Council Code of Conduct

Code of conduct

  1. Membership of Council is a privilege which carries with it the twin responsibilities of protecting patients and guiding Fellows, Members and Trainees. In order that all these may have confidence in the effectiveness and impartiality of Council, members undertake:
  • To make themselves available for service on the Council and those of its committees and working parties to which they may be elected or appointed.
  • To take decisions in the public interest without favour to any individual body corporate or other association, whether medical or lay.
  • To avoid placing themselves under obligation to any individual or organisation which might affect their ability to act impartially and objectively as members of Council.
  • To declare in the College’s Register of Interests their membership of other bodies or organisations in accordance with the Council's guidance on this matter.
  • To declare relevant interests or prior knowledge in the course of College business, and/or to take steps to avoid such interests or knowledge giving rise to a conflict of interest.
  • To promote the principles set out in Good Medical Practice.
  • To serve without seeking personal gain or preferment.
  • To avoid bias on grounds of race, disability, lifestyle, culture, beliefs, colour, gender, sexuality or age.
  • To be open about the decisions and actions they take as Council members, restricting information only when the principle of confidentiality demands it.
  • To observe the confidentiality of information identified as confidential which they receive as a privilege of Council membership.
  • To distinguish clearly, when speaking or writing, between personal views and those of Council.
  • To support the above principles by leadership and example.

Guidance on the Register of Interests

  1. Current members and those elected, appointed or nominated for the first time, will be invited to indicate their commitment to the code by making a statement and returning it to the Chief Executive's office.
  2. Members of Council are expected to act impartially and objectively, and to take steps to avoid any conflict of interest arising as a result of their membership of, or association with, other organisations or individuals. In order that this should be clearly apparent, the College has established a Register of members' Interests.
  3. Council attaches great importance to trying to ensure a proper balance between transparency and privacy. The aim of the Register is not to satisfy curiosity but to support transparency and probity, and to maintain confidence in the regulatory process. It was agreed by Council on Wednesday, 16 February 2005 that the Register of Interests should be available to all and is placed on the College website.
  4. With this aim in mind, Council has agreed that the following interests should be declared whether they relate to the individual or their immediate family:
  • Any office held in a professional body, specialist society, medical Royal College or other similar body in the public, private or voluntary sector. Offices include posts such as President, Chairman, Chief Executive, Treasurer, Secretary or Council/Board Member.
  • Membership of, or posts held in, local or national community organisations.
  • Consultancies, directorships, or advisory positions if they relate to a medical, healthcare or pharmaceutical company or organisation, NHS Trust or authority, public body or political party.
  • Freemasonry or any similar organisation.
  • Membership of a political party or pressure group with an interest in the College's work.
  • Shareholdings in (i) any medical, healthcare or pharmaceutical company or organisation or (ii) Any other organisation that may influence, trade, supply or advise the College.
  • Sponsored lecture tours.
  1. The Chief Executive will be responsible for keeping the Register of members' Interests. Members should amend their entries in the register as soon as possible following any change in their circumstances, and will, in any event, be invited to update their entries in the spring of each year.

The Register of Interests can be found on each individual Council members' biography page which can be accessed here.

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