Bystander action includes speaking up for the culture that we want to be part of. Speaking up - or calling it out - involves timely, non-judgemental peer to peer conversations which aim to encourage self-reflection and behaviour change.  They are an established and effective tool that help build a culture of respect and have a positive impact on patient safety.

The process of reflection, after receiving feedback about our personal behaviours and individual responses in times of stress, fatigue and uncertainty, often triggers personal behaviour change. Most surgeons who receive feedback are grateful for it and many had not realised the impact of their behaviour on others. 

RACS recognises that it takes skill and practise to give a colleague feedback about their behaviour. The RACS Operating With Respect face-to-face course gives surgeons the skills they need to have peer to peer conversations, by encouraging self-reflection.

  • If you’ve done the course, think about downloading or revisiting the Speak Up app to freshen up your skills, re-hear suggestions for self-care and self-regulation, and be reminded of tips for initiating peer to peer conversations. Then put your skills into practise!
  • Or get more information about the RACS Operating With Respect face-to-face course.
  • Watch these short videos to see what some of your colleagues have to say about speaking up.
  • Download some posters (PDF 6.08MB) for your workplace to encourage your team to speak up for a safety culture.