In November 2017, 27 professional bodies came together at the Royal Society to sign a ‘Declaration on Evidence’, written by Professor Jonathan Shepherd (Cardiff University and Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England). They included the College of Policing, the Chartered College of Teaching, and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. A year later, we invited these national institutions to tell us about the ways in which they have been upholding that commitment. The responses we received led to this report.
With a foreword by Professor Shepherd, Bodies of Evidence outlines the pioneering evidence work of UK and Irish professional bodies in health, teaching and policing. These institutions champion research and evaluation in the daily work of more than one million professionals, to improve the lives of patients, pupils and the wider public. We highlight the diverse ways that institutions are mobilising evidence, such as through professional standards and guidelines, decision-making aids and AI, opportunities to interact with peers around research, career-long learning, and incentives to engage with evidence.
We hope this wealth of examples, and our 9 recommendations for increasing evidence uptake, will be of interest to all professional organisations, including those in sectors outside policing, teaching and health.