website pic rcsi 26.4.2018

College aims to cover legal obligations preventing discrimination against transgender people

April  25th 2018

Elaine Edwards

More than 100 front-line Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland staff and senior management have attended training sessions on transgender issues in the past two months.

A new policy on gender identity published by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland aims to provide a supportive environment for transgender and gender non-conforming students and staff, as well as to prevent discrimination and harassment.

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Dohertylaunched the policy at the college’s Dublin headquarters on Wednesday. It was developed following extensive consultation with faculty and staff.

More than 100 front-line staff and the senior management team have attended training sessions on transgender issues in the past two months, which the college said was key to helping it to effectively implement the policy.

Lead author of the policy Dr Caroline Kelleher said that in developing the policy, the RCSI aimed to foster “a welcoming and inclusive learning and working environment for students and staff who are trans or gender non-conforming”.

‘Safe, healthy and comfortable space’

“We also wish to ensure a safe, healthy and comfortable space to develop gender identity and/or gender expression, free from fear of discrimination or transphobia.”

The Gender Recognition Act 2015 provides a process enabling transgender people to achieve full legal recognition of their preferred gender and allows for the acquisition of a new birth certificate that reflects that change.

Addressing the needs of transgender and gender non-conforming students, including their right to express their gender identity without fear of consequences or harassment, and policies around facilitating transition, are covered in the new policy.

It also covers issues of privacy and confidentiality, noting that to identify an individual as transgender to a third party without the individual’s permission is a form of harassment.