Race Equality Code

Race Equality Code

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21 June 2023

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent is the first ICB in the country to be awarded the Quality Mark by RSM a leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services.

Alex Brett, Chief People Officer said ‘I am absolutely delighted that the SSOT ICB has achieved the Quality Mark, particularly being the first ICB to be awarded by RSM. This is testament to the hard work put in to the submission to demonstrate real actions and accountability to create change’
This Code, and its Accountability Framework, is designed to provide organisations across all sectors and sizes, with the opportunity to address a very specific challenge …. How to deal with race inequality in the boardroom and senior leadership team.
It is not only a combination of current best practice and thinking around addressing the challenges organisations face in this area, but its unique Drivers provide the refreshing, sometimes radical and uncomfortable solution needed to create lasting and transformational change.
The Code adopts an ‘apply and explain’ approach, meaning organisations are able to describe how, based on their specific circumstances they will achieve the Code’s standards. Adopters are required to carry out a self-assessment against the Code requirements, explaining in a robust, transparent and comprehensive manner the outcomes of their practice. Where a requirement has not been achieved, reasons for non-achievement should be given, supported by intended actions to satisfy the requirements.

In essence, this single Code uniquely provides one set of standards, applicable to every organisation irrespective of size or sector, which has been endorsed, robustly reviewed and is ready for immediate adoption and application
The ICB have adopted the  RACE Equality Code (REC) as a commitment to advancing Race Equality. The REC is a Leadership focused programme developed by Dr Karl George one of the UK’s leading corporate governance experts, and an internationally acclaimed thought leader. Karl is a Partner and Head of Governance at RSM professional services. The ICB had the opportunity to advance Race Equality with the implementation of this robust and comprehensive framework to demonstrate accountability and to bring about meaningful change.
The REC programme is based on two deep dive diagnostic assessments which were completed in January and March 2023. Key ICB Leaders attended both sessions, including Board Chair,  Chief Executive Officer, Chief People Officer, Director of Corporate Governance, Head of ICB People, OD and Inclusion, CSU EDI team,  and Non-Executive Chair of People, Culture and Organisational Development Committee.
Alongside the two assessments a survey was undertaken by the leadership team to start to get an understanding of the culture and leadership empathy, around Race equity and representation of Black, and other ethnic groups on SSoT ICB’s board and in the senior leadership team. There was also a review of how Race equality was embedded into strategic documentation, and a review of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, documentation, and practice.  A Task and Finish Group was set up to review the REC assessment report and to prioritise the resulting actions. This group included a member of the ICB’s Ethnic Diverse Group.
The overall assessment process resulted in a range of short to longer term actions to be delivered over the next 3 years. These actions form a significant part of the ICB’s 2023-2024 Equality Action Plan.

The full Race Equality Code Mark Statement can be found here.