Our governance

We're governed by a ruling council of elected trustees who are responsible for ensuring the Society is effectively managed and meets its charitable objectives.

Day-to-day leadership of the organisation is undertaken by an executive team, lead by the Chief Executive.

Our Council has a maximum of 25 members. 15 are elected by the membership and 10 by vote of our branches in each of the 10 regional divisions of branches. Council members are not remunerated for their role.

Council members are elected by our members each year for a three-year period, and the results are announced at our Annual General Meeting each summer.

Become an RSPCA Council member

Would you like to use your skills and experience in becoming one of our charity trustees?

Our Council discusses plans for the RSPCA and makes the decisions that will affect how we deal with animal issues in the future.

The RSPCA Council currently consists of up to 25 volunteers elected to serve as trustees of the charity.

Fifteen Council members are elected by the votes of the whole RSPCA membership and serve for three years, retiring on a rotational basis.

This year, Council members Ray Ings, José Parry, Linda Rimington and Richard Ryder are due to retire and may seek re-election.

The role

RSPCA trustees are responsible for the effective leadership and direction of the charity and decide upon policy, strategy and the allocation of funds.

They are expected to attend at least six day-long Council meetings each year, together with some other committee meetings.

How to apply

Nomination forms for election to the RSPCA Council, together with an information pack about the role of the trustee, can be obtained in four ways:

  • Submit an online enquiry. To use this service you will first need to log-in or register as a user of My RSPCA.  
  • Email elections@rspca.org.uk  
  • Telephone 0300 123 0369 This number is for election enquiries only.  
  • Write to: The Returning Officer, Legal Services Department, RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9RS

When requesting a nomination form, you will need to state your name, address, postcode, and membership number.

The closing date for receipt of completed nomination forms is 3pm on Friday 8 March 2019.

Please note: To be eligible to apply you must have been an RSPCA member for at least three consecutive years immediately prior to Friday 8 March 2019 and have held continuous membership since that date. Alternatively, you may have been proposed by the Council to fill a casual vacancy, or be a co-opted member whose nomination has been supported by the Council and has become a member of the Society.

What happens next?

After the closing date, RSPCA members will be sent details about each of the candidates standing for election as a Council member. Members will be able to register their votes by post or electronically.

The results will be announced at our Annual General Meeting on 29 June 2019 to be held at Church House Westminster, 31 Great Smith Street, Westminster, London SW1P 3BN.

For information about how the national Council election is governed, read RSPCA Byelaw VII National election byelaws (PDF 136KB).

Governance review

The Council of the RSPCA is committed to the very highest levels of governance. As such, an independent expert review of the Society's existing governance arrangements was commissioned was published in June 2017 to ensure they are as effective as possible and in line with best practice.

The RSPCA Council has publically recognised that effective governance is key to ensuring the RSPCA continues to deliver it's vital work helping animals in need.

We are working through the recommendations from the governance review and are making good progress. Nearly 90 per cent of the recommendations have been implemented.

Although the RSPCA is almost 200 years old we are firmly focused on the future and we have a number of exciting projects in the pipeline which the trustees and new chief executive fully support.

You can read the key findings and recommendations here:

RSPCA Governance Review Key findings and recommendations June 2017 (PDF 976KB)