RCP equality and diversity

We believe that the RCP will thrive by actively promoting inclusivity, with people of all backgrounds coming together and achieving success.

In 2020 the RCP commissioned equality and diversity consultant Ben Summerskill to review the RCP’s current performance on diversity, and to make recommendations for improvement.

The aims of RCP's equality and diversity review were simple: to ensure that everyone who is or wants to be involved with the RCP has access to the same opportunities and the same, fair treatment.

We did not limit the project to compliance with the law, or the nine protected characteristics, but set out to look at how the RCP can become a best practice organisation in the health sector.

Project aims

The project, which provided us with useful information for the 2022–24 RCP strategy, was responsible for:

  • reviewing the RCP’s current level of performance on equality and diversity with regard to both its workforce and volunteers, including
    • trustees
    • elected college posts
    • appointed college posts (eg junior officers, committee memberships or examiner/assessor posts).
  • providing a report to the Board of Trustees and RCP Council outlining the findings.
  • making recommendations for any improvements necessary, including in our equality and diversity monitoring and reporting.

The resulting report, A 2020 vision – an independent report into diversity and inclusion at the Royal College of Physicians, continues to lead our work in this area.

There are 29 wide-ranging recommendations, covering areas such as advertising, recruitment, representation, staff networks and systems and training, which will be addressed in an action plan from the RCP.

Read the 2020 report

Progress reports

The independent report in 2020 was followed by three further reports, which provide an update on the RCP’s progress against Ben Summerskill's recommendations 1, 2 and 3 years on. These reports can be accessed below. Going forward, diversity and inclusion are enablers in our main strategy and we are committed to continuing to publish our progress in this area each year as part of the RCP's annual report. We will continue to champion diversity and inclusion, and strive to ensure that the RCP is a modernising membership organisation accessible to all.


These publications document our progress against the Summerskill recommendations, our resulting policies for communications and events, and the diversity of our leadership.