Lay member role description: Clinical Oncology Professional Support and Standards Board

The Clinical Oncology Professional Support and Standards Board (CO PSSB) provides advice to the membership on all aspects of professional practice after the award of a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT).

It commissions, approves and periodically reviews professional guidelines, advice and statements for practice. It oversees the work of the RCR’s CO Quality Improvement and Audit Committee and is responsible for the RCR’s continuing professional development scheme and its support for appraisal and revalidation.

The CO PSSB is chaired by the Medical Director for Professional Practice, Clinical Oncology, and is responsible to the Clinical Oncology Faculty Board. Its programme of work contributes to the Strategic Priorities of the RCR and extends to all four UK nations.

See the terms of reference of the Board.

Term of office

Lay members will serve a term of three years, that may be extended to a second term of a further one year. Terms will generally begin 1 September.

Role and responsibilities

The documents produced by the PSSB contain a substantial amount of specialty specific information in respect of which the lay member will not be expected to comment. However, the delivery of good quality, safe practice in clinical oncology, which includes (among other issues) behaviours in the workplace, relationships with colleagues and patients, patient safety, leadership/management development, equality and diversity, and teaching and training will benefit from a lay perspective.

The lay member will be expected to contribute independent and objective views on the work and activities of the PSSB, not acting as a member of any organisation or of any specific group of people.

The following range of skills and attributes are desirable, but it is recognised that individuals will have different levels of experience in different areas:

  • A keen interest in, and knowledge of, healthcare in the UK
  • An awareness of medical issues and an understanding of their public perception
  • Sufficiently developed knowledge of, and interest in, cancer services to carry out the specified role or a willingness to add to knowledge in this area
  • The ability to expound views, enter into constructive debate and to communicate a lay perspective
  • Experience of serving on boards or committees at a senior level in a national or regional setting, and
  • Political and commercial neutrality.

Lay Member Network

Lay people who serve on RCR boards, committees, etc are also automatically members of the RCR Lay Member Network, which meets twice a year – generally in spring and autumn. The Lay Member Network meetings bring all lay members together to learn more about and discuss the Colleges’ activities and aims on a broad front and allow opportunity for networking. The topics discussed at Network meetings are wide-ranging, usually affecting both the College’s specialties – clinical radiology and clinical oncology – or are of general impact on medicine or healthcare. Meetings are chaired by the President (or a Vice-President) and attended by the two Vice-Presidents and College staff members. The structure of Lay Member Network meetings is deliberately fluid to enable a two-way exchange of information and views.

Time commitment

The lay member will be expected to attend all meetings of the CO PSSB held each year. For 2021/22 it is anticipated there will be one in-person meeting and 2-3 online meetings, usually in January, May and September.

The time commitment for each meeting would be two hours for online meetings or a minimum of hours for in-person meetings (plus travelling time) and the time required for reading of papers in preparation. In person meetings are generally held in London.

The lay member might also be invited to serve on working parties where a lay perspective is needed.

In addition, much of the College’s business is conducted by electronic means, largely through email, so time will be needed to review and, where appropriate, respond to emailed correspondence/documents.


The RCR will meet reasonable expenses incurred by a lay member attending meetings in line with the RCR Travel and Expenses Policy and is happy to discuss help with IT requirements to enable participation in meetings taking place remotely.

If the lay member attends an external meeting that is of interest to him/her, prior agreement with the College should be arranged that the lay member is attending on behalf of the College and is therefore able to claim travel expenses. Expenses for any meeting that the lay member is attending out of personal interest and not on behalf of the College cannot be claimed back through the RCR.


All members of the CO PSSB are bound by the RCR’s Code of Conduct and are expected to demonstrate adherence to the College values. The successful applicant will be invited to complete and return a declaration of interest form. They will also be required to declare any conflicts of interest at the beginning of every meeting, in accordance with the RCR’s conflicts of interest policy. 

The successful applicant will comply with the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation and the RCR’s policies and procedures for data protection relating to processing and disclosure of any personal data that is made available to them as part of their work for the RCR.

To apply, please download and complete the application form, and email it to by 09:00 on Thursday 29 July.