Skip to content

Role of Council Members

The role of members of the RCVS Council is as follows:

1. Council members undertake the governance of the College, in accordance with the powers and obligations set out in the Charter and the Act. Please note that Council Members are not elected or appointed to represent any constituency and all have a responsibility equivalent to trustees for the governance of the College.

2. The role of Council members is is encapsulated as follows:

In order to enable the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to fulfil its vision, and to discharge its functions under its Royal Charter and the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966, RCVS Council members will:

  • Abide by the Nolan Principles of Public Life;
  • Work in the best interests of the public, and of animal health and welfare and public health;
  • Respectfully listen to the voices of the professions, the public and other stakeholders, and reflect them in discussions where appropriate, ensuring they are put into context;
  • Neither be answerable to, nor represent, any group of individuals;
  • Support the College’s vision and work towards the success of the College and its functions;
  • Live the College’s values;
  • Act at all times in a constructive, supportive and compassionate manner;
  • Exercise a duty of care to the staff employed by the College, working through the CEO and Registrar;
  • Recognise the importance of a collegiate atmosphere where robust discussion is welcomed in the formation of policy and multiple points of view are listened to and respected;
  • Respect and support the decisions made by Council when communicating externally;
  • Communicate College activities and positions to relevant stakeholders; and,
  • Abide by the Code of Conduct for Council and Committee members.

3. Council meetings usually take place between six and eight times a year, at which Council members:

  • make Bye-Laws under the Charter and approve draft regulations for submission to the Privy Council, to be made under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966;
  • agree the Strategic Plan, the five-year financial plan, and the budget for the forthcoming year, including fees to be levied;
  • ensure that income and expenditure are properly accounted for, investments prudently made and audited accounts presented to the membership in the Annual Report and at the AGM;
  • receive reports from committees;
  • elect the President, Vice-Presidents and Treasurer; and,
  • appoint the CEO & Secretary, and Registrar, and any Assistant Registrars.

4. Council members are also required to sit on working parties, boards and committees (which can act with delegated authority on certain matters and make recommendations to Council on the more important and strategic issues). NB the Preliminary Investigation, and Disciplinary, Committees are set up by statute and have autonomous powers. Following the introduction of the (Disciplinary) Legislative Reform Order in 2013, Council membership of these committees has now been phased out.

5. Council members may be asked to represent the College on outside organisations and at meetings, or to speak to the media on behalf of the College, as requested or agreed with one of the Officers.

6. All Council members are required to act in accordance with the public service principles set out in the Nolan Committee’s First Report on Standards in Public Life, which include selflessness (acting solely in the public interest); integrity; objectivity; accountability; openness; honesty; and, leadership.

7. Council members are required to maintain up-to-date declaration of interests for publication on the website and to provide the College with biographical information and photographs for publication on the website and elsewhere.

8. Council members will be asked to participate in induction and training sessions.

For further details, please see the Code of Conduct for Council and Committee Members, and, A Code of Conduct for Managing Conflicts of Interest, which are available on request from Dawn Wiggins at [email protected].