Skip to content

15. What are the key duties of Council members?

The role of the RCVS is to set, uphold and advance veterinary standards. It is not a representative body for the profession, although it is important that its Council members are representative of the profession at large.

RCVS Council sets the strategic direction of the College, by, among other things:

  • Agreeing the strategic plan (you can find the strategy online)
  • Approving the annual budget and operational plan
  • Overseeing the strategic management of organisational risk
  • Electing the President, Vice-Presidents, Treasurer, and main committee Chairs
  • Creating committees and setting their terms of reference
  • Making major policy decisions
  • Appointing the CEO and Registrar

More detail about the role of Council and of Council members can be found in 'How to stand for election' and 'Information for candidates'

Related FAQs

  • We certainly try to be, both for staff and Council members. Council and Committee meetings are planned at least a year in advance, although additional meetings may be added at shorter notice. Generally, there are fewer meetings during the holiday periods because we follow an academic calendar. We also have baby-changing facilities on the premises.

  • Council members are not paid directly for the work they do. However, employers can claim a loss of earnings allowance on your behalf (and, if you are self-employed, you can do this). The rate is set at £325 per day.

    Additional reading/administration time can be claimed at the end of the College year if the meetings had been attended:

    • RCVS Council – two days
    • RCVS Council committee members – one day
    • Chairs of RCVS Council committees – two days


  • Yes, reasonable expenses are covered, including an overnight stay in London, if that is required.

  • Council members are effectively trustees of the RCVS and have overall responsibility for RCVS activities. As stated in the answer to Question 7, you will be expected to abide by the Code of Conduct for Council and Committee Members, incorporating the Seven Principles of Public Life (the ‘Nolan principles’).

  • New Council members are invited to an induction day at the College where they meet the President and senior staff to find out more about the role of Council and the activities of the College, and ongoing training is set throughout the year.

    Council members are happy to support newly-elected members with informal advice and a formal mentoring role was also introduced in 2017.

  • You are welcome to contact the Registrar, Eleanor Ferguson (, the CEO, Lizzie Lockett (, or the President, Dr Kate Richards (, for more information.

  • Our Council members tell us that being on Council has broadened their horizons and allowed them to meet people and go places they never would normally have done.

    In some cases, it has given them back the buzz about their profession that they enjoyed when they first graduated. They feel good about giving something back to their profession – and often the employers benefit too, from having someone on their team ‘at the heart’ of the governance of the profession.

    Council work can also count as CPD if you feel it has helped you meet your development objectives.

    Why not watch our video, in which some current Council members talk about why they stood for election, what life is really like on Council, how to juggle Council work and the ‘day job’ and what benefits you can expect to gain.

  • Regular Council meetings are held in public and any member is welcome to attend, providing there is space. There is one public Council meeting during the nomination period (Thursday, 20 January 2022). Please contact Dawn Wiggins on for more information.

    Paperwork from past Council meetings will give you an indication of the type of business conducted.

  1. 1
  2. 2