as a regulator, but ultimately, this has a benefit for us as registrants. This is a chance for all registrants to share challenges and issues you may be facing or have witnessed. This information will HCPC help create and develop policies, regulatory processes and strategies, which accurately reflect the diversity of registrants.
I would encourage fellow colleagues and registrants to take advantage of this opportunity to share their perspectives and experiences, it will contribute to the development of your regulator. Get involved and spread the word using #HCPCMyEDI.
We want hear from all HCPC registrants in this survey. The deadline is 14 March 2021. Find out more about the HCPC Diversity Data Survey 2020-21