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 (PDF file, 75 KB), bye laws (PDF file, 578 KB), and standing orders (PDF file, 219 KB).

Our Council meets formally four times a year in:

  • February
  • June
  • September
  • November

Download our Council and Trustee Board dates for 2021 and 2022 (PDF file, 82 KB)

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.

More about Council members

To see the Council minutes, log into MyRCGP.

The new Council starts in November, following the College AGM.

Download out latest Council members for November 2020 to November 2021 (PDF file, 84 KB)

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

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.

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.

More about our committees and groups

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

Conflicts of interest policy

This conflicts of interest policy (PDF file, 364 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.

Modern slavery statement

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.