On Tuesday 11 July, the Officers put a proposal to extend voting rights to College Affiliates – who are mostly SAS doctors – to the annual general meeting (AGM).

All the Officers - President Dr Adrian James, Registrar Dr Trudi Seneviratne, Dean Professor Subodh Dave and Treasurer John Crichton – are fully behind the proposal, which have been signed off by the College Council and Trustee Board.

There were also proposals to allow International Division Chairs to be full members of Council, and to change the name of Council from ‘UK Council’ to ‘Council of the College’. 

This page contains further information about the meeting and how the voting procedure worked. It also explains what Affiliates and SAS doctors are. 

Only eligible members  (Fellows, Members and Specialist Associates) were entitled to vote on any resolutions put to the AGM.

Voting at and attending the AGM

You can attend the AGM in person at the ACC in Liverpool or you can watch the AGM online.

Although all members are welcome to attend the AGM in-person or online, only eligible members (Fellows, Members and Specialist Associates) will be entitled to vote on any resolutions put to the AGM.

If you're attending in person please try to arrive at 5.30pm to register, the AGM will be held in Hall 1 at the ACC.

If you want to watch online, the AGM will be livestreamed via Zoom.

The AGM will be livestreamed via Zoom

Only eligible members (Fellows, Members and Specialist Associates) will be entitled to vote on any resolutions put to the AGM.

Voting will take place online via a platform managed by Civica Election Services. 

Voting will be online for all attendees, including those attending in person.

Each of the three proposals – extending voting rights to Affiliates, allowing International Division Chairs to be full members of Council, and changing the name of Council from ‘UK Council’ to ‘Council of the College’ – will be voted on separately. Each proposal needs a two-thirds majority to pass.

The link to vote at the AGM will be sent to the preferred email addresses of all eligible members (Fellows, Members and Specialist Associates) registered with the College. 

Links will be sent to eligible members on 20 June. Once members have received the link, they will be able to log on to the voting platform, but voting will not open until the AGM itself.

Please contact Civica on for assistance with retrieving your login details for the voting platform.

Yes. All voting, by eligible members, will be done online. So, those attending in person will need to have a device, that is web-enabled, with them that they can use to vote.

Please see our AGM 2023 webpage for the agenda and papers for the meeting.

Yes, Affiliates are more than welcome to attend the AGM in person or watch it online. However, only eligible members (Fellows, Members and Specialist Associates) will be able to vote on the AGM resolutions under our current rules. 

All members who are eligible to vote (Fellows, Members and Specialist Associates) will receive a unique link to vote online. 

Votes at the AGM will not be counted by a show of hands of those at the conference centre, instead all in-person attendees will also be asked to vote online. 

This ensures a consistency of member experience but also avoids the possibility of any duplicate votes. The online voting platform will be overseen by Civica Election Services, who provide online AGM support to most membership organisations.

The results will be announced instantaneously at the AGM – and within an hour via our website and social media. 

However, any resolutions agreed, to amend the constitution, at the AGM will not take effect until signed off by the Privy Council. 

Affiliates explained

If the proposal on extending voting rights to Affiliates goes through, the definition of an Affiliate will be a person who is a qualified medical practitioner who:  

  • Is working as a psychiatrist in the United Kingdom
  • Does not hold the MRCPsych qualification
  • Does not hold specialist registration
  • Has met the criteria for appointment to their post, as set out from time to time by the Department of Health in the United Kingdom, and
  • Has worked as a psychiatrist for at least three years.

Council would set out the process or terms for approving applications of Affiliates.

The College has 1,527 Affiliates, of which 1,156 are SAS doctors. 

According to our records, the College has around 2,600 SAS doctors in membership of one grade or another – such as Members, Specialist Associates and PMPTs.

We estimate there are approximately 2,900 SAS doctors in the workforce across the UK. Therefore, at most, we might attract up to an additional 300 Affiliate members as a result of this change.

The 1,156 SAS doctors who are Affiliates would be represented by the SAS Doctors’ Committee, a committee of Council, which represents SAS doctors in the College, of all grades. 

No. The College’s Regulations state that only Fellows, Members – who are full voting Members – and Specialist Associates can stand for election for College roles.

The proposal to extend voting rights to Affiliates was put forward to last year’s AGM as part of a bundle of 11 proposed rule changes. Only three of the proposed changes are being put forward to the 2023 AGM. Seven of the proposals, such as creating new post-nominals have been dropped by the Officers. One of them – enabling the College to hold online AGMs and EGMs was passed by a Special Meeting of the College last November.

Putting SAS doctors on the map

SAS doctors make up 24.3% of the psychiatric workforce – and are one of two substantive grades of NHS secondary care physicians, along with consultants. 

The term ‘SAS doctor’ includes specialty doctors and specialist doctors with at least four years of postgraduate training, two of which are in a relevant  specialty. 

SAS Doctors’ Committee Chair, Dr Lily Read says: “SAS doctors are a diverse group with a wide range of skills, experience and specialties. They are an essential part of the medical workforce.” 

SAS psychiatrists, like consultant psychiatrists, tend to spend most, if not all of their career in psychiatry. They often remain in that grade throughout their career.  

SAS careers have a structure, supported by contractual requirements for progression, which expects increasing clinical autonomy and extended roles, similar to consultants.  

Many international medical graduates (IMGs) moving to the UK may be initially employed on local, non-standard, temporary contracts, and are known as locally employed doctors (LEDs).  

Some LEDs will join training programmes within the first few years of moving to the UK, others will choose to become SAS doctors when they meet the minimum four years of postgraduate medical experience.  


GradeVote statusTotal SAS doctors at the RCPsychTotal non-SAS doctors at the RCPsych
MemberCan vote1,17611,458
AffiliateCannot vote, vote proposed1,156371
PMPTCannot vote1942,210
FellowCan vote523,054
Specialist AssociateCan vote40419
International AssociateCannot vote26167
Foundation AffiliateCannot vote254

If the resolution to extend voting rights to Affiliates is passed, it will mean an additional 1,527 psychiatrists will be able to vote in College elections and at College meetings.

According to a GMC report in 2019, half of all SAS and LEDs were Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic and one out of three was white. The number of doctors without recorded ethnicity is on the decline, as the number of older doctors who did not typically declare their ethnicity has fallen. 

According to the same report, 44% of SAS and LEDs were women, with that percentage rapidly growing. 

The proportion of IMGs in the SAS doctor group across medicine is significantly higher than in any other doctor grade. 

Re-watch last year’s webinars on the proposal to extend voting rights

Last year we held two webinars in the run up to our EGM in September, which was held to debate four of the proposed changes but abandoned after the death of Her Majesty The Queen.

At these, the College Officers discussed the proposal to extend voting rights to Affiliates. You can re-watch the webinars here to be reminded of the key reasons why the Officers are putting forward the proposal.

Any further questions

If you have any further questions about the AGM which haven’t been answered here, please email

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