The Academic Board and the Executive Board report separately and directly to the RCPI Council. This ensures that overall corporate decision-makers do not exercise undue influence over academic decision-making.
Under devolved authority from the Body Corporate (the Fellows and President of RCPI), Council is the senior governing body of RCPI. Its remit is to define and develop RCPI policy in relation to professional and medical/clinical matters, to agree the strategy for RCPI and to monitor progress of RCPI affairs. Council has the ultimate responsibility for the actions, decisions, and policies of RCPI and to ensure its legal and ethical integrity.
All standing committees of the College report on their activity at the Annual Stated Meeting of RCPI and through regular updates to Council. The standing committees include the following:
• Finance, Audit and Risk Committee
• Governance and Nominations Committee
• Remuneration Committee
Under delegated authority, in accordance with bye laws and working with the strategy approved by Council, the Executive Board oversees the operation and management of RCPI. While RCPI Council is responsible for principle-based governance, the Executive Board is responsible for the legal, financial and statutory duties of RCPI. The Executive Board oversees the allocation of resources to workstreams, monitors business plan delivery and, in conjunction with the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee, assesses the risks identified under the Corporate Risk Framework.
The primary role of the Senior Management Team is to deliver upon the objectives of the strategic plan, to ensure the smooth operation of RCPI’s core business and to ensure compliance with the organisation’s legal and financial obligations. The purpose of the structure of the Senior Management Team is to facilitate an integrated approach to the delivery of the RCPI strategy and to ensure that operational matters are managed in an efficient manner.
As a registered charity, RCPI has to comply with and record its compliance with Charities Governance Code from 2020 onwards. The Code identifies six principles on which good governance is based, comprising of 32 core standards and 17 additional standards. The six principles of the Charities Governance Code are:
- Advancing charitable purpose
- Behaving with integrity
- Leading people
- Exercising control
- Working effectively
- Being accountable and transparent
In April 2021, RCPI filed its annual return with the Charities Regulator and was required to submit a declaration of compliance with the Charities Governance Code. This declaration will be filed annually.
While the Executive Board is accountable for operational management, the Academic Board is the key custodian of academic standards and the primary decision-making body in RCPI for all academic matters and governance. The Academic Board is supported in achieving its purpose by appropriate organisation structures and administrative support. The Education Development Department, under the guidance and supervision of the Head of Professional Affairs, supports the development and delivery of education programmes. These departments, along with the Student Support Officer, link into the functioning and oversight of the Academic Board.
The role of the Academic Board is to develop, protect and maintain the academic standards of RCPI. The Academic Board maintains oversight of the development, management and enhancement of academic matters, and advises the Senior Management Team of the resource requirements for programme development and delivery. It establishes the principles underpinning the Quality Framework in RCPI and ensures that appropriate academic standards are consistently adopted, applied and maintained in education programmes, partnerships and all educational arrangements. The Academic Board also monitors compliance with the requirements of QQI. The overall responsibility for assessment strategy rests with the Academic Board and is ordinarily delegated to the Programme Boards. The Academic Board also sets the Terms of Reference for ad hoc committees to deal with specific issues such as reviews, appeal and disciplinary matters.
The purpose of the RCPI College Training Committee is to ensure that the College has a consistent approach to training, respecting that where there are legitimate reasons to adopt different approaches in specific areas, that these approaches, policies and protocols are documented and agreed. The role of the RCPI College Training Committee is also to provide oversight and collaboration across the Training Bodies, including the following:
- Site Quality Improvement (QI) Model
- Training Post Evaluation
- RCPI Trainer Project
- Health & Wellbeing
- Programme design and curricula
- Assessment Strategies
- Professional Competence
- CPD Programme and Events
- RCPI strategy – Training Initiatives which fall under the strategy
- Training Policies and Protocols
- International Programmes (sponsored programmes)
The RCPI Training Committee has representation from the six Training Bodies and is chaired by Prof Keane.
A Programme Board is established for every academic programme and is a subcommittee of the Academic Board. Its role is to develop, monitor and review the provision of the programme, ensuring academic and professional standards are maintained and that learners receive fair and effective opportunities to learn in a stimulating and supportive learning environment. The Programme Board is actively engaged in all aspects of the programme from development, to ongoing monitoring and enhancement as well as ensuring that the programme remains current. The accepts overall responsibility for assessment as delegated by the Academic Board. This responsibility is fulfilled via the Programme Exam Board.
The Academic Board delegates authority for oversight of summative assessment to the Programme Exam Board for each programme. The purpose of the Programme Exam Board is to ensure that the RCPI Assessment Framework and underpinning processes are implemented. It considers the recommendations of all Assessment Leads, Grade Moderators and External Examiners and determines the assessment outcomes for all learners as well as the final award classification for programmes leading to awards in the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).
The Appeals Committee is formed and meets on an ad hoc basis to consider appeals as and when required.
An appeal is where a learner formally requests that the decision or judgement of a lower authority is referred to a higher authority (for example, the Appeals Committee) for reconsideration in the light of concerns expressed by the appellant under one or more of the grounds of appeal set out in the Appeals Policy.
A Disciplinary Committee may be convened to consider evidence relating to a potential breach of standards for learner conduct and to determine the outcome of the investigation. Further information on this committee is contained in the Disciplinary Policy and Procedure for Learners (ED-Pol-066). (PDF, 224Kb)
Owing to the broad scope of RCPI’s work, its extensive range of external stakeholders and the highly specialist skills of those who lend their experience to this work, the practice of declaring conflicts of interest is well established as a norm in RCPI. The declaration of conflicts of interest is a standard item on the meeting agenda for all meetings and it is a regular feature in meetings that attendees will absent themselves for particular items on the agenda where they have declared a conflict of interest.