Heads of UK professional bodies have today publicly signed and published an evidence Magna Carta, with a further aim to embed the declaration principles within the strategic objectives of their institutions.
The evidence declaration signing was hosted by the Alliance for Useful Evidence and Professor Jonathan Shepherd CBE, Royal College of Surgeons and Cardiff University, and chaired by Lord O’Donnell. Principal speakers included Professor Dame Alison Peacock, Chief Executive of the Chartered College of Teaching, Professor Carrie MacEwen, Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, of The College of Policing Board. The event focused on the sustainability of commitment to the evidence declaration and how to ensure the values proclaimed therein are built into the foundations of these national institutions.
The declaration on evidence created by Professor Shepherd and agreed upon by the Colleges reads as follows: “Evidence of what works and what doesn’t has become, through formal trial and error across all professions and public services, a foundation of professional practice. Equally, many untested interventions can do more harm than good and are wasteful of public and private resource.
“Therefore, Medical Royal Colleges, the College of Policing and the Chartered College of Teaching as leaders of our professions, declare that our institutions expect all members to take full account of evidence and evidence informed guidance in their daily decisions and advice to individuals and organisations. Further, because potential new policies and interventions need to be tested for effectiveness and cost benefit, we also declare that our institutions expect and will support rigorous evaluation. To these ends we undertake to ensure that these principles are reflected as appropriate in our respective values, constitutions or conditions of membership.”
Professor Jonathan Shepherd CBE, Royal College of Surgeons commented: “Professional bodies are major influences on the daily practice of hundreds of thousands of professionals across the UK who are their members and fellows. Through their conditions of membership, training and continuous professional development provision, and policy making, these institutions drive evidence adoption. This evidence declaration signals commitment to building these standards on the foundations of quality assured evidence.”
Professor Dame Alison Peacock, Chief Executive of the Chartered College of Teaching, adds: “The Chartered College was formed earlier this year as a new professional body for teachers. We seek to raise the status of teaching through connecting, informing and inspiring colleagues to learn from impactful classroom practice and leadership. We are working with eminent educational researchers both beyond and within schools and colleges to produce Impact – a new termly journal that seeks to connect theory and practice. We are establishing a rich variety of research networks across the country to foster dialogue throughout the teaching community in order that we can collectively enhance research-informed pedagogy. Through exciting new initiatives such as the development of Chartered Teacher status we believe that our profession will gain both higher status and recognition throughout society.”
The Alliance for Useful Evidence promotes the use of high quality evidence to inform decisions on strategy, policy and practice in the UK and beyond. It does this through advocacy, research and capacity building, and works with partners in national and local governments and civil society to encourage debate, discussion, collaboration and innovation.