As outlined in ACCP’s Strategic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Plan, ACCP’s Task Force on DEI was impaneled in the fall of 2021 and charged to provide input to the Board of Regents (BOR) on implementation of the DEI plan. The Task Force used the findings from the ACCP Baseline DEI Assessment (accessible by each member within their accp.com account under My Links) to inform the definitions of diversity and underrepresentation used for their work. Of importance, a broad definition of diversity was employed – considering multiple dimensions including, but not limited to, race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, and age, as well as less commonly considered dimensions such as practice area, setting (i.e., academic/nonacademic), and tenure in the organization.
Final Task Force recommendations to the BOR included meaningful changes to PRN policies and practices of which all PRN members and leaders should be aware. These changes focus on program planning, speaker selection, nominations for PRN officers, and nominations for ACCP board and officer positions. Within the PRN handbook, revisions were made to provide guidance on promoting inclusion and representation when planning programming and selecting speakers. Among the revisions to the PRN nominations process, the handbook includes guidance on policies and procedures for nominations of officers to decrease barriers to inclusion and promote representation in leadership. These revisions include changes to the nominations process and candidate submission as well as changes in the number and composition of individuals serving on the PRN Nominations Committee. The committee will need to be composed of at least three people, at least one of whom will be required to complete ACCP DEI training. Candidate statements should include some focus on DEI and/or health equity. Revised policies and procedures for the ACCP Nominations Committee were made to encourage promotion/nomination of individuals from underrepresented groups. This detailed procedure includes increased emphasis on each PRN nominating at least one member for one of the elected offices each year.
PRNs are the lifeblood of ACCP and the most common entry point for leadership. According to the baseline DEI assessment administered in June 2021, students, trainees, and members in the 0- to 5-year category are significantly more diverse than members in the greater than 5-year category. This representation is reason for optimism and urgency. Ensuring an inclusive organizational culture to allow underrepresented members to find value and opportunities for service and leadership throughout their membership is among ACCP’s goals. The diversity of PRN leadership more closely mirrors the diversity of the profession than the diversity of the ACCP BOR. Implementation of the DEI Task Force recommendations within PRNs is one active step to move ACCP toward the established DEI goals outlined in the ACCP Strategic DEI Plan.