College leads the way with values-based approach

Our President Dr Adrian James and Chief Executive Paul Rees last week addressed the presidents of all the other UK Medical Royal Colleges, at a virtual meeting, about the transformation of the RCPsych that has been driven by the adoption of a values-based approach.

Since rolling out the College values of Courage, Innovation, Respect, Collaboration, Learning and Excellence in April 2018 we have transformed the culture of the organisation.

The adoption of the values was led on by the then President Professor Wendy Burn, along with Paul, and was championed by former RCPsych President, the late Dame Fiona Caldicott – who invited Paul to visit her at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, for a discussion about how to put values at the heart of the College, with her earlier having introduced a values-based approach at the trust.

Since adopting the values, we have made the promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion an organisational priority – and now celebrate Pride, Black History Month, International Women’s Day and South Asian History Month, as well as having published a radical and ambitious Equality Action Plan in January this year.

We have also made membership experience a priority – and during the pandemic rapidly migrated all services online, going on to deliver the biggest webinar programme of all the colleges, with 93,000 member views since March 2020.

In addition, we have digitised our MRCPsych examination, with just under 4,000 candidates sitting the various parts of our exam from their homes – which has enabled trainees to move into national recruitment at the same time as staying safe by adhering to social distancing protocols.

We have also run the successful Choose Psychiatry campaign – which has led to 100% of core psychiatric training places being filled across the UK for the first time.

Since embedding the values, we have started to win major awards including the Charity of the Year in the European Diversity Awards in 2019, and a key leadership award and Campaign of the Year Award in the ‘memcom’ UK membership awards last year.

Adrian, who has been a keen supporter of the values ever since their introduction, said:

“Rolling out a values-based approach at the College has been transformational – leading to a culture that is far more inclusive, empowering and enabling.
“As the first Medical Royal College to put values at the heart of the way we do our work, we are very happy to share our learnings with the other UK Medical Royal Colleges – and I’m very pleased to say that a number of colleges have said they have been inspired by our approach, with a number of them already coming to us for advice.
“Dame Fiona Caldicott was a giant of psychiatry, and wider medicine, and I am so pleased that she was an early supporter of the roll out of the College values.”
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