How the College is governed

The College is governed by a Board of Trustees comprising practising anaesthetists and lay trustees

Specific areas of work are considered by the Board of Trustees, with a scheme of delegation to College Council and a series of Boards and Working Groups.

The administrative functions of the College are organised into four operational directorates and are serviced by approximately 100 members of staff.

Board of Trustees

This is the Royal College of Anaesthetists' governing body.

The Board meets four times a year to:

  • to deliver the College Objects (as stated in our Royal Charter)
  • set the College strategy, in consultation with Council and monitor progress towards this
  • ensure the proper and effective management of the College’s finances and assets.

It can choose to delegate work and oversight for its charitable responsibilities the College’s boards, committees, staff and volunteers, as contained within the College’s Scheme of Delegation.

It works closely and liaises with the College's Council but ultimately, all decisions (apart from changes to the bye-laws and regulations) are either taken by the Board of Trustees or the fellows and members of the College at an AGM.

The Board of Trustees comprises:

  • twenty-four elected members of Council
  • two Deans of the College faculties
  • three appointed lay members.

The Board of Trustees is chaired by the College President.

The following report to the Board of Trustees:

  • Finance and Resources Board
  • Audit and Internal Affairs Committee.


Whilst the Board of Trustees are charged with governance of the College, the College Council is responsible for the professional aspects of the specialty of anaesthesia as well as fulfilling formal and ceremonial matters. It sets and oversees strategic College policy in clinical and professional matters and responds to current issues affecting professional practice and standards.

Council meets six times a year and its full duties and responsibilities are set out in the College’s Charter and Ordinances and the College Regulations, including all terms of office and length of service.

Council comprises:

  • twenty-four fellows and members elected to Council, comprising 20 consultant seats, two SAS seats and two anaesthetists in training seats
  • ten co-opted members.

The Council is chaired by the College President.

There are three boards that report to Council:

  • Education, Training and Examinations
  • Clinical Quality and Research
  • Communications and External Affairs.

The three devolved nations' boards also report to Council:

College officers

The senior officers of the College are the President, two Vice-Presidents and the Chair of the Finance and Resources Board.

These three senior officers of the College are elected Council members and trustees of the College.

These officers are chosen by the 24 elected Council members, apart from the Chair of the Finance and Resources Board who is appointed by the College President.

College management team

The day-to-day operation of the College is delegated to the chief executive officer who is accountable to the President and Board of Trustees. The College’s management team and staff are accountable to the chief executive officer.

Annual General Meetings

There is an Annual General Meeting of Fellows and Members. Meeting dates are advertised in advance on the College website.