Train the Trainer Approach Driving DEI at
Medical Protection Society
The Medical Protection Society (MPS) is the world’s leading member-owned, not-for-profit protection organisation for doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals.
MPS exists to protect and support the professional interests of almost 300,000 members around the world, helping them to understand and navigate the ongoing challenges of modern practice.
Recently, the organisation chose to build on its established DEI initiatives, investing in third-party expertise from Mildon consultancy to help drive further progress. Rather than adopt Mildon’s typical one-to-many workshop approach, MPS instead decided to work with Mildon on a train-the-trainer basis, enabling MPS’ own leaders to then take the learnings forward.
Andrew Myers, a leadership and culture consultant working inside the MPS, comments: “We work in a caring role within a caring sector, and our organisation reflects that in the sense that much good work has already been done around DEI internally. A colleague-led DEI forum was established in 2020, and we also have a number of inclusive networks that have grown organically. We wanted to build on that awareness and to support our managers in further developing our DEI culture, providing them with a common vocabulary and giving them the confidence to make a difference.
“It was important to us that DEI wasn’t seen simply as an HR concern. Our managers obviously have a big impact - decisions around hiring and rewards and promotions are made by them, not by HR - so it was essential that they were involved first.”
To answer this call, Mildon rolled out its Diversity Includes Everyone training workshop to a select number of Andrew’s MPS colleagues. These colleagues were coached on how to deliver the training themselves, with participants introduced to a broad variety of themes and scenarios. A key starting point in the training is the discussion around what is actually meant by diversity and the need to be representative of the communities that organisations serve or work in. The training typically involves an interactive survey which can be quite eye-opening for participants, revealing how colleagues experience varying degrees of inclusivity. The program then goes into a deep-dive around three areas that can directly impact an inclusive work environment – unconscious bias, privilege and microaggressions. The training concludes with analysis of how DEI aligns with organisational strategy and stated values and how it can help organisations to grow and prosper.
Andrew states: “We have used this train-the-trainer approach previously across important areas such as resilience training and menopause training. It enables us to build on the experience and passion of our leaders and also provides an element of continuity and longevity because our own people are now upskilled and equipped with knowledge and expertise.
“We feel that DEI is the day-to-day responsibility of everyone within the business, so we take the training and then distil that amongst all colleagues across the globe. We have a whole variety of different colleague networks, and they were the first place that we went to. We outlined what we're trying to achieve with Mildon, and explained that we’d like people to be involved and partner us in delivering this out to the organisation. More than anything, we wanted people that felt confident to take that role and we were quick to explain that chosen people didn’t need to be expert in this area.”
Once the trainers were selected, Mildon delivered two sessions for the group to observe and shadow, working together in small teams. During these rehearsal sessions, the Mildon team created a live “best practices” document on the fly, which subsequently informed training delivery for MPS to use in the future. Further follow-up sessions gave everybody an opportunity to ask questions and discuss anything that was worrying them.
“These follow-ups were great because I think many people at that stage were a little bit anxious due to it all being very new,” states Andrew. “The Mildon team really supported everybody through the process rather then saying ‘here are the materials, get on with it.’ For example, Mildon set up a WhatsApp group with the facilitators, so that any questions or concerns could quickly be aired.”
MPS is already seeing a positive impact from its train-the-trainer approach. “Sessions for colleagues are getting booked as soon as they’re announced which is great,” says Andrew. “The feedback coming from sessions is positive. Just as importantly, we're also seeing more colleagues using our academy materials to look for resources on diversity and inclusion.
“Ultimately, awareness is growing and colleagues have more confidence to speak up around DEI related subjects. That’s got to be a good thing for the organisation.”
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