Discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment Action Plan
The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) has launched an Action Plan (Media release,
PDF 115KB) to address discrimination, bullying and sexual
harassment in the practice of surgery.
The November 2015 Action Plan (PDF 1.05MB) details a
comprehensive, multi-year program of work designed to promote
respect, counter discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment in
the practice of surgery, and improve patient safety.
It translates the recommendations of the College's Expert Advisory Group (EAG) into
work that will be prioritised and phased. RACS will be reporting
publicly each year on what has been done, and what has been
In March 2015 the College established the Expert Advisory Group
(EAG) to advise how to deal with discrimination, bullying and
sexual harassment (DBSH) across the health sector.
In September 2015 the EAG delivered its final
report, reflecting the findings and feedback from five major
pieces of quantitative, qualitative and organisational research.
The College accepted the EAG recommendations in full and issued an
The November 2015 Action Plan shows RACS' commitment to dealing
with unacceptable behaviours; strengthening surgical education and
training; and reshaping the culture of surgery on foundations of
collaboration and respect. With long-term and comprehensive action,
we will improve patient safety in the practice of surgery.
The Action Plan will bring significant, but necessary changes to
the culture of the health workplace and surgical training and
- Cultural change and leadership
- Surgical education
- Complaints management.
Respect and collaboration will underpin RACS work.
The RACS Action Plan sets eight goals, so the College can
monitor its progress and make sure that its actions make a
- Goal 1 - Build a culture of respect and collaboration in
surgical practice and education
- Goal 2 - Respecting the rich history of the surgical
profession, advance the culture of surgical practice so there is no
place for discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment
- Goal 3 - Build and foster relationships of trust, confidence
and cooperation on DBSH issues with employers, governments and
their agencies in all jurisdictions
- Goal 4 - Embrace diversity and foster gender equity
- Goal 5 - Increase transparency, independent scrutiny and
external accountability in College activities
- Goal 6 - Improve the capability of all surgeons involved in
surgical education to provide effective surgical education based on
the principles of respect, transparency and professionalism
- Goal 7 - Train all Fellows, Trainees and International Medical
Graduates to build and consolidate professionalism
- Goal 8 - Revise and strengthen RACS complaints management
process, increasing external scrutiny and demonstrating best
practice complaints management that is transparent, robust and
Read more about the
Action Plan goals and related projects for 2016 (PDF 68KB).
RACS is a medical college with a long history of upholding high
surgical standards and making positive contributions to the
profession and the community.
This Action Plan outlines how the College will promote respect,
and counter discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment.