How we’re governed

RCGP was founded in 1952 and incorporated by royal charter in 1972.

We are the professional membership organisation for GPs. RCGP is a registered charity, regulated by the Charity Commission. Our charitable objective is:

"To encourage, foster and maintain the highest possible standards in general medical practice"


Our leadership team is made up of the Chair of Council, Council Officers, Chair of Trustees, Devolved Council Chairs and the Executive Management Team.

They meet twice a month and provide regular reports to our trustees.

Their role is to translate decisions into actions, monitor and review progress against the strategic plan and address issues affecting general practice.
See our leadership team


Our council makes decisions on strategic and policy issues, professional issues and the overall strategic aims of RCGP. They are governed by council ordinances, bye laws and standing orders.

There are 18 nationally elected council members who usually serve a three year term, with six places coming up for election each year.

The President is elected by national ballot every two years. Officers are elected or reconfirmed by the council each year. The council also elects the Chair of Trustees and three other Trustees.
See our council members

Council meetings

Our Council meets formally four times a year in:

  • February
  • June
  • September
  • November

You can download all the planned Council meeting dates for November 2017 to  November 2018 as a PDF as well as Council meeting dates for November 2018 to November 2019

The new Council starts in November, following the College AGM. Download out latest Council members for November 2017 to November 2018 



Members are joined at council by up to 12 observers from external organisations including:

  • armed forces
  • British International Doctor’s Association
  • Patients and Carers Partnership Group

Devolved councils

To reflect the devolved nations of the UK we have councils in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They provide support by taking forward the aims and objectives of RCGP and help us address the differences in devolved laws and services


We support our members through a network of local faculties. Each faculty is led by a faculty board, who work voluntarily upholding our vision, purpose and priority goals. Each faculty board appoints a representative to council.
Find more information about your local faculty


We have a range of committees that represent a specific a cohort of members, area of work or issue. The committee members are always elected as being best placed to represent the subject in hand.
See our full list of committees

Staff and operations

We are supported by more than 300 staff.

Our work is monitored and directed by programme boards, each of which has member representation to ensure our projects and activities meet the needs of our members.

The college also has two trading companies:

  • RCGP Enterprises Ltd
  • RCGP Conferences Ltd

They have both have their own board of directors who report to the RCGP trustee board.

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