Our targets to address areas of inequality

We support the diverse needs of the doctors, patients and colleagues we work with and for. To do this, we’ve set targets to address key areas of inequality. These targets make us accountable for change. They’ll also support organisations with the progress they’re already making to address these issues.

Targets for us as a regulator

We want to eliminate two areas of inequality affecting doctors. These are:

1. The disproportionate pattern of fitness to practise complaints we receive from employers, in relation to a doctor’s ethnicity and place of qualification.

We want to eliminate this by 2026. The number and rate of these referrals remains low. But ethnic minority doctors are twice as likely to be referred to us by their employer than white doctors. And doctors who gained their medical degree outside the UK are three times more likely to be referred to us than doctors who took their medical degree in the UK.

2. Discrimination, disadvantage and unfairness in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education and training.

We want to eliminate this by 2031. Data and research continue to show that rates of training and career progression in medicine are different when we look at different protected characteristic groups, particularly ethnicity.

These are complex issues. But there is strong evidence that inclusive and supportive working and training environments don’t lead to inequalities in these areas. Setting targets is the right and fair thing to do for those who face these challenges throughout their careers. It’s also vital so we can keep the doctors we have in our health services, and to support high quality patient care.

Targets for us as an employer

We also need to improve diversity and inclusivity in our organisation. So we’ve set targets for ourselves as an employer to:

  • increase career progression for ethnic minority colleagues
  • improve the representation of ethnic minority colleagues at all levels
  • address gender and ethnicity pay gaps

Measuring progress

We’ll review and share our progress regularly, using data that we and other organisations already publish on these areas. These include:

  • the number and type of fitness to practise cases we receive from employers each year.
  • data from our annual survey of all doctors training in the UK. This gives us key information on how prepared and supported doctors feel during their postgraduate training.
  • exam pass rates for undergraduate education and postgraduate training.
  • the Annual Review of Competence Progression. This is the process which assesses whether doctors can move to the next stage of their postgraduate training.

Relevant data and research