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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Complaints about College issues


The Royal College of Psychiatrists strives to provide excellent service to everyone who comes into contact with our Members and Associates or our staff.

However, if you are dissatisfied with some aspect of our work then you may wish to complain.  We have Complaints Policies, which apply to Members and Associates and to lay people involved in our work, a Disciplinary and Complaints Committee which includes senior Officers and Members of the College, and a Complaints Manager, who is a member of staff.

If something goes wrong, our aim is to ensure that a complaint we have the power to deal with is addressed quickly and fairly.  Sometimes it may be easiest and quickest to try to sort a matter out informally – but if you do wish to make a formal complaint it is important to understand what the College is able to deal with and what lies outside its remit.

What we can do,  and what we cannot do

We cannot deal with the following issues because other organisations are responsible:

  • If you have a concern or complaint about an individual psychiatrist and his or her right or competence to practise you should contact the General Medical Council.
  • Complaints about treatment received within the NHS are dealt with firstly by the hospital or other organisation concerned, through the legal system or (in England) by the Health Service Ombudsman.
  • Complaints about organisations in the independent sector are dealt with by these organisations, or through the legal system.
  • Complaints relating to the Mental Health Act in England (the use of powers and duties in the Act only) can be looked at by the Care Quality Commission.  Equivalent complaints in Wales are dealt with by the Health Inspectorate, in Scotland by the Mental Welfare Commission and in Northern Ireland by the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority.
  • The College Complaints policy applies to College Members or Associates in relation to work carried out on behalf of the College, while acting as a representative of the College or in some other College capacity. 

Some College matters have different processes:

  • If your complaint relates to the MRCPsych examinations, please contact the Head of Examinations.
  • If your complaint is about a member of staff, please contact the Head of Human Resources.  There is a separate policy covering this.

So, our Complaints procedure is about other roles in the College or work carried out on behalf of the College.

If you wish, after reading the above, to pursue a complaint about a College Member or Associate, in relation to their work for, or role in, the College then please follow the guidelines in the Complaints Policies.  The policies set out the information you must include when you write to us, and how the College will deal with your complaint.

Complaints (by hard copy in writing only, not by any electronic means) should be addressed to:

The Complaints Manager

The Royal College of Psychiatrists

21 Prescot Street


E1 8BB



The policies referred to on this page are:

See also

Royal College of Psychiatrist Joint Code of Conduct .

June 2018

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