RCPCH and equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) - our approach and governance

Our EDI work started with a fundamentally important step for the College; that we hold a mirror up to ourselves, look at whether we truly reflect the breadth and diversity of our membership and start to put into place the actions that will answer these questions.

We started this work with a focus on opening up our volunteer roles, and published an action plan in July 2020. One year later, we published our progress.

In Working for change, we took this work forward by looking at the wider spectrum of EDI and paediatrics. We are focussing on more matters raised by members, including differential attainment and career progression as well as the work paediatricians do to support children and young people.

Here we explain our approach and governance.

Why are we doing this work?

Those working in paediatrics and child health reflect hugely diverse groups and societies but they also witness at first-hand the corrosive impact of racism and discrimination on children and young people. Our members expect us to show leadership and confront these issues.

It is vital that we have feedback from members and we invite you to share your thoughts and ideas with us on this, and wider work via edi@rcpch.ac.uk. We are regularly reporting back on what we have achieved and what still needs to be done. This is the beginning of our attempt to address the problems that are deep-rooted and will need concerted action.

Working for change

In August 2020 we began our work to address wider EDI issues in paediatrics. We are focussing on matters raised by members as well as the work paediatricians do to support children and young people.

Our reports, which were published in March 2021, look at four areas: working lives of paediatricians; health outcomes for children and young people; volunteering and awards; and our College as an organisation.

One year on, in March 2022, we report back against the actions that we committed to implement, what we have achieved and what still needs more time and attention.

Our Working for change reports and an update on our progress

Opening up volunteer roles

When the College commissioned our first EDI report in 2019, we decided to focus on how to maximise opportunities for our volunteers to ensure that we had a more truly representative body. We knew that there would be a lot to do, with many areas lacking data or information to answer all those questions.

In our action plan, published in July 2020, we outlined how we are implementing these recommendations. This is was first step to improve equality, diversity and inclusion across all areas of our work. 

One year on, in July 2021, we reported back on what we have achieved and what still needs to be done.
The conversation has since widened to reflect deeper concerns across medicine and society about the nature of inclusion, this was therefore only the start of our work across EDI.

Our Opening up volunteer roles action plan and 'one year on' report


Our ambition is that everyone at the College - RCPCH Council, Trustees, members and College staff alike - recognises and plays their role in EDI.

Over the past year, we have established an approach and governance framework to manage our EDI work. This includes an EDI Oversight Group and EDI Member Reference Group.

The EDI Oversight Group aims to ensure that EDI is embedded and coordinated across the College. It comprises three nominated senior leads: Dr Bhanu Williams as Trustee representative, Dr Camilla Kingdon as President and Robert Okunnu as Director of Policy and External Affairs, representing staff.

Member Reference Group (MRG)

The MRG aims to provide an avenue for members to input into our EDI work by commenting on current plans and progress and by helping to identify future priorities. Members act in an individual capacity, providing valuable feedback and input on the work of the College. It supports the EDI Oversight Group.

The MRG consists of just over 20 members at all career stages and with a diverse range of backgrounds and perspectives. It is co-chaired by Dr Camilla Kingdon and Robert Okunnu.

One MRG member, Dr Segn Nedd, is also the EDI Representative on our Trainees Oversight Committee, and works with the three nominated senior leads.

The MRG has allowed member voices to be heard, but we do know there are voices we haven’t heard from yet. Any member interested in joining the group should get in touch with us on edi@rcpch.ac.uk.