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

What do we do?

Our Mission Statement

The College works to secure the best outcomes for people with mental illness, learning difficulties and developmental disorders by promoting excellent mental health services, training outstanding psychiatrists, promoting quality and research, setting standards and being the voice of psychiatry.


What we do and how

The College is the professional and educational body for psychiatrists in the United Kingdom.



  • set standards and promote excellence in psychiatry and mental healthcare
  • lead, represent and support psychiatrists
  • work with patients, carers and their organisations.


We set standards and promote excellence in psychiatry and mental healthcare


We’re committed to improving the understanding of psychiatry and mental health.

We want there to be a greater understanding of the interaction between mental and physical health and the social and cultural context in which people live.

The College is at the forefront in setting and achieving the highest standards through education, training and research.

We lead the way in developing excellence and promoting best practice in mental health services. We promote research and publish the results in our world-class psychiatric journals.


We lead, represent and support psychiatrists


The College actively promotes psychiatry as a career.

College structures are robust and provide dedicated support to our members and associates.

Nationally and internationally, the College has a vital role in representing the expertise of the psychiatric profession to governments and other agencies.

This is key to promoting best practice in mental health.


We work with patients, carers and their organisations


We collaborate with key players in the mental health field and are champions for improvements in the quality of mental healthcare throughout all sectors of society.

Public education is at the heart of our activities and is an essential component of our website.

As well as running its membership examination (MRCPsych), the College organises scientific and clinical conferences and lectures and continuing professional development activities.

The College publishes books, reports and educational material for professionals and the general public.

It also publishes the British Journal of PsychiatryBJPsych OpenBJPsych BulletinBJPsych Advances and BJPsych International, all of which are now available online.


Our strategic objectives 2018


  1. To deliver education, training and research in psychiatry.
  2. To promote recruitment and retention in psychiatry.
  3. To improve standards and quality through a range of measures including quality improvement, and evidence-based research, across psychiatry and wider mental health services.
  4. To be the voice of psychiatry.
  5. To deliver excellent employee experience, and in-turn, exceptional membership experience in order to promote high-quality patient care.
  6. To ensure the effective planning, purchasing and use of resources, including maximising income to deliver agreed priorities/objectives.


Our Business Plan

Our Business Plan ‘Making an impact’ explains how we will achieve our priorities.


Our work in 2017


Download the business plan (pdf)



Annual report

Our annual report and financial statements for 2017.

Our annual report

















Download our annual report (PDF).


Our history

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has existed in some form since 1841, first as the "Association of Medical Officers of Asylums and Hospitals for the Insane" (later changed to the Medico Psychological Association) then, in 1926 receiving its Royal Charter to become the "Royal Medico Psychological Association, and finally, in 1971 receiving a Supplemental Charter to become the "Royal College of Psychiatrists" we know today.

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