Anti-racism action plan


NHS Providers has made a public commitment to become an actively anti-racist organisation. We create an organisational culture where all our people feel safe, valued and can achieve their potential. We lead by example to support our members to make progress on race equality and we use our profile and influence to make a difference in wider society.

Our anti-racism statement explains why we have embarked on this journey and where we have got to so far. It sets out the detail behind our five specific commitments to:

The anti-racism statement is underpinned by this cross-organisational race equality action plan, setting out the specific actions we are taking to ensure our commitments become reality for each of our four strategic objectives – influence, voice, support and excellent organisation. Beneath this organisational action plan sit more detailed action plans for each team. All of this, together with our organisational values which include a commitment to inclusion, ensures that race equality is fully embedded in everything we do.

Holding ourselves to account

It is key that we have in place a robust plan for measuring our progress and holding ourselves to account against the commitments we have made. We begin by conducting a thorough gap analysis of our processes and improve our collection and use of key data and indicators to better understand our current position, establish baselines and set clear targets. This is a critical step in ensuring our actions lead to demonstrable improvement, and is an essential part of being rigorous, transparent and serious in our effort.

The actions set out in this plan are those that have been identified as year 1 priorities to ensure we have the key building blocks in place for change. Priorities will be amended as we progress, learn and review and actions for the longer term become clearer.

The executive team will carry out a formal six monthly review – both in relation to specific team plans and against this organisational action plan. This will be reported to the board sub-group on race equality for detailed oversight and to the full board for discussion and approval. The board and director team will also build into their annual agendas specific opportunities for reflection and review of the progress being made in leading the organisation to becoming anti-racist.

The process of review will include:

The NHS Providers board of trustees has ultimate responsibility for holding the organisation to account for delivering against its anti-racist ambitions, as well as a specific role in embedding anti-racism into its own structures, processes and decision making. The director team will support the board to fulfil these obligations and will itself hold the organisation to account for the implementation of this action plan. Recognising the lack of racial diversity* within the director team at the moment, they will seek advice, support and challenge from the independent race advisors, RECI and the wider staff group.

Excellent organisation

To create a culture in which all our people feel safe, valued and supported and able to achieve their maximum potential, where all our systems and processes reflect our commitment to race equality.



Measures of success

We have a culture of inclusive leadership, with leaders at all levels proactively and authentically demonstrating their commitment to our anti-racist ambitions.

Commission and roll out inclusive leadership training to all managers, starting with the senior management team (SMT), to ensure staff are equipped with the knowledge, understanding and self-awareness to be inclusive leaders.


Ensure our race equality and cultural inclusion group (RECI) has appropriate organisational support, a strong two-way dialogue with SMT and that all staff are aware of the safe space provided by the group.


Establish and communicate appropriate processes and policies to ensure that any concerns and complaints are dealt with robustly and transparently, including the development of a whistleblowing policy.


Review all policies to ensure their impact on ethnic minority staff has been considered.


Organise board development sessions to ensure trustees are in a position to hold the organisation to account against its anti-racist commitments and reflect these ambitions in its own decision making.


Ensure trustees have an annual opportunity to reflect on progress – both as a board and as individuals.

Inclusive leadership training has been completed by all the SMT and line managers.


RECI further embedded into the organisation with members of the group sufficiently supported, links to SMT and the director sponsor established and staff aware of the safe space the group provides.


Annual staff survey, pulse surveys and other appropriate indicators evidence that senior managers are demonstrating inclusive leadership behaviours, with scores improving year on year.


Evidence of regular communication to staff and training (for instance in the induction pack) about the processes and policies for dealing with complaints and concerns about discrimination.


Annual staff survey, pulse surveys, feedback from RECI, staff 1-2-1s and performance management discussions demonstrate improvements in the experience of ethnic minority staff members and increased confidence across the organisation in talking about race and ethnicity.


Review of policies completed and changes made to take account of their impact on ethnic minority staff.


Annual stocktake of agendas, papers and discussions at the board, and quarterly for directors and SMT to evidence progress in embedding race into our decision making.

A fair and inclusive recruitment process which reflects our commitment to race equality and successfully attracts, appoints and retains diverse talent.

Develop a robust plan to increase the diversity of the staff team as a whole and to ensure the diversity of our SMT matches the diversity of our staff team within three years.


End to end review of our recruitment processes to identify where further work needs to be done to ensure consistency, fairness, and transparency and to eliminate race discrimination.


Only use agencies and platforms that are demonstrably committed to EDI and take proactive steps to support and shortlist diverse applicants.


Ensure our recruitment materials reflect our commitment to race equality.


Review information from exit interviews and feedback from ethnic minority applicants following recruitment processes.


Review the trustee election process to encourage greater diversity in candidates and voting preferences.

We can evidence having taken proactive steps to increase the diversity of the staff team and SMT and that we are on track to achieve the target by the end of year 3.


Review of recruitment processes completed with agreed areas for improvement and baseline data to monitor diversity at every stage of the process.


Data and feedback from ethnic minority applicants and leavers regularly reviewed and used to inform future improvement plans.


Plans in place for the next round of board elections and steps taken to increase the diversity of candidates and voting preferences.

There is a fully inclusive approach to learning and development opportunities and in the implementation of talent and performance management strategies.

End to end review our development and talent management policy and processes to ensure they are fair, robust, consistently applied and transparent, identifying where further work needs to be done.


Review what learning and development opportunities are available and provide clear and transparent information to staff, with a particular focus on ethnic minority staff.


Benchmark development opportunities available across the staff group and where disparity exists between white and ethnic minority staff, establish initiatives in collaboration with and specifically for ethnic minority staff.


Equip senior managers with the data they need to track access to learning and development opportunities, progression through the organisation and onwards career progression for ethnic minority staff in comparison with their white colleagues.

Robust policies and processes in place which reflect best practice in inclusive talent management.


Staff survey feedback shows ethnic minority staff have increased satisfaction scores on access to development opportunities.


Data is available and regularly reviewed to identify and remove any inequities in access to learning and development opportunities (including access to the learning and development budget).

Selection of suppliers/partners and ways of working follow EDI best practice and reflect our commitment to race equality.

Develop a clear and robust procurement policy which ensures a focus on race equality in the selection of partners/suppliers.


Review our major partnerships to ensure they share our race equality commitments.

Annual internal audit provides assurance that our procurement policy has been meaningfully followed and that our key partnerships reflect our anti-racist ambitions.


Feedback from partners/suppliers on their experience of the organisation in relation to race equality.

A culture of learning and reflection established to focus on race equality and anti-racism.

Introduce annual mandatory training for all, relevant to each role, to ensure awareness and continuous learning on race equality and anti-racism.


Make resources available and ensure staff are encouraged and enabled to set aside time for self-learning and reflection.

Specific training programme rolled out to staff.


Evidence of team and individual time allocated to learning and reflection on race equality and anti-racism, including in 1:1 meetings and as a standing item on team agendas and embedded into the annual performance management process.

We collect and regularly review staff and member data to assess our progress in becoming an actively anti-racist organisation

Review our current staff and member diversity data and agree what additional information we need to collect and how.


Establish baselines against which we will measure our performance in delivering our anti-racist commitments.


Agree how we will review and refine our data sets over time to reflect both our ongoing ambitions on race equality and the wider EDI agenda.

New approach to data collection agreed and undertaken.


Dashboard agreed for key staff and member data to enable us to track progress and assess impact.


To reflect and promote race equality in our policy, analysis and public affairs work and external messaging so that our influencing work holds greater value for members, patients and the public.



Measures of success

Our influencing wins and influencing activity reflect the aims of NHS Providers' anti-racism statement.

Ensure our influencing priorities reflect our commitment to race equality.


All portfolio leads/sub-teams to review work plans and identify how they will incorporate a race equality focus.


Hold a team development session to analyse up to four pieces of work and rewrite the project plans with tackling race equality in mind; share findings with RECI for review and comment.

Greater ability to identify and make use of policy influencing opportunities on race equality; evidence of proactive challenge/intervention and of shifting the dial in the national NHS narrative.


6-monthly performance report demonstrates progress against influencing priorities on race equality.


Directorate and team work plans explicitly reflect our focus on race equality.

More in-depth insights on the views of our membership and any differences between ethnic minority board members and their white counterparts; our roundtables reflect a diverse set of voices.

Review member survey methodology, taking into account expert guidance, and make recommendations about changes to categorise race and other protected characteristics, as appropriate.


Ensure our roundtables engage a diversity of members.

Member and stakeholder surveys show greater recognition of our policy work on race equality.


Greater diversity of voices reflected from within our membership. Diversity of member views and voices directly informing our policy positions has been tracked and improved.

Our policy outputs are reflective of the aims of NHS Providers' anti-racism statement. Build race equality into policy development process; complete end to end review of particular projects through a race equality lens to identify learning for future. Look back review of work demonstrates that race equality has been considered in all policy outputs and the development of all policy positions.
We engage with a broader range of stakeholders and we promote anti-racism messages to all of our stakeholders.  Ensure stakeholder engagement programme reflects our commitment to race equality.

Demonstrable, increased diversity and EDI focus in our stakeholder relationships.


Evidence we are proactively approached by stakeholders for input to EDI policy development.


Our stakeholder perceptions research finds that stakeholders believe we are making progress in our journey to become an anti-racist organisation.



To promote and celebrate race equality through all our activities and outputs, as an exemplar, an advocate and champion.



Measures of success

Our written outputs, podcasts and videos reflect our commitment to race equality and enhance our reputation as an organisation prepared to speak out and act on race equality issues.

Using key questions as a prompt, build consideration of race equality into the planning/creation phase of outputs .


Using a checklist of outputs, review content to ensure alignment with our organisational priority of being actively anti-racist.

Outputs benchmarked, tracked and reviewed on a quarterly basis to assess progress and where we could have been more vocal and proactive when discussing race, consulting RECI where appropriate.
Diverse range of contributors to all outputs (blogs, podcasts, reports, videos, panels, social media) and more diverse spokespeople. Develop a more diverse range of contributors and spokespeople – bringing a richer range of perspectives and experiences to our outputs.

Contributors recorded and benchmarked to ensure we have a more diverse bank of authors (internal and external).


More diverse spokespeople with expertise and authority (in line with the increasing diversity of our senior management team).

Imagery reflects diversity and commitment to race equality.

Ensure that imagery/photography/video stock content is authentic, appropriate, and any commissioned projects are briefed and executed appropriately.


Ensure our website development includes diverse imagery and content.

Better visibility of people from ethnic minorities, highlighting their role, value and contribution to the NHS and NHS Providers.


New website includes images and content which clearly demonstrates the diversity of NHS Providers and reflects our focus on race equality.

Media activity targeted to more diverse outlets. Add more diverse outlets to our media list. Ensure effective tracing through our evaluation platform. We've successfully reached a wider range of outlets and have relationships in place with a more diverse range of journalists from more diverse outlets.


To ensure our programmes and support offers have race equality embedded from the outset; and to support members to do the same.



Measures of success

Programmes have a focus on race equality embedded from the outset. Build race equality considerations into our project initiation discussions and documentation. Race equality clearly reflected in all of our programme initiation activities and outcomes. 
Scoping findings reflect the views of a range of ethnic minority board members and fully consider how race impacts the support offer topic . Ensure diversity in representation and format of member engagement as programmes are scoped. Scoping phase look back and data demonstrates that a race equality lens has been applied where appropriate, with learnings shared with other teams.

Programme outputs are aligned in messaging, tone and engagement with our race equality programme and the themes in our antiracism statement. 


Race equality content is effectively embedded into existing support offers including our NED and executive induction programme.

Meetings with funders to ensure we understand their perspective on race and are assured we are aligned. 


Supporting questions developed to help guide the development of new content with a race lens for all new programmes and existing support offers.

Contracted deliverables/KPIs and evaluation metrics reflect relevant race outcomes and our anti-racism commitment.


Regular review meetings evidence that race equality as a topic is embedded into programme content and agendas and reflected in our marketing materials.

Our events have a diverse range of speakers and facilitators including our core board development offer, our networks, our conferences and roundtables.

Establish an ethnic minority speaker tracker to monitor diversity, proactively build our relationships and co-ordinate our engagement.


Increase the diversity and representation of ethnic minority leaders across our network of trainers, speakers and facilitators.

An up-to-date database of diverse speakers interested in contributing to programmes shared and actively used across the organisation. 

We have more diverse trainers, speakers and facilitators, and this is reflected on our website and in our promotional materials.

Our approach to evaluation enables us to learn and evaluate how we are embedding race equality into our work.

Review and agree how we will include questions on race and diversity as part of our evaluation approach and analysis.

Programme evaluation includes race across relevant indicators, with learning shared across the organisation and externally including with other public sector organisations.

*References to race are as defined under the Equality Act 2010 and include colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin