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Our ambitions for 2020 to 2023

We will focus on the 4 thematic areas: workforce (including recruitment) data and benchmarking, communications and engagement, and training and development.

Our ambitions for 2020 to 2023

Last updated: 14 April 2021

Our corporate strategy guides what we will be aiming to achieve as a regulator and employer, setting out our 5 key areas of focus:

  • Our regulatory approach
  • The social work profession
  • The people we work with and work for
  • Education and training
  • Our organisation

Our statement of intent underpins this, and is our core business, because equality, diversity and inclusion is core business for social work. We have listed all the things we have already done as part of our set-up phase as a new organisation and regulator. We know that we need a new member of our senior team to lead and drive this forward in an ambitious action plan, firmly based on data and evidence.

We have recruited a head of equality, diversity and inclusion to work with our executive lead, the executive leadership team, and our board. Read more about our equality, diversity and inclusion team.

We are launching our data collection activity and have built our system to enable us to gather information about those with protected characteristics, voluntarily from social workers.

From this, we can develop the key strategic questions for the profession over the next 3 years, and the key outcomes that we want to achieve together. We will do this, as everything, in dialogue and collaboration with our key stakeholders, the social work profession, and those who are supported by social work.

We will focus on the 4 thematic areas listed below, but will look across our engagement to identify where there may be other areas to also consider. We will also continue to build on the progress we have already made as described earlier.

Those 4 thematic areas are:

  1. Workforce, including recruitment
  2. Data and benchmarking
  3. Communications and engagement
  4. Training and development

Initial objectives for each area

Workforce, including recruitment

  • Audit all existing and proposed policies, procedures and practices, to ensure they support equality, diversity and inclusion principles.
  • Consider how we understand whether our processes are ensuring fairness to all.
  • Treat all in our employment with equality, fairness and respect.
  • In accordance with applicable law, work towards improving the diversity and equality of the workforce at all levels and functions within the organisation, to ensure that we are representative of our communities. This includes diversity in applications for our board, advisory groups, fitness to practise panels and independent inspector roles.
  • Encourage all employees to bring different ideas, innovation and creativity to help improve what we do and how we do it.
  • Encourage, support and develop the establishment of staff networks to enable peer support and challenge.

Data and benchmarking

  • Have a clear plan for the improvements for collecting and using data, to be viewed as a regulator that has expert knowledge of social work in England.
  • Consider how we will use the data we collect through our regulatory processes to ensure that we understand how certain groups are represented in our processes. This will help us ensure that processes are equitable and inclusive, that no one group is disadvantaged, and that all have equal opportunity to engage in the processes in a meaningful way.
  • The data we collect and analyse and the insights we gain will be shared with people with an interest in social work, to identify any trends or differences in outcomes for people with protected characteristics.
  • Review our approach to collecting data from job applicants and employees, to identify improvements that we can make on an ongoing basis to ensure that we are an inclusive employer.

Communications and engagement

  • Proactively deliver communications and engagement activity in a way that is diverse, relevant, and accessible to all.
  • Establish inclusive ways to co-produce our work with people who have protected characteristics, to improve our products and services.
  • Ensure our online presence not only complies with web content accessibility guidelines but strives to go beyond minimum standards.

Training and development

  • Encourage all employees to bring different ideas, innovation and creativity to help improve what we do and how we do it.
  • Create progressive policies and procedures that value equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Support and develop everyone to their full potential, acknowledging that we bring our whole selves to work.
  • Raise awareness of equality, diversity and inclusion, and encourage people to support each other.
  • Develop our learning offer for board members, employees and partners to include face-to-face refresher courses on equality, diversity and inclusion, and include content on equality, diversity and inclusion on our bespoke training for designated groups of employees, for example, fitness to practise investigators.
  • Create and develop positive action mentoring schemes for people with protected characteristics who wish to progress their careers through the organisation and beyond.
  • Roll out our proposed reverse mentoring scheme and encourage widespread participation, including for our senior team and board.

How we will monitor our progress

Central to delivering our ambitions is monitoring our progress and performance against our plans. This will ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion are embedded in everything we do.

As well as establishing an equality, diversity and inclusion steering group, we will use our National Advisory Forum as a critical friend, to review our progress and provide a sounding board to inform improvements.

We expect all our employees will support the delivery of our ambitious action plan where appropriate and will address equality, diversity and inclusion issues as they arise within their day-to-day roles.

As part of our work in establishing our governance for equality, diversity and inclusion, we will determine our monitoring and reporting mechanisms to ensure our statement on intent and future action plan is kept central within our organisation. This will include regular review and renewal as necessary during the lifetime of this statement.

The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care publishes annual performance reviews of regulators against its standards of good regulation. As mentioned earlier in this statement, this includes standard 3 which states ‘The regulator understands the diversity of its registrants and their patients and service users and of others who interact with the regulator and ensures that its processes do not impose inappropriate barriers or otherwise disadvantage people with protected characteristics’.

As part of our priorities for 2020 to 2021, we will be working towards being able to report positively on this standard in our 2020 submissions and beyond.

Our board holds the chief executive and the executive leadership team to account and provides the overall strategic direction for the organisation. It will ultimately have oversight of the progress of realising our ambitions.

Our ultimate aim is to be a regulator and employer that is proactive in pursuing our ambitions for equality, diversity and inclusion in all that we do.

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