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Authority statement on concerns expressed about regulators' stance on transgender issues

We are committed to promoting a fair and inclusive culture, both within our workplace and in our work overseeing the 10 health and care regulators and the Accredited Registers. As such, we fully support the rights of transgender individuals and professionals to gain full recognition of their acquired gender and to live their lives free from discrimination. We recognise that transgender people still face many forms of discrimination today.

We have recently been made aware of concerns regarding a regulator’s stance on transgender issues. Our response is below, along with further information regarding our process for assessing the regulators.

We assess the regulators’ performance against our Standards of Good Regulation. Standard three requires regulators to understand the diversity of its registrants and their patients and service users, and to ensure that its processes do not impose inappropriate barriers or otherwise disadvantage people with protected characteristics, which includes both gender reassignment and sex.

We are committed to listening to individuals’ experiences of the regulators as part of our assessment of the regulators’ performance and we take concerns about public protection issues seriously. We do not have the power to investigate complaints or to compel a regulator to take any action about a concern we receive. However, we can use the concerns we receive to ask questions of the regulators to inform our performance review work.

In making policy decisions, we expect regulators to take account of relevant evidence and the requirements of equality and human rights law. Where the law is complex this might require them to consider providing additional guidance to ensure that practitioners fully understand their rights and responsibilities, and that patients’ and service users’ rights are respected. We will look at how the regulators have done this through our performance reviews.