How the College works

In order to support our ~21,000-strong membership, the College is run by a number of different governing bodies – from our Trustee board, who are legally responsible for the effective management of the College, through to our Special Interest Groups (SIGs), who help to drive forward the College’s work on key issues like diversity and culture.

The below infographic shows how these different functions work together.

How we work infographic

Find out more about each of the groups who help to run our College:

Honorary Officers

The Honorary Officers of the College are elected by our members. They act in a leadership capacity as the most senior members of the College, and are both members of the Trustee Board and Council.

Find out more about our College Officers

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees, which is chaired by the President, acts as the governing body of the College. It has full legal responsibility for the effective management of the College, ensuring it delivers on its purpose and complies with all applicable laws and good practice.

Find out more about our Board of Trustees


Council, which is chaired by the President, leads on matters relating to education, policy, professional practice, professional standards, public engagement, quality, research, and training in psychiatry. Its responsibilities include the election of new members and Fellows and the approval of applications for other categories of membership. It makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees about the nature, scope and extent of the privileges of membership.

Council is made up of the Honorary Officers, Committee Chair Reps, Division Chairs, Faculty Chairs, elected members and co-opted members.

Find out more about our Council

Staff and operations

The College is supported by more than 230 staff, grouped into nine departments with offices spread across the UK – each of those departments headed up by a Director. The Senior Management Team meets weekly to translate decisions into actions, monitor and review progress against the strategic plan and address key issues affecting the College.

Find out more about working at the College


There are 13 Faculties within the College that represent the major specialties and sub-specialities of psychiatry. Faculties represent the expertise, experience and body of knowledge in each particular specialty. Each has a Chair and an Executive Committee.

Find out more about our Faculties

Special Interest Groups

Our SIGs lead on key issues within psychiatry and mental health, such as diversity, marginalised groups and culture. Each Special Interest Group has an elected Chair and Finance Officer and an informal Executive Committee.

Find out more about our SIGs

Devolved Councils

Devolved Councils (DCs) in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland provide support by taking forward the aims and objectives of the College in each devolved nation of the UK, reflecting and addressing the differences in devolved law and services. Each DC has a Chair and an Executive.

Find out more about our Devolved Nations


Our eight Divisions represent the College locally, address local needs and provide professional advice where required. Each Division has a Chair and an Executive Committee. They work to make sure that standards are coordinated, up to date and accessible to members, that doctors can have high-quality training and that there is continuous improvement in the relationship with trainees so that they become advocates of the profession.

Find out more about our Divisions

The College also has six International Divisions – African, European, Middle Eastern, Pan-American, South Asian and Western Pacific.

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry