Purpose of the EGM

On Thursday 8 September, the Officers will put a proposal to extend voting rights to College Affiliates – who are mostly SAS doctors – to an extraordinary general meeting (EGM).

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:  

(a) is working as a psychiatrist in the United Kingdom;  

(b) does not hold the MRCPsych qualification;  

(c) does not hold specialist registration;  

(d) 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  

(e) 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 1,519 Affiliates, of which 1,153 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 1,153 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 Members – who are full voting Members – and Specialist Associates can stand for election for College roles. 

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 grade 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 vote1,17511,155
AffiliateCannot vote, vote proposed1,153366
PMPTCannot vote2012,031
FellowCan vote483,018
Specialist AssociateCan vote38405
International AssociateCannot vote23164
Foundation AffiliateCannot vote355

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. 

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