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Can the GMC provide equality and diversity training to help medical schools implement the fitness to practise guidance?

Paragraph 9 of Professional behaviour and fitness to practise says:

9. Staff members who have significant roles in the student fitness to practise process, such as investigators, panellists or committee members and other relevant decision makers, must understand and receive training in the legal requirements and good practice of equality and diversity specific to their role.

At the moment the GMC does not provide equality and diversity training, but there is a range of providers for medical schools to consider. The GMC Equality and Diversity team have provided the following framework for the training to ensure student fitness to practise (SFTP) procedures are fair and compliant. Their feedback is that the training should deliver the learning outcomes set out below.

An understanding of:

  • the principles of equality, diversity, fairness, and how these apply in the context of SFTP procedures
  • the principles for fair decision-making, and the safeguards in place to ensure that decision-making and outcomes are fair
  • some of the E&D issues/scenarios that may arise in this context
  • the relevant provisions of Equality Act 2010 (eg the equality duty), and what this means for their role as decision-makers
  • how bias can influence their decisions, and how to manage this
  • their role in ensuring that SFTP procedures are fair and compliant.

A session outline might look like this:

  1. 1. Introductions, overview of the session.
  2. 2. Defining the key principles.
  3. 3. E&D the standards and guidance for SFTP.
  4. 4. The legal framework.
  5. 5. Principles of unlawful discrimination.
  6. 6. The public sector equality duty.
  7. 7. Reasonable adjustments.
  8. 8. Making fair decisions.
  9. 9. Understanding and managing bias.
  10. 10. Principles for making fair decisions.
  11. 11. Professional behaviours and conduct.
  12. 12. Your role in ensuring that SFTP procedures are fair and compliant.