RCGP Council

Our UK Council has overall responsibility for setting strategy and making key decisions about policy for the college and general practice.

Council membership

The current Council is made up of 65 representatives, elected by the RCGP membership. 32 represent local Faculties, ensuring broad representation of the membership. The other 18 Council members are elected through a national ballot. It’s possible for Council to appoint additional members to supply special knowledge or expertise under the College Byelaws at a General Meeting.

Members are joined at Council meetings by up to 12 Observers from external bodies, for example, the armed forces and the British International Doctor’s Association.

Council officers and Chair

These are five College Officers, elected by Council, with specific duties including a Chair, Vice-Chair, two Honorary Secretaries and Honorary Treasurer. The RCGP President and Deputy President, if one is elected, also have a seat on Council ex officio.

Council elections: national ballot

A national ballot is held each year. There are 18 nationally elected Council members who usually serve a three year term, with six places coming up for election at a time for example retirement by thirds. College members can stand for election to Council an indefinite number of times.

All RCGP Members and Fellows in good standing are entitled to vote but International Members and Fellows, Honorary Fellows, ‘Fellows ad eundem’ or Associates in Training (AiTs) are not. Voting is overseen by our electoral agents, Electoral Reform Services (ERS).

The national ballot usually takes place in May. If you’re eligible to vote, we’ll post you a ballot paper. If you don’t get one, contact shirley.chinery@rcgp.org.uk

Standing for election in the national ballot

Any RCGP Member or Fellow in good standing can stand for election in the national ballot. To get on the ballot paper, you need to be proposed and seconded by two other members of the College, also in good standing. This can be done online in MyRCGP by selecting Online Fellowship.

Details of the election process are set out in the RCGP ordinances and other constitutional documents. To find out more, and to obtain an application pack, contact shirley.chinery@rcgp.org.uk

Faculty representatives

Each of the College’s Faculties can elect one of its members to represent them on the Council. In some circumstances, a second member is permitted depending on the size of the Faculty or of its first representative is serving as a College Officer or Committee Chair. The Secretariat will advise any affected Faculties.

Faculties make their own arrangements for the nomination and election of their representatives. Contact your local Faculty for details.

RCGP Council meetings

Council meets formally four times a year

Minutes of current College year

Raising an issue for discussion at Council

Members who want to raise an issue at Council should approach their local Faculty in the first instance, or discuss the issue with the relevant College Officer or Honorary Secretary.

Council committees

There are a number of other Council committees which make day to day decisions in specific areas, for example:

  • Committee of Medical Ethics
  • Fellowship and Awards Committee
  • Patient and Carers Partnership Group
  • Scientific Foundation Board


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