BMA guidance

Racial harassment charter for medical schools

Learn how to implement the BMA charter against racial harassment in your medical school

Location: UK
Audience: Medical academics
Updated: Tuesday 18 October 2022
Topics: Discrimination and harassment
Discrimination crossed out circle illustration

What you will get from this guidance

  • A charter for medical schools to prevent and address racial harassment
  • Guidance on how to implement the charter in your medical school
  • Supportive case studies, testimonials from students, and a glossary on what constitutes racial harassment


Who has signed up

Thank you to the below schools who have committed to the charter.

List of schools
  • Aberdeen
  • Anglia Ruskin
  • Aston
  • Barts and London
  • Belfast
  • Birmingham
  • Brighton and Sussex
  • Bristol
  • Buckingham
  • Cambridge
  • Cardiff
  • Dundee
  • Edinburgh
  • Exeter
  • Glasgow
  • Hull York
  • Imperial
  • Keele
  • Kent and Medway
  • King's College London
  • Lancaster
  • Leeds
  • Leicester
  • Lincoln
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester
  • Newcastle
  • Norwich
  • Nottingham
  • Oxford
  • Plymouth
  • Sheffield
  • Southampton
  • St Andrews
  • St Georges
  • Sunderland
  • Swansea
  • UCL
  • Ulster
  • Warwick

How to use this guidance

We have listened to BAME medical students’ experiences of racial harassment and undermining behaviours, and know that it can be hard for them to know what to do and who to talk to about it.

In response, we developed this charter for medical schools which sets out clear standards, including support and training on how to respond when such behaviour is seen or experienced.

Joint statement on medical curricula

The UK’s medical curricula must reflect the diversity of our population.

Read statement

We are committed to ensuring medical education is inclusive, diverse and actively tackles discrimination. We support calls for course materials in medical education to include ethnically diverse examples of cases. This is essential to prepare students for the diversity of patients they will treat in their careers and to prevent inequalities or discrimination in healthcare provision.

We are delighted at the GMC’s announcement that it will be working with the Medical Schools Council to develop further guidance for medical schools on including ethnically diverse examples in the curriculum. The BMA has written to the GMC and the Medical Schools Council offering to support this work and asking what more they can do to ensure every medical school is teaching a curriculum that properly reflects ethnic diversity in the patient population.

We are also working to improve equality, diversity and inclusion in medical education by encouraging all medical schools to sign up to and implement the BMA’s racial harassment charter to prevent racial harassment in medical schools and on work placements. The charter is clear that medical schools must embed equality, diversity and inclusion values throughout all aspects of their medical education. It is critical that support for the Black Lives Matter movement is backed by tangible action to remove inequalities in medical education.

This statement is co-signed by:

  • African Caribbean Medical Mentors
  • Black Medical Society
  • Melanin Medics
  • King’s College London African Caribbean Medical Society

2022 Racial harassment charter review

This review presents a summary of medical schools’ progress to implement the BMA racial harassment charter.

Read the review


  • A charter for medical schools to prevent and address racial harassment
  • Supporting individuals to speak out
  • A case study from BWE Bristol University
  • Processes for reporting and handling complaints
  • Mainstreaming equality, diversity and inclusion across the learning environment
  • A case study from Cardiff University School of Medicine
  • Addressing racial harassment on work placements
  • Legal obligations
  • A case study from St George's University School of Medicine
  • Glossary