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Any GDC registrants on here?

(13 Posts)
Signalbox Thu 05-Nov-20 14:12:50

I know this is a bit of a niche request but are there any General Dental Council (GDC) registrants on here that would like to make a bit of a fuss about the GDC's equality and diversity data collection? Last year there was a new question on the equality and diversity questionnaire that is completed at annual renewal...

Is your gender identity the same as the gender you were assigned at birth?

So I did an FOI request asking the following questions:

1. What definition of “gender identity” is the GDC using for the purposes of the gender identity question?
2. What do the GDC mean by the term “gender you were assigned at birth”? Is this the same as the sex recorded on your birth certificate?
3. What purpose do the GDC have for collecting data relating to registrants’ “gender identity” when this is not a protected characteristic according to the Equality Act 2010?
4. Who advised the GDC on the wording of the “gender identity” question? Neither “gender” nor “gender identity” are protected characteristics according to the Equality Act, so the wording must have come from somewhere else. I am interested to know how the phrasing/wording of this question has come about?
5. Why have the GDC decided not to collect data relating to the protected characteristics of “sex” and “gender reassignment” for equality monitoring purposes?
6. How does the GDC monitor equality and diversity relating to the protected characteristics of “sex” and “gender reassignment” if there are no questions asked about these characteristics? For example, how does the GDC intend to guard against “sex” discrimination if they are not collecting data relating to people’s sex? How does the GDC intend to guard against discrimination against registrants who have undergone/are undergoing “gender reassignment”?

This is the GDC's response...

We recognise that the terminology used in conjunction with equality monitoring is regularly changing and evolving. An important part of the GDC’s Equality and Diversity strategy is undertaking a review of what data we need to collect to support our regulatory work to ensure we are an inclusive organisation for patients, the dental teams we regulate, and GDC employees. The existing strategy is currently being reviewed in time for its replacement in 2021.

Turning to your request, we do not have a record of the advice received at the time the monitoring questionnaire was created about any of the terms used. The term ‘gender you were assigned at birth’ used within the questionnaire refers to the biological sex recorded on the registrant’s birth certificate.

The GDC’s purpose in collecting data relating to registrants’ ‘gender identity’ is to assist us with monitoring and reporting on the levels of diversity among registrants who choose to provide this information. The information provided in the monitoring questionnaire is reviewed and reported on to ensure the way the GDC regulates, the policies it develops, and service it provides are inclusive and representative.

One of the reasons why an organisation might choose to collect information in relation to ‘gender identity’ is to ensure they understand the impact of policies and procedures and do not discriminate against someone where their gender identity is different from the gender assigned when they were born.

Anyway I've replied again asking for a review as they didn't really answer my questions very satisfactorily but it appears from their reply that they are currently reviewing their Equality and Diversity strategy and I am wondering if it might be worth making a bit of fuss now before it is published.

OP’s posts: |
334bu Thu 05-Nov-20 14:32:12

Might also be worth pointing out that they don't have the legal right under the GRA to ask people who are pursuing gender reassignment to out themselves.

Signalbox Thu 05-Nov-20 14:36:46

I think there is a “prefer not to answer” option so you wouldn’t have to out yourself.

OP’s posts: |
gardenbird48 Thu 05-Nov-20 14:38:20

I can't help you with the CDC registration but definitely think it is worth making a fuss before they finalise their strategy.

You could address the legal issues here and mention that they may expose themselves to risk of prosecution under the EA2010 if they are not monitoring the protected characteristics properly (and end up discriminating against people) and there may be GDPR issues with requesting and holding information that isn't relating to a protected characteristic. Feminist Current is a useful legal resource for this sort of thing I think and there are old threads on here that discuss data gathering and equalities monitoring.

Also if they are using unclear terminology (gender assigned at birth) to replace what they actually mean (sex recorded at birth), why are they not asking for sex recorded at birth - they shouldn't be coy about asking for the data they need to comply with the law.

How will they deal with you if you haven't got a gender identity?

Signalbox Thu 05-Nov-20 16:08:54

Thanks for your reply gardenbird I will have a look at Feminist Current.

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Kit19 Thu 05-Nov-20 16:17:45

sorry I shouldnt laugh but you can tell from that word salad response that they havent thought very deeply about it at all. You can imagine the "oh shit" feeling when your email popped up

honestly though what is wrong with these organisations? in actually shows how little thought they give to equality and diversity. They just think if they chuck enough "inclusive" words into an E&D policy that's good enough because after all it's only E&D and doesnt really matter....

MaudTheInvincible Thu 05-Nov-20 16:27:20

One of the reasons why an organisation might choose to collect information in relation to ‘gender identity’ is to ensure they understand the impact of policies and procedures and do not discriminate against someone where their gender identity is different from the gender assigned when they were born.

Didn't they answer why they chose not to ask for data on the two protected characteristics, OP? How do they propose to ensure there is no discrimination taking place against people with those characteristics if they're not collecting that data? Don't they have a legal obligation to do so?

Signalbox Thu 05-Nov-20 16:33:13

Honestly Kit I'm hoping my email was a bit of a bother to respond to. It did take them twice as long as it should have to respond. And you are right it's such a word salad. They can't even define "gender identity" but then go on to say how important it is to collect information about it. Also they must know where the terminology has come from, these things don't just materialise from nowhere! And their Equality and Diversity strategy doesn't even mention "gender identity" it just lists the 9 protected characteristics in the Equality Act. I've asked for them to review the request because they haven't really answered my questions so I'll have to wait and see what they come up with next smile

OP’s posts: |
Signalbox Thu 05-Nov-20 16:35:33

Didn't they answer why they chose not to ask for data on the two protected characteristics, OP? How do they propose to ensure there is no discrimination taking place against people with those characteristics if they're not collecting that data? Don't they have a legal obligation to do so?

Nope they didn't answer that question either. What is posted above is their reply in its entirety (bar the bit that tells me how I complain if I am not satisfied.)

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sultanasofa Thu 05-Nov-20 18:17:12

Well done on submitting this FOI request.

Very unsatisfactory answers from the GDC

Are the GDC a Stonewall champion, by any chance?

Signalbox Thu 05-Nov-20 18:29:36

Are the GDC a Stonewall champion, by any chance?

Not according to the Stonewall website. And no mention of stonewall on the GDC website.

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MaudTheInvincible Thu 05-Nov-20 19:09:38

They sound like their equality and diversity dept are incompetent at best.

Signalbox Thu 05-Nov-20 19:39:42

I've done a bit of fishing around and I wonder if I've found the culprits...

The GDC's 2017 Annual Report refers to one of their partners (UK Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group (UKIED) in relation to their EDI strategy.

According to their website UKIED is "an established, discreet, specialist equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) company that provides a range of confidential stand-alone training workshops and consultancy support services"

Interestingly the UKIED list all their members on their web page and guess who else is a member... The Royal College of Policing!

ukied.co.uk/ukied-national-equality-diversity-network-group/

OP’s posts: |

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