Creating a fairer Britain
The Equality Act came into force on 1 October 2010. Some of the information on this page may be out of date.
The Disability Rights Commission launched a Formal Investigation (FI) in May 2006 looking at the barriers people with impairments and long-term health conditions face in trying to pursue careers in teaching, nursing and social work across Great Britain.
The report into the investigation, Maintaining Standards: Promoting Equality, published in September 2007, concluded that disabled people often face barriers to entry and progression throughout large parts of the public sector. It also found that the mass of regulations and guidance which govern health do nothing to protect the public, whilst often deterring people from applying or remaining in these professions.
The report recommended the repeal of the statutory requirement for 'good health' or 'fitness' of professionals. It said that they should be replaced by a robust framework of professional competence and conduct standards, which it felt was the best way to achieve both protection of the public and the aspirations of disabled people to make their contribution to British life.
You can download a copy of the summary report and the full report from the links on the right of this page. Information about the process of the investigation can be found below.
The Disability Rights Commission became part of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in October 2007.
The DRC's formal investigation into fitness standards in social work, nursing and teaching professions: Report on the call for evidence (September 2007)
Analysis of the statutory and regulatory frameworks and cases relating to fitness standards in nursing, social work and teaching
Assessments and decisions relating to 'fitness' for employment within teaching, nursing and social work: A survey of employers (September 2007)
A research study to inform the Disability Rights Commission's formal investigation into fitness standards (March 2007)
Research into assessments and decisions relating to 'fitness' in training, qualifying and working within Teaching, Nursing and Social Work (April 2007)
Interim Report of a Formal Investigation into Fitness Standards in Nursing, Teaching and Social Work (November 2006)
Background to the DRC's formal investigation into fitness standards in social work, nursing and teaching professions (May 2006)