RSPB Council

RSPB Council is the governing body of the RSPB. It is responsible for ensuring the Society conducts its affairs in accordance with its Constitution and within the law.

As we stand on the grassy cliffs at Hoy, The Old Man sea stack formation stands tall in the bright blue waters.
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The RSPB Council and Executive Board

RSPB Council

The Council normally consists of 12 members (trustees) including the chair, though up to 18 members are provided for in the Charter and Statutes. They are elected by the membership at the AGM and serve for a three-year term which can be renewed.  

All Council members are volunteers and receive no pay for performing their role. 

The Council is responsible for the conduct of the RSPB’s affairs and for ensuring that the RSPB operates in accordance with its constitution and the law. 

As the RSPB is a charity, the council is also answerable to the charity regulators in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, for ensuring charitable resources are used wisely in the pursuit of the charity’s mission. 

The council and its main committees operate to a schedule of quarterly meetings. 

Supporting committees

Council has delegated some responsibility for scrutiny and stewardship to three committees: 

  • The Finance Committee reviews and provides assurance of the integrity of financial plans, stewardship, reporting and controls. 

  • The Audit and Risk Committee provides scrutiny of the adequacy of the RSPB’s risk and associated control framework. 

  • The Nominations and People Committee develops and maintains a formal, rigorous and transparent procedure for making recommendation on appointments and reappointments to Council, to ensure a diverse membership and range of skills and review succession plans for current members of Council and provides assurance of the good stewardship of the RSPB workforce. 

Advisory Committees

The Council is further supported by seven advisory committees. Three ‘thematic’ committees provide independent insight, advice and guidance to Council and to the RSPB’s executive management on: 

  • Conservation strategy, approaches, policy and programmes. 

  • RSPB’s communications, campaigning and engagement with stakeholders. 

  • Commercial and partnership opportunities and activity. 

Each UK nation has a dedicated advisory committee, providing timely and effective insight on the views and interests of stakeholders relevant to the current and future strategy and the work of the RSPB in the country. 

Each of these seven committees is composed of up to 8 regular members and up to four guest members who meet at least twice a year, but usually four. Regular members serve for a three-year term which can be renewed. 

Executive Board

Day-to-day management of the RSPB is delegated to an executive board headed by a chief executive who reports to the chairman of the council. Divisional directors of global conservation, finance, governance and risk, people, fundraising and communications, and UK operations form our executive board. 

AGM and Members' Day

Our AGM and Members' Day brings to life the achievements the RSPB has made in the past year thanks to your amazing support.

AGM 2023

Council members

Council and committee vacancies

Our Council, the Trustee Board, plays a critical role in helping our organisation to evolve and ensure our work has the biggest possible impact. We aim for the Council to be made up of a diverse group of people with a blend of skills, experience, and expertise to meet future challenges and opportunities, supported by a wider group of advisors working together in committee. 

When recruiting new members to our advisory committees, we look for people with a keen interest in the work and values of the RSPB. You might have specific skills, expertise or experience that would enhance the work of our committees.  

Vacancies are advertised on the RSPB webpage and applications are open to any eligible member. We welcome applications from people of all ages, areas and backgrounds who can positively contribute to our work. The Nominations & People Committee oversee the recruitment and appointment processes.

Appointments of committee members are made on the recommendation of a panel established for that purpose, following a fair and transparent process and having undertaken the necessary pre-appointment and eligibility checks. All appointments are for a 3-year term of office, with potential renewal for one further term. All roles remain unpaid except for valid, reasonable expenses incurred. Committee members are expected to adhere to the values of the RSPB and relevant Codes of Conduct during the duration of their term of office. 

We are always glad to hear from committed supporters who are keen and would like to get involved. 

For further information, please email