We are committed to creating an environment for members, staff and the public that is as accessible and inclusive as possible and advocating on behalf of people living with disabilities.

This means embedding our focus on disability into every aspect of our culture as a college so that we can fully live out our value of Respect, promote diversity and challenge inequalities.

Supporting members and staff

Some of the actions we are taking in this area include: 

  • Making reasonable adjustments wherever possible to remove or reduce any disadvantage for members and staff with a disability.
  • RCPsych signed up to the Disability Confident Employer Scheme, which encourages employers to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people. We achieved Level 2 status in June 2022.
  • Making changes at our head office to greater respect diversity. The recent refurbishment of the London headquarters includes enhanced accessibility, hearing loops for hearing impaired who may be attending on-site events and full wheelchair access.
  • In 2022 we carried out an independent Disability Access Audit which highlighted the college was compliant in all areas. This identified 24 areas for improvement which we will complete in 2023.
  • A review of accessibility at other UK offices, which resulted in relocating to new premises in the South-West and putting in place arrangements in Edinburgh.
  • The College carries out almost 400 events every year, both online and face to face at our own or other venues. We now ask all event attendees if they have any accessibility requirements and do our best to accommodate them wherever possible.
  • We provide the ReachDeck/BrowseAloud tool on our website for people with vision or language difficulties, alongside other functions supporting improved website accessibility. 
  • We actively encourage members and staff to share data on protected characteristics, including disability, and use this to inform decision making and actions.
  • We have Faculties (Neuropsychiatry and Intellectual Disability) and Special Interest Groups (SIGs)/Champions to help improve knowledge and develop policy to promote the wellbeing of people with neurodiverse conditions or disabilities. 
  • We make reasonable adjustments to our examinations for candidates with disabilities or other needs that are not inconsistent with the practice of Psychiatry. Typically, these might be for candidates with dyslexia, hearing impairments or restricted mobility and we are looking at what more we can do for neurodiverse candidates. We also have information on adjustments/support for pregnant and nursing mothers.
  • We have considered and are acting on suggestions from Autistic doctors for accommodations at Congress and other college events to be more inclusive.
  • We provide learning resources for medical students, trainees and psychiatrists in intellectual disability psychiatry and neuropsychiatry.
  • We have created a member working group, representative of people with lived experience of physical and mental health disability, as well as neurodiversity, to consider how to improve workplace experiences of members with both visible and invisible disabilities.
  • We encourage involvement from doctors with disabilities in our diversity events including International Day of People with Disabilities and Autism Acceptance week and have shared blogs and videos.
  • We have our Wellbeing Hub and Psychiatrists’ Support Service, where we also have a specific helpsheet on Dealing with Exams and are in the process of creating further resources specific for doctors with a disability.
  • We have the You are not alone podcast series, which includes an episode on doctors with disabilities that was created by the PTC.
  • We provide educational and clinical supervisor level support within deaneries.
  • We offer full end-to-end mental health support to all our employees through an external service, covering issues such as depression, anxiety and self-esteem. This service covers mild-to-moderate and moderate-to-severe mental health concerns.
  • We expanded our disability training opportunities for employees in 2022 and now offer compulsory disability awareness training for line managers and the HR team which is available to all employees. We also offer courses on intellectual disability and autism and support participation in workshops such as Stonewall’s Reflecting and Understanding LGBTQ+ People with Disabilities.
  • We regularly review and update our policies, procedures and guidance to support an inclusive and diverse workplace that is free from discrimination. We are currently developing guidance on employment opportunities for individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities.
  • We have created an accessibility checklist to support staff in event preparation and provide guidance for both face-to-face and online events.
  • We launched our first work experience programme in partnership with the Disability Confident Employer scheme in 2022. The scheme saw the College deliver work placements for 8 school pupils with neurodiverse and other disabilities. This will now be an annual programme.
  • We have launched a new staff disability forum open to everyone. This will provide a space for decision-makers to come to for consultation on policies that affect all staff, as well as providing a place for staff to seek out community and support on matters concerning disability and advocate for education around disability within the College.

Blog posts relating to disability