Adding diversity details to my GMC Online account
Why have I have received an email from you asking me to update my details?
In February 2019 we're sending emails to a random sample of the medical register, asking doctors’ to update their details in their GMC Online account. This is part of a pilot to help us develop a communication to all doctors, which we'll roll out in March 2019.
Since 2016, we've asked all doctors registering with us for the first time to provide information about whether they have a disability, their sexual orientation, and their religion or belief. We're now extending this request to all doctors on the medical register. But updating your details, and providing additional information about yourself, is completely voluntary.
Why do we want to collect this information?
As a professional regulator, it’s really important to have information about those we regulate and support. By understanding where doctors might face inequality or discrimination, we can work to address these issues and make further improvements to support and safeguard doctors.
If you’re a doctor, we may already have provided information about some of your characteristics, such as your ethnicity, but you may not have been asked about all of them, such as whether you have a disability. Updating your information will help us to develop a more accurate picture of the whole profession, so we can better understand the different experiences of groups of doctors.
If I provide the information you’re asking for, will you publish it on the medical register?
No, we will treat this information with the utmost sensitivity. This information will be kept confidential in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and it won’t be displayed on our medical register. We’ll anonymise any data we publish, so individual doctors can’t be identified. The data will never be used in fitness to practise or revalidation enquiries and only GMC staff who need to access this information – for example those in analytical roles – will be able to see it.
What will happen if I choose not to share my information?
Updating your information is entirely voluntary. Although we would encourage you to provide your information, so we can better understand and address inequalities for doctors, it is up to you whether you do so.
What will you do with the information you collect?
We’ll use the information we gather to identify any issues or trends so we can continue to make improvements for doctors across the UK. We’ll also analyse and report on statistical trends in medical education and practice. We'll anonymise any data we publish so individual doctors can’t be identified.
We’ve done several pieces of work using the data we already hold to address issues and make improvements for doctors across the UK:
- Differential attainment
We’ve carried out research into variations in attainment across different groups and we are developing practical tools which organisations could use to develop interventions to support trainees.
- Support for doctors new to UK practice
We deliver targeted workshops for doctors new to UK practice to provide support and guidance to help them understand the ethical issues they are likely to encounter in the UK.
- Developing supportive and open workplaces
We’re doing a major project to better understand why some groups of doctors are referred to us for fitness to practise issues more than others.
What should I do if my information changes in the future?
Where can I learn more about your work on equality, diversity and inclusion?
We believe equality, diversity and inclusion are critical to being an effective regulator and employer. You can find out about our work in this area by looking at our , or by visiting our equality, diversity and inclusion pages.
Who have you worked with to develop this project?
We have worked closely with our clinical fellows and a number of organisations that represent diversity within the medical workforce. They are supportive of our work in this area and of this project in particular.
What are protected characteristics?
Under the Equality Act 2010 (England, Scotland and Wales), it is against the law to discriminate against someone because of:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sex and sexual orientation.
These are called protected characteristics. There are similar characteristics in legislation in Northern Ireland.