Your College, Governed Effectively


The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland is a registered charity in the Republic of Ireland (CHY 1897), with a Charities Regulatory Authority Number 20002718.

Our mission is to train, educate and continuously develop doctors for current and future world health needs. Our vision is to lead excellence and quality in medical practice through world-class training, education and healthcare improvements in Ireland and internationally.

The College is governed under the 1692 Charter and amendments – most recently the 1979 Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (Charter and Letters Patent Amendment) Act.

Underpinning the Charter, the College established a set of by-laws which specify in more detail, how the College is governed under Council.

Governance Reforms – The Governance Implementation Programme (2017-2020)

In order to ensure that the College governance structure and processes were in line with best practice and the requirements of Charity legislation, the College appointed EY in 2017 to conduct a governance review.


The EY review included a series of recommendations to reform governance across the College including;

  • Establishment of an Executive Board, reporting to Council. Membership to include Officers, all Faculty and Institute Deans, our Chief Executive Officer, our Chief Financial Officer and a Senior Independent Director.
  • Review of committees across the College, including establishment of a Governance and Nominations Committee (reporting to Council) and committees of the Executive Board including the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee and Remuneration Committee.
  • Review of the membership composition and role of Council including removal of the Senior/Junior Fellow designation, reducing the number of Council members and ensuring elected members representatives of the Faculties and Institutes of the College.
  • Establishment of the Institute of Medicine including appointment of a Dean, Board and a well-structured governance model for Medicine within the College.

Governance Implementation Programme

Following approval by Council later that year, a Governance Implementation Programme commenced to oversee delivery of significant changes to our governance structures. The programme is due to be fully completed by the end of 2020 and most of the recommendations have been implemented to date.


The report also recommended additional reforms which are currently underway including:

  • review of the governance within each of the Faculties and Institutes,
  • review of the roles and appointment processes for clinician-led roles within the College
  • and to explore equity of memberships and fellowships across the College.

Code of Governance

Further to the recommendations of the EY report, the Charities Regulator has launched a new Code of Governance and all registered charities in Ireland are required to be fully compliant with the Code in 2020. We have undergone a review of our compliance against each of the standards and implemented new policies and procedures (including Conflict of Interest and Communications policies) to ensure alignment with the code.

Emma Cuddihy

Programme Manager, Governance Implementation Programme

Tel: 01 863 9730