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The GCC has published its new Equality, Diversity (EDI) and Inclusion policy statement, replacing all previous editions.

The new policy has updated all relevant EDI definitions and defines the aims and scope of the statement for the GCC, the profession and registrants. In addition, we have explained our legal and regulatory responsibilities to gather EDI data, the differences between sex and gender, why we currently only collect data on seven of the nine protected characteristics and our position on the granularity of our data collection.

The new policy has been developed as part of the GCC’s 15-point Action Plan and with the assistance of its EDI Working Group and is a cornerstone of the GCC 20220-2024 Strategy. The GCC encourages all registrants, clinics and organisations to review and adopt the principles of this policy or use the document as a template to develop an EDI policy suitable to their circumstances.

Why does EDI matter?

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, or EDI as it is more commonly known, is designed to ensure fair treatment and opportunity for all. It aims to eradicate prejudice and discrimination based on an individual or group of individuals’ protected characteristics. Individually, it accepts and embraces people for their unique experiences, backgrounds and contributions.

Defining EDI

Although EDI has some universal norms, its definition varies depending on national and cultural beliefs and values. However, a simple explanation of EDI as it applies to the new policy is:

Equality: At its core, equality means fairness: ensuring that individuals, or groups of individuals, are not treated less favourably because of their protected characteristics. Equality does not mean treating everyone 'the same' but recognising that everyone is an individual with different needs that need meeting. Equality relates to the legal obligations in which organisations must not unlawfully discriminate.

Diversity: Diversity is about recognising and celebrating visible and non-visible differences. It acknowledges the benefits of having a range of perspectives in an organisation's operations and decision-making and taking steps to aid and encourage that diversity.

Inclusion: Inclusion is where people's differences are valued and used to enable everyone to thrive in that organisation. An inclusive organisation is one in which everyone feels they belong without conforming. Everyone’s contribution matters and they have the opportunity to perform to their full potential, no matter their characteristics, background, identity, or circumstances.

What are the nine protected characteristics in the UK?

The UK’s protected characteristics stem from the Equality Act 2010, which brought together several pieces of legislation under one act, eg. the Race Relations Act 1976. These characteristics do vary between nations. The UK protects nine characteristics, while the USA has eight, and not all are the same. In the UK, the protected characteristics are:

1. Age

2. Disability

3. Gender reassignment

4. Marriage and civil partnership

5. Pregnancy and maternity

6. Race

7. Religion or belief

8. Sex

9. Sexual orientation

BCA Webinar: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: Benefits to your practice and patients

Date: 19 October 

Time: 7.30pm

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is a topic often discussed yet frequently misunderstood. Upholding key principles of EDI within your clinic can be of significant benefit to you, your team and your patients. Philippa Oakley, chiropractor, BCA member and GCC EDI Working Group member, will discuss the new GCC EDI policy, preview the new registrant EDI toolkit exclusively ahead of its launch and address pertinent clinical practice issues.

Register here.