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In 2014, The NHS Equality and Diversity Council took action to ensure employees from black and minority ethnic backgrounds have equal access to career opportunities and receive fair treatment in the workplace. This resulted in the development of the NHS WRES.

NHS studies shows that a motivated, included and valued workforce, helps deliver high quality patient care, increased patient satisfaction and better patient safety.

Ƶ commissioned a scoping review on developing a WRES for Social Care, funded with support from the NHS.

In 2018, Ƶ held a roundtable event, and invited colleagues from across the sector to talk to about race equality. The subsequent report written by Roger Kline and Karen Linde, provided a base line on the state of progress on race equality in the social care sector. The report highlighted the need to improve understanding across the sector on race equality issues. Similarly with the NHS, they identified a need to take focused action to address the experiences of Black and minoritised ethnic workers.


Phase one

The initial phase of the SC-WRES was launched by a programme group including the Chief Social Worker for Adults, Ƶ and the Department for Education. The SC-WRES is a process that organisations can use to address, evidence and make progress in race equality. The SC-WRES Standard comprises nine measurable metrics to examine disparities in race equalities.

After consultation with key stakeholders, phase one of the SC-WRES was tested with 18 local authority sites across England. The local authorities collected data, evaluating their internal policies, process, systems and data against the SC-WRES Metrics. The test sites are also encouraged to engage directly with their workers; to promote anti-racist and anti-discriminatory practice, create safe spaces and will also examine the accuracy of the data that they collect.

The data collected by each test site covers:

  • percentage of staff from ethnic minorities across pay bands compared with the percentage of staff in the rest of the workforce

  • comparative rate of from ethnic minorities being appointed from shortlisting

  • comparative rate of staff from ethnic minorities entering a formal disciplinary process

  • comparative rate of staff from ethnic minorities entering a fitness to practice process

  • comparative rate of staff from ethnic minorities accessing funded non-mandatory CPD

  • percentage of staff from ethnic minorities experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse from service users, relatives or the public in last 12 months

  • percentage of staff from ethnic minorities experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse in the last 12 months from managers, colleagues or senior staff

  • comparative rate of employees from ethnic minorities leaving the organisation during the last year 

  • composition of the organisations’ senior management.

The individual local authority data return was submitted to Ƶ and a report was generated which compiled data from across the 18 test sites, identifying themes and trends. Organisations will be able to demonstrate progress against the nine metrics. There are further measurements planned which will indicate whether action plans are achieving better race equality for staff.

The SC-WRES is committed to sharing the findings of all organisations who have committed to it so that good practice is disseminated. 


Resources and further information

Ƶ CEO, Oonagh Smyth took some time to discuss the implementation of the SC-WRES and what it means for the sector going forward.

Oonagh discusses the launch of the 4 year strategy at Ƶ, and how one of the priorities is supporting culture and diversity within the sector. She also explains how Ƶ became involved with the SC-WRES and the impact that it will have in the years to come.

Duration 4 mins 23 secs


Ƶ Board members Sharon Allen and Munira Thobani took part in a discussion around the journey of creating the SC-WRES.

The discussion focuses on several key areas, including how Ƶ began the overall thinking and aligning of the project, and how data gathering was used as the basis of what will be an important development for the sector.

Duration 19 mins 46 secs


Working within the Workforce Intelligence team at Ƶ, Sarah Davison is the lead analyst on the SC-WRES project. Sarah took some time to discuss her involvement with the SC-WRES and how she used her expertise as a researcher to guide the data collection elements of the project.   

Duration 4 mins 48 secs


We spoke to Anton Emanuel, a Professor at University College and lead on the SC-WRES at NHS England. Anton discusses the reasoning behind creating the SC-WRES and what he considers to be his greatest achievement throughout the process.

Duration 6 mins 12 secs