Modernising Council and the Senior Leadership Team

In 2021, following discussion at Council, it was agreed that a working party would be set up to look at modernising the Council and the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), ensuring they were fit for the future. The working party looked at Charity Commission best practice, the structures in other membership organisations, including medical Royal Colleges, the skills and experience needed to run the RCR, and where responsibilities currently lay.

A proposal was agreed by Council in November 2021. We will raise these proposals for discussion at the AGM on 24 November. However please note that the member vote on these changes will now take place in Spring 2023. This slight delay is because discussions with Privy Council on the detail of the proposed changes to our Royal Charter are still ongoing. While Privy Council are happy with the overall principle of the proposals there are still some matters of detail which need to be given more time to consider. We want to ensure that we get this important work right and to work with Privy Council so that we know that the proposal we put to our Fellows and members is one that has been fully endorsed by Privy Council. 

We hope you understand this decision, but please get in touch if you have any queries at governance@rcr.ac.uk.

What is being proposed?

The Council is currently the Trustee Board of the RCR, with 18 members and a number of other attendees. Eight of these members are the Officers of the RCR. Best practice says that to run an organisation effectively, the Board should be no larger than 12. Furthermore, the Council doesn’t include key skills which would be expected on a Board, such as an accountant.

The eight Officers of the RCR are naturally heavily involved in the running of the organisation and meet on a monthly basis in addition to Council meetings, to discuss the management of the College and its strategic direction, which allows for quicker, streamlined and relevant decision making.

Looking to the future, it is proposed that:

The Trustee Board is formed of the eight Officers of the RCR, with space for up to four lay trustees, one of which should be an accountant. This will make sure that the formal governance of the RCR, through the Trustees, aligns with where most decisions are made.

The Council would continue to represent members and would formally scrutinise the work of the Trustee Board on their behalf.

This arrangement would be mirrored in the Faculty Boards of the RCR.

Please see this document for more detail about the proposals. We will be sharing further information ahead of the AGM, as well as providing members with the opportunity to ask questions and discuss these proposals with the RCR.

We have also made some FAQs, which we’ll add to as questions arise through the process.

If you have any questions on the proposals or would like to register your interest in attending one of our events to talk through the proposals in more detail, please email governance@rcr.ac.uk