Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Our focus on advocating for and delivering equality, diversity and inclusion within the College and the specialties of anaesthesia, pain medicine and intensive care is fundamentally important to us. Working with our members and staff, we are at the start of our journey of asking the difficult questions, listening to, and learning from the answers and collaborating on the solutions.

The College values diversity in anaesthesia as well as in its staff group and in the work it delivers on behalf of our membership. We will seek to deliver on our commitments to demonstrate to our membership, staff, stakeholders and the public that we take equality, diversity and inclusion seriously.

The College and Faculties will also not tolerate discrimination on the basis of disability, gender identity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or other protected characteristics.

Values and principles

The College has a set of values that flow through our work. These values provide the guiding principles of how the College takes forward and delivers its strategic and operational activities. Our values also act as an anchor point for continued reference back to whether our equality, diversity and inclusion activities continue to add value and compliment the aims and ethos of our College strategy.


Chaired by our President, College Council is the body which is responsible for the development of clinical and professional policy.

Our Board of Trustees is responsible for the development, implementation and delivery of our strategy, including our objectives around diversity. Board members will provide leadership on ED&I opportunities across the College.

Our pledge to equality, diversity and inclusion

Making changes to our organisational and specialty’s culture will take time, but we have made the decision to start the process to do so.

To our members we pledge to:

  • enquire, listen, learn and understand
  • collect data to enhance our understanding of the diverse nature of our membership
  • store and process your data safely and confidentially in accordance with our data protection policy
  • address visible and invisible barriers to inclusion
  • educate against unconscious bias
  • support and train our staff and managers
  • set standards and guidelines
  • measure and record the impact of our work.
EDI webpage image

How we will achieve this

The College has initiated the following projects:

Equality Research Project

The College will regularly collect, review and publish summary ethnicity data on the following areas:

  • the membership
  • the anaesthesia workforce
  • the leadership positions and roles in anaesthesia
  • governance structures and committees.

Through the above, we will aim to:

  • develop a dataset of the profile and diversity of the College’s membership and workforce
  • investigate the profile/representation (across a range of protected characteristics) in leadership positions in anaesthesia
  • be transparent in reporting and publishing data, reports and recommendations.

Data collection

Based on evidence, the Board of Trustees and Council will review and deliver recommendations that improve this diversity and inclusion in the specialty. The group will also investigate the issue of representation within and across leadership positions in anaesthesia.

The College therefore encourages all members when asked, to provide details about race, ethnicity, and diversity. We will only collect data that helps us ensure our ED&I research and activities are delivered in a fair way that balances the needs of diverse groups. Check out the latest data.

All data will be stored and processed safely and confidentially in accordance with our data protection policy.

Supporting our staff

An active forum for black staff at the College has been developed and meets regularly. The aims of this forum include:

  • to create and have a safe space to speak about how staff feel about the Black Lives Matter Campaign, particularly in relation to themselves and the workplace
  • to share and vocalise concerns, worries and issues on race and equality to senior management and committees in the College
  • to provide a mechanism for senior management and the wider College to communicate with Black members of staff to deliver the aspirations in the College’s statement on Black Lives Matter
  • to develop actions and plans to deliver changes that foster a more diverse and inclusive culture within the RCoA, driving change that breaks down institutional racism and creates an open, safe space for all.

Widening participation in anaesthesia

GasReach is an exciting new collaborative project between the Widening Participation Medics Network (WPMN) and the Royal College of Anaesthetists which aims to increase diversity within Anaesthesia.

GasReach new is a mentoring scheme which pairs current trainees enthusiastic about widening participation with medical students and junior doctors from under-represented backgrounds. Through regular virtual sessions and discussions over a one-year period, the mentor-mentee groups will explore a variety of topics around careers in anaesthesia and the application process.

The application window for both mentees and mentors for 2023 is now closed. Look out for further information for 2024.

Links to related content

General Medical Council: racism in the workplace
Everyone has the right to come to work without fear of racism. We recognise the unacceptably high levels of racism directed toward staff in healthcare settings and support a zero-tolerance approach to racism.

International Women’s Day: it’s not who we are, but what we bring that should make the difference
Dr Fiona Donald (then RCoA Vice-President) wrote a blog for the British Medical Journal.