Discrimination, Bullying and Sexual Harassment Survey, Expert Advisory Group advising the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

Wed, 03 Jun 2015

Dear Fellows, Trainees and International Medical Graduates (IMGs),

As you know the College is actively responding to recent reports of discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment in the health sector. As Chair of the independent Expert Advisory Group (EAG) which has been established by the College to examine these issues, I am writing to seek your assistance in completing a survey that will provide valuable information on the prevalence of this behaviour in workplaces.

The questions asked in this survey relate to your own experience and the experiences of others in being subjected to and responding to discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment in your workplaces. The survey has been designed to assist the EAG in gaining an overall perspective of the experiences of Fellows, Trainees and IMGs; training and education currently in place in health services; and importantly how the College can better address and develop resources to deal with this behaviour. Even if you have not personally experienced discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment your participation in the survey is still extremely valuable as it will ensure that a diverse and accurate representative sample is obtained.

Independent Survey
An independent company, Best Practice Australia (BPA), has been engaged to conduct the survey and compile the results - this ensures all participants that personal and organisational information will remain completely confidential and anonymous. If you want to view BPA's Privacy and Confidentiality policy, visit Information provided in this survey should therefore be general, please refrain from mentioning any names, or identifying characteristics of any individuals or organisations. The survey results will be used to formulate an independent and completely de-identified report which will inform the strategic recommendations of the EAG. The final report will be made available to all Fellows, Trainees and IMGs of the College upon completion.

Confidential Support
The EAG and the College recognise the sensitivity associated with these issues and that participation in this survey may be uncomfortable or distressing for individuals. The College encourages anyone who requires assistance to contact Converge International who provides confidential support to surgeons and their family members. This can be for any personal or work related matter. Converge counsellors are experienced in working with individuals in the medical profession.

Support is confidential and private
Four free sessions per calendar year are offered
Assistance can be provided face to face, via telephone or online
Services are available throughout Australia and New Zealand
How to contact Converge International:
Telephone 1300 687 327 in Australia or 0800 666 367 in New Zealand
Identify yourself as Fellow, Trainee or IMG of RACS
Appointments are available from 8:30am to 6:00pm Mon-Fri (excluding public holiday)
24/7 Emergency telephone counselling is available
Your help in completing this survey will be invaluable to building a representative picture of the effects of discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment and its consequences. The overall aim of the EAG and the College in engaging in this survey and other processes is to develop more effective strategies aimed at preventing instances of discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment. It is our hope that this will ensure that surgeons and all health professionals have access to appropriate support and that every workplace is both an equitable and inclusive environment.

Thank you once again for your assistance. Please complete your survey by Tuesday 9th June 2015.

Hon. Rob Knowles AO
Chair, EAG

Dr. Helen Szoke
Deputy Chair, EAG