Overview – how the College is regulated and managed

The College is a Royal Charter organisation and a charity. As such, it has a responsibility to deliver the charitable objects that are set out in its Charter and Ordinances. The College seeks to achieve this through its long-term strategy, which is reviewed every five years. The College is governed by a Board of Trustees comprising practising anaesthetists and lay trustees, while support for its membership and leadership of the specialty is delivered through the Council. 

Trustees must ensure the Charter, Ordinances and Regulations – the documents that govern how the College is run – are compliant with law, consistent, up to date and, where possible, aligned with best practice. This will help to keep the College running smoothly for its members and the patients that benefit from its work. 

Have your say about how the College is run 

We need to make some changes to the rules and regulations that set out how we operate and would welcome the input and views of our members and fellows as we draw up proposals. 

There are a number of areas we are looking at, which can be summarised as:  

  • Alignment of Board of Trustees and Council with charity law 

  • Ensuring the College membership has appropriate powers 

  • Representation for key membership groups 

  • The size and composition of our Board of Trustees and Council  

It’s important that we listen and engage as best we can, and so we are also interested in your advice and thoughts on how we do this.  

How to get involved 

We have begun a programme of engagement to explain in an open way where we think improvements need to be made to our governance, and to respond to suggestions made by the College’s membership. In addition to the presentations we are making to member groups and stakeholders, here are some of the ways you can get involved in how we shape our proposals: 

  • Come to our Let’s Talk member engagement event: 

  • Tuesday 20 September – 7.00 - 8.00pm, Book your place now by clicking here 

  • Read the supporting information that we will continue to add to our webpage www.rcoa.ac.uk/gov  

  • Submit a comment or question to engage@rcoa.ac.uk that you’d like us to answer in our FAQ 

Members and fellows will be able to vote on the final proposals at a future General Meeting, but before that we want you to feel confident you have been a part of the process and have had a voice. 

What we have learned so far 

We have already begun to talk to members about this issue. 

Overwhelmingly, we have heard that we should have done more to involve members and fellows before we asked you to vote on governance proposals at our EGM. We are committed to doing better this time. 

We have heard that once we explain our situation, in that our governing rules are at odds with each other and not in line with Charity law and that our Board is too large to give proper time for every consideration, our members and fellows are sympathetic and understand why we need to change. 

We have also heard that not everyone knows that the College is a charity – like all the Medical Royal Colleges – and so we are accountable to the Charity Commission. It was also new to some that we already had a Board of Trustees and a Council, and that the roles of each were different. 

We have heard that representation is important to our members. Often, Boards of Trustees are led by small groups of individuals with broad experience which helps them to deliver their responsibility to act in the best interests of the charity. But members have told us that ensuring representation from all membership constituencies is also really important to them.  

Read more here:

Your feedback so far

College governance - FAQs

Let's Talk Events