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Objective 5

30 May, 2024

Embedding an inclusive workplace culture at all levels in the GDC where all staff feel welcomed, integrated, valued and included

The GDC is committed to being an employer of choice, attracting and retaining people from across society and creating an inclusive and fair culture. We want all colleagues to feel welcomed, valued and included during their career with the GDC.

To drive a culture that has EDI at its core, we will work together to inform and develop our knowledge, to raise awareness and understanding of EDI and how it enables us to deliver best results as an organisation.

We will regularly demonstrate the inclusive principles, actions and behaviours that are expected of leaders and colleagues in the GDC. These behaviours will be aligned and fully embedded into key policies and processes that inform decisions on recruitment, performance and promotion. We will regularly share our progress and celebrate our success. 


  • Enhance our organisational culture to support, value and develop each individual colleague and their unique contribution to enabling the GDC to become a trusted and effective regulator
  • Work towards achieving fair internal processes and systems that challenge bias and prejudice by ensuring our policies and ways of working are inclusive and fully aligned with our values
  • Continuously develop and equip colleagues at all levels to commit to and own the EDI strategy and values, demonstrating behaviours consistent with our EDI vision.

What we are doing to achieve our priorities 

Enhancing organisational culture

We are currently undertaking a change programme, which includes seeking to enhance our organisational culture. Through this work we want to ensure that the culture of the GDC is enriched through EDI and all colleagues can bring their authentic self to work, every day.

As part of our culture change programme, we are reviewing and redefining our values to reflect a modern organisation which has EDI at its core. We will consider how best to reflect our commitment to EDI in our values moving forward – together with the linked behaviours expected of colleagues. 

Effective engagement with colleagues

It is important for us to engage with our teams across the GDC to inform our approach to EDI.

To inform our culture change work, we conducted an employee engagement survey in 2023 and will continue to engage with colleagues to help us build our action plans and improve our culture. We will continue to take learning from the results, looking specifically at demographics and protected characteristics, to help us understand the employee experience of our diverse workforce, especially for underrepresented groups. We will develop responsive action plans in conjunction with our employee networks.

Representative employee networks, such as the People Forum, REACH (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic), Enable (Disability Support Network), the Women’s Network and Rainbow (the LGBTQ+ Network) will continue to be encouraged to contribute to the culture of the GDC. These staff networks have received increased funding to support their activities and we will work with the network chairs to develop the networks and the positive impact they can have within the GDC.

The People Forum has also reviewed its terms of references to include a focus on EDI and will also play a critical role for the staff networks to raise matters of interest to them within the GDC governance structure. Together with the People Forum and Networks we will develop EDI and Wellbeing Champions across the directorates in the GDC. The aim of the champions will be to support the progression of the EDI strategy and wellbeing agenda, and implementation of its related action plans in each directorate, and to support their future and ambitions and maintain focus.

Developing our workforce

 Our ambition is for the GDC to become recognised and valued by its current and future employees as an employer of choice. To achieve this, we must ensure that all our colleagues have a positive and rewarding experience throughout the employee journey. EDI is a key component in this experience in terms of leading, managing and supporting all colleagues to be at their best.

Enhancing attraction and recruitment

The GDC operates from two main cities, London and Birmingham. Our workforce should be representative of these locations and the public it serves, whilst meeting our need for high- quality candidates and employees. To ensure this, we will continue to review and evaluate the end-to-end recruitment journey for candidates to ensure that the application process is accessible, fair and inclusive by design rather than by request.

We are creating an Attraction Strategy and plan for 2024 and beyond, which will provide a more expansive platform to reach a wider range of candidates. This will include advertising channels and content, social media and branding, website and media formats as well as language and imagery. We will also work to improve objectivity in our shortlisting and interview processes through improved guidance, training and recruitment materials and to ensure that reasonable adjustments are provided whenever required to ensure candidates can effectively demonstrate their skills and experience.

Improving onboarding

Providing an effective welcome to the GDC is essential for new employees. It gives us an opportunity to introduce them to the culture of the GDC and to ensure they feel valued and included from day one. We are currently developing a comprehensive onboarding and induction process for new colleagues. We will use this as an opportunity to articulate and demonstrate our commitment to EDI, and to embed good practice by explaining our strategy and our legal obligations.

Improving learning and development

We are implementing a new Learning Management System which will provide our employees with the opportunity to enhance their skills and enable us to measure the uptake of learning opportunities. It will allow us to give access to a broader range of learning throughout the employee journey and enable us to accommodate learning approaches to suit different learning styles, while providing fair access to relevant content for all our employees.

Over time, we will build a catalogue of learning and development resources. As part of this, we will develop and launch a continuous EDI learning programme for all colleagues, which will be refreshed annually.

Monitoring our flexible and hybrid working practices

We have successfully implemented and established a hybrid way of working, with most colleagues spending a proportion of their time (at least two days per week) working from GDC offices. With individual and team effectiveness as key considerations, we will continue to monitor and develop our approach, ensuring that it provides equal and appropriate access to opportunities for existing and future staff, and enables our diverse workforce to achieve an appropriate work-life balance, thereby supporting their wellbeing.

Enhancing management and leadership

We will be offering people managers support, equipping them to consider the needs of teams and individuals in relation to a range of factors, including wellbeing, engagement, performance and EDI.

 In addition, we are looking to procure a more responsive and proactive occupational health provider who can provide clearer recommendations and supportive measures for managers to consider when supporting employees with their health and wellbeing. We are also reviewing how we support individuals with disabilities by improving and speeding up the reasonable adjustment process by introducing a reasonable adjustments passport so that line managers continually and effectively review adjustments for employees.

Reviewing pay and reward

Within our change programme we will continue to modernise our reward and benefits proposition. The project includes a review of the benefits available to all colleagues, ensuring that these benefits appeal to colleagues at various stages of their life and career.

‘Total Reward’ will seek to ensure that the GDC’s pay and grading structures are fit for purpose, applied fairly and consistently across the GDC, whilst being fit for the future in terms of attracting and retaining diverse talent. We will review how the different demographics within the GDC are affected by any changes to the pay and grading structure. 

Introduction of a new pay and reward framework provides an opportunity to enhance our understanding of the gender pay gap and identify actions which can help us close it. We will use the impact on the gender pay gap as one of the criteria to help us evaluate options for our new pay and reward framework.

In conjunction with our staff networks, we will also identify and implement actions which can help us address the gender and ethnicity pay gaps by:

  • Enabling roles to be offered as part time/jobshare wherever possible
  • Ensuring that we have a genuine and wide-ranging flexible working offer to new and existing staff
  • Developing improved approaches to talent management and succession planning 
  • Ensuring that our new performance development review process offers all employees a regular conversation with their manager concerning performance, development and career 
  • Developing career pathways and resources to support career progression in the GDC 
  • Monitoring our workforce data to understand factors that impact on gender and ethnicity pay gaps (eg long-term absence from work due to maternity/carers’ leave)
  • Supporting colleagues with improved access to learning and development and coaching and mentoring where this is deemed useful.

Whilst there is currently no requirement to report on ethnicity pay gaps, we will follow the updated guidance from the UK government to identify if the GDC has an ethnicity pay gap, identify probable causes and consider voluntary reporting.

Enhancing people data

We will enhance our monitoring of data relating to colleagues’ protected characteristics so we can report effectively on this across the organisation. We will keep under review the EDI data we capture and make any required changes to ensure it is fit for purpose and aligned to best practice. This includes looking at the breadth of the data we collect to include additional information on areas such as social mobility. 

This will help us to understand and evidence the EDI profile of our staff against key areas such as recruitment, progression, representation in senior roles, sickness and absence, employee turnover, flexible working, length of service, training, employee relations, and pay.