New UKCP taskforce to promote inclusion

The newly formed Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Taskforce is responsible for producing an action plan to improve the experience of those from minority backgrounds both part of UKCP and the wider public. The Taskforce has shared their introductory statement.

Written by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Taskforce.

 

The newly formed EDI Taskforce within UKCP was set up in October 2020, through an open recruitment process and will be in existence for 12 months. The Taskforce has a huge responsibility to put together an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan for UKCP over this period. This Action Plan will challenge existing UKCP norms on EDI and demand commitments for change. It has two main aims in terms of reach. Firstly, to change the experience for those from a different background who are already part of UKCP who do not feel heard and/or psychologically safe in the organisation. Secondly, the Taskforce will consider all key stakeholders of UKCP, not just the membership but the wider public and service users in its approach. The changes we want to make must have an impact on people of colour, those who are disabled, those who are from a lower socio-economic group and more.

Our core values as a Taskforce are:

  • Commitment: We commit to being anti-discriminatory and openly challenge existing norms.
  • Inclusion: We commit to creating a psychologically and physically safe environment for all.
  • Evidence: We commit to being objective and data-led in our decision-making. And where the data does not exist, we will seek to gather it to further inform our decision-making by engaging with the membership and other key stakeholders.

The Taskforce has independence on what key priorities it decides to focus on in the development of the EDI Action Plan. This is particularly important as it means the breadth of what can be tackled is not restrictive. So far, the Taskforce has held three meetings and has selected the following key priority areas to address: training, curriculum/qualifications, membership and engagement.

 

Training

We want to address any identified disparities in those who are being trained, those who complete the training and those who can access the training in the first place. We have so far looked at putting actions in place to collect data on the application and dropout rates of trainees – in particular for those of minoritised ethnic backgrounds. We are exploring how we can work with training colleges to raise awareness of institutional discrimination (including anti-racism). One key area to explore is the access to the training provision. Making it more accessible is crucial, that is why we are looking at a Diversity Scholarship Scheme. We are looking at pathways to jobs and training and opposing mandatory free use of our trainees.

 

Curriculum/Qualifications

Ensuring that the curriculum is reflective of the diverse trainees in UKCP and making the qualification relevant and accessible means making real change to the established way of doing things. The way things are right now is causing significant distress to minoritised groups and we want to support and encourage changes. To do this, some of our discussions have been centred around conducting a review of the qualification process through an EDI lens where it works better for all trainees. This includes a review of how top-up courses can be attained as part of the full qualification process. We are aware that current curricula may not be as reflective of the trainees in UKCP and inclusive enough to effectively prepare them to work with a wide range of service users from diverse and marginalised groups. We believe that a comprehensive review of training texts, books and information shared with trainees should take place, independently and conducted through an EDI lens. We want to establish a clear commitment to anti-discriminatory practices in the colleges, schools, and mentoring system so that everyone at all levels can be included in the delivery of a higher standard of practice and training.

 

Engagement

As a profession our engagement internally and externally needs a radical shake-up. We don’t want to stay silent and inactive on key issues that have an adverse effect on us in the profession and the wider public. This is especially true as we claim that the very remit of what we do is empathy, support, and connection with each other and with the public who access our services. We must, therefore, not only commit in words but in actions to address power and privilege perceived within the profession. Our engagement practices simply must change. As a Taskforce, we are looking at actions that are bold, brave, and challenging.

 

Membership

As an organisation, we are making a strong commitment to build a representative membership of the UK population. As we work to achieve these goals, the previous priority areas will set the foundation for us in achieving this. As we become more diverse, our efforts to be inclusive must work at the same time. We must address biases and microaggression in all its forms.

We are aware that as an organisation we have played a part in systemic discrimination, and this is why the work of the EDI Taskforce is important. We do not want to accept and/or be part of a system that continues to place barriers for those within and outside the protected characteristics. It is now time to implement long-overdue changes and create a more diverse and inclusive UKCP.

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