Previous and recent research demonstrate that NHS staff from black and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds often experience inequality, discrimination and prejudice in the workplace.
In 2015 at a local level, BAME activists and as a result of a Freedom of Information request alerted RCN West Midlands to the over-representation of BAME staff in the employee relation process. This is as true today as it was then as the regular reports of the Workforce Race Equality Standards (WRES) and the Workforce Disability Equality Standards (WDES) reports demonstrate. In addition, further research by Roger Kline Discrimination by Appointment and Snowy White Peaks of the NHS also captured the disproportionate impact on staff from a BAME background in relation the recruitment, appointment, development and progression in the NHS.
In order to support organisations address these issues, the RCN designed a new innovative programme in collaboration with the West Midlands Black and Minority Ethnic Stakeholder Group.
The Cultural Ambassador (CA) programme consists of volunteers from BAME backgrounds in participating organisations who receive specific training to enable them to sit as part of investigation teams or as members of the decision-making panels for grievances and disciplinary hearings where a BAME member of staff is involved. Their role is to identify and explore further issues of culture, behaviour, where staff may be being treated less favourably, potential discrimination and unconscious or conscious cultural bias. All of which could be present, observed and ignored during informal or formal processes. The CAs role is to be curious about these issues, make them transparent and create dialogue to establish the potential impact on the outcome.
The CA Programme is designed to be delivered within an organisation and will meet the following objectives
- Support organisations in improving their outcomes in relation to the WRES, WDES and the NHS Staff Survey
- Improve the experience of staff involved in any informal or formal processes
- Reduction in the severity of the sanctions awarded to BAME staff
- Reduce the number of BAME staff referred to a formal process
- Support organisations in improving their outcomes in relation to the WRES, WDES, the Equality Delivery System (EDS) and the NHS Staff Survey.
Learning outcomes from the training
- Understand the role of a CA
- Understand how discrimination, prejudice and cultural bias can manifest in the workplace and in systems and processes
- Understand Equality, Diversity and Human Rights legislation
- How to use the equality tools available to influence decisions and create change
- How to influence others and promote fair treatment of BAME staff
- How to develop effective working relationships and in partnership to influence and promote inclusivity
- Advocate from a BAME perspective on behalf of BAME staff.
- Gain skills and knowledge that are transferable across a variety of roles.
- Three days of face to face interactive learning (or)
- The equivalent of three days interactive learning delivered virtually
- Monthly support meetings with the organisation’s project lead
- Facilitated Action Learning Sets with CAs
- Advice and support on selfcare and wellbeing.
To be confirmed on application.