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'Beyond Barriers' – making equality a priority

15 Nov 2021

Tehmina Ansari

Learning & Development Manager

We are extremely proud of the diversity of our register, the people we serve, and our colleagues, and we want to support them to remove barriers and tackle inequalities.

We want to make the HCPC a great place to work and one that reflects the diversity and inclusiveness of the organisation, people on our register and wider society.

Saying that, we have found that people of ethnic minority backgrounds are under-represented in senior roles within the organisation. We want to address this by providing greater opportunities for professional development and progression within.

With this in mind, we recently launched the HCPC’s first inclusive mentoring scheme, 'Beyond Barriers', which is just one of the strategies in our EDI (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion) work to help us achieve our objectives around equality.

We have given priority to apply to those from ethnic minority backgrounds, underrepresented groups, other protected characteristics including LGBT+ and returning parents. We have successfully accepted eight mentors and eight mentees on to the programme which formally starts in January 2022.

The six-month programme is designed to benefit both mentees and their mentors. It will include ‘reflection and learn’ sessions and bespoke sessions (working in partnership with our external learning partner) for mentors and mentees on understanding equality, diversity and inclusion and the barriers and challenges some people face in career progression.

Some of the sessions will cover:

  • Privilege
  • Courageous conversations
  • Building inclusive teams
  • Understanding and avoiding microaggressions

We will carry out an evaluation of the programme at the end to take away learnings including assessing the effectiveness of the programme through the eyes of the participants and the impact it has had and what we may consider for the future.

Mentoring supports our vision to be a high performing, caring and adaptable regulator and our strategic priority to be build a resilient, healthy, capable and sustainable organisation. Mentoring will provide learning opportunities in accordance with the participants' own career ambitions and learning needs. Mentoring will further advance our culture to be more inclusive and actively advance our values: to be fair, compassionate, inclusive and enterprising.

Why are we doing it?

Beyond Barriers will help the HCPC build a more diverse workforce at all levels of the organisation, retain talent, improve engagement and motivation, inspire more inclusive leadership and position ourselves as an employer of choice.  

The programme will help individuals to:

  • maximise potential and help employees reach their professional goals
  • increase confidence, self-awareness and resilience
  • be encouraged and empowered in personal development
  • identify and achieve career goals
  • identify and correct gaps in generic skills and knowledge
  • developing and maintaining a broader perspective on career options and opportunities
  • having access to a senior role model
  • gaining insight into HCPC culture
  • developing mentoring and coaching skills – understand leadership and influence

What are the benefits for the mentor on ‘Beyond Barriers’?

  • Recognised involvement in a programme of strategic importance to the HCPC
  • Sharing knowledge and experience encouraging a colleague to achieve their potential
  • Broadening of people skills, judgement, new perspectives and insights - understanding of the lived experiences and barriers colleagues from different backgrounds can face at work
  • Networking
  • Opportunity for self-reflection and personal satisfaction

What are the benefits for the mentee on ‘Beyond Barriers’?

  • Personal and professional development including increased job-related wellbeing, self-esteem and confidence, and better work-life balance
  • Skills and knowledge to progress their careers (career advancement)
  • Increased opportunities and likelihood of staying within the HCPC
  • Preparation for the future and heightened career aspirations
  • Sharpen work-based skills and work practices
  • Develop networking skills
  • Boost confidence and resilience to achieve success
  • Increased productivity and better time management

How will we assess the impact of the programme?

There are some measures that we will use to assess the impact of the programme. This will be through self-evaluations of the participants throughout the programme and at the end, manager observations and feedback and feedback from participants on changes to their practice, behaviours and confidence.

We will also be reviewing our organisational data on employee engagement and motivation through employee engagement surveys, improved retention statistics, improved ethnicity pay gap statistics and finally long-term evaluation of participants’ job movements, such as promotions or lateral movements.

We are really looking forward to delivering the programme and hope our colleagues find it a valuable learning experience.

Page updated on: 15/11/2021