How we are 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"

The College is governed by the Trustee Board and the Council.

The Trustee Board is responsible for the management and administration of the College and ensuring it meets its charitable objectives.

Council is responsible for shaping College policy relating to general practice and policies relating to the GP profession including professional standards and development.

The college holds an Annual General Meeting in November of each year. 

Find out more about the College's general meetings

The day-to-day operations of the College is undertaken by the Executive Management Team (EMT), led by the Chief Executive Officer, with four Executive Directors, one for each of the College’s four directorates – Planning and Resources; Policy and Engagement; Professional Training and Standards; and Membership Development and Education. EMT is supported by circa 275 staff.

The College also has three trading companies:

  • RCGP Conferences ltd
  • RCGP Enterprises ltd
  • RCGP International ltd

Each trading company has its own Board of Directors.

Leadership and strategy

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

See our leadership team

See our strategic plan for 2023 to 2026

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.

This conflicts of interest policy (PDF file, 359 KB) has been drafted to ensure that all those who work for, with or on behalf of the Royal College of General Practitioners (“RCGP” or the “College”) have guidance on the following:

  • Common principles and rules for managing conflicts of interest;
  • Advice about what to do in common situations;
  • How interests should be approached and managed; and
  • Issues and rationale behind the policy.

The College is a diverse organisation that encourages debate and challenge as the lifeblood of development. It is recognised that members seeking office or on Committees and Boards are volunteers who altruistically devote their time and effort to the College.

It is a privilege to be able to serve the College, and members receive professional benefits by doing so. These benefits carry with them responsibilities and obligations to act in accordance with the highest standards, whether as trustees of the College Charity or as members of the College.

This Code acknowledges that those holding key roles for the RCGP will be identified with those roles when acting in public settings, and sets out the principles of conduct that those persons are expected to follow.

Those who are Members and Fellows of the RCGP are seen as representatives of the College in a broader sense, and their actions can uphold the reputation of the College or bring it into disrepute.

Members should abide by the requirements set out in “Good Medical Practice” (GMC) and “Good Medical Practice for General Practitioners” (RCGP), and follow the principles set out in this Code, which are based on the Nolan principles of standards in public life.

For the College to continue to operate effectively, it is critical that everyone involved in the organisation treats all of those they work with – both College members and employees – in a collegiate and respectful manner. This document sets out the RCGP’s expectations regarding the type of behaviours that are necessary for a successful working relationship to exist between College members and College employees. The behaviours in the document equally apply to working relationships solely involving College members, and solely involving employees. It also applies to all lay members of all committees, groups, and boards across the College.

The modern slavery statement is designed to satisfy the requirements of Part 6 of the Modern Slavery Act (2015), by informing our members, students, staff, campaigners and the public about the College and its policy with respect to modern slavery, human trafficking, forced and bonded labour and labour rights violations in its supply chains.