Published: August 19, 2021
By Tracy Lofty, MSA, CAE, International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) — these are three major initiatives that require organizational members and leadership to work collaboratively. Today, they are at the forefront of I.C.E.
As the leader in credentialing, I.C.E. is strategically implementing DE&I strategies in tandem with its mission, vision and overall strategic plan by intentionally bringing together thought leaders from our community for in-depth conversations. This new focus will expand opportunities for you to make contributions to I.C.E. as well as to have opportunities to learn more about the leading approaches to incorporating DE&I concepts within your own certifying board.
In the spring of this year, I.C.E. took its first step by developing the DE&I Task Force. The charge of this important group is to engage the membership in designing a DE&I plan for I.C.E. that resonates, is appropriate for the credentialing community, and focused internally and externally. I serve as the chair person and Mark Franco serves as the vice chair.
Next, the task force and I.C.E. staff developed an Ends Statement for consideration by the Board of Directors. The I.C.E. Board of Directors operates under the Policy Governance™ model (Carver model). This model uses Ends Statements as strategic drivers, essentially designating the results for which the organization exists, the recipients or beneficiaries of those results, and the worth of the results for certain recipient groups.
The task force held a discussion regarding various proposed End Statements and considered more inclusive language, as well as language to improve accountability. This discussion resulted in the addition of tangible outcomes and considering how these statements would impact the credentialing organizations and the communities they serve, domestic and international.
From our discussion, the following Ends Statement was created and presented to the I.C.E. Board of Directors with approval:
8.1. I.C.E. is a credible voice on DE&I practices and thought leadership in the credentialing community.
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) practices behaviors are adopted as a driving force in the organization.
- DE&I practices and behaviors are firmly in place to guide membership, leadership, staff and program/volunteer development.
As the work of the task force began, we decided it would be helpful to have a consensus on the definitions of the terms and appropriate language used in our discussion. Thus, we created a DE&I Glossary, as well as a resource list of various literature. We have also reviewed DE&I statements of diverse organizations as we develop one specifically for I.C.E.
Most recently, the task force has focused on the collection and use of data for driving decisions. Data has always been used by I.C.E. to develop programs and services. Demographic data such as age, gender and educational level currently exist. However, we want to go even further by ensuring that everyone affiliated with I.C.E. has a seat at the table. Therefore, it is imperative for you to enter data into your profile once the new DE&I fields are added to membership records.
Under the direction of the task force’s co-chair, a data collection statement is currently in development. The data collection might benefit from a general guidance policy on why we collect data, what collecting the data will help us to understand and how we plan to use the data. The committee volunteered several other organizations' data collection and privacy policies for review.
There is a distinction between data collection for membership profile/database purposes and for research on credentialing practices. A future task for the task force will be developed to collect ideas for what research would be most helpful to the membership. One approach might be to look at functional aspects of credentialing work (policies, test administration, test outcomes, staffing, etc.) that could benefit from focused attention to help build a list of desired research.
Looking to the months ahead, the task force will host a 60-minute DE&I session during the I.C.E. Exchange in Nashville, TN (exact date/time to be determined). This will be a great opportunity for you to hear how certifying boards are addressing DE&I and developing strategies that support their mission and vision.
This task force and the initiatives currently in development are just the beginning for I.C.E.'s DE&I journey — there isn’t a checklist to indicate completion. So, what do we want you to do now?
- Update your I.C.E. profile
- Complete I.C.E. surveys providing demographical information and other feedback
- Attend the I.C.E. Exchange DE&I workshop
- Participate in I.C.E. DE&I focus group discussions (more to come on this)
- Review your certifying board’s DE&I policies and develop new strategies and policies, as necessary
I.C.E. will continue to lead by example during this important initiative. We want to remove barriers that may exist or could exist for members and staff. It is essential for I.C.E.’s planning and policies to offer real opportunities afforded to everyone.