Council member (Trustee) Job description

Role title: Council member (Trustee)
Specific expertise: Digital
Term: Three years, renewable for three years
Remuneration: Expenses
Location: London / remotely

Overall aim

The Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) is a charity whose mission is to share learning and support innovation across all areas of healthcare. We are a leading provider of continual learning for healthcare professionals and a membership organisation. There are four key pillars of our work. These are:

Education: delivering technical, non-technical and multidisciplinary education;
Learning Resources: providing excellent medical resources (physical, e-resources and e-learning);
Convening: connecting those involved in and interested in healthcare; and
Innovation: supporting innovators by leveraging expertise across the RSM.

We are governed by our Council which is responsible for our strategic direction, financial health, the probity of our activities and for developing our aims, objectives and goals in accordance with our Royal Charter and legal and regulatory guidelines. The Council is chaired by the President and all Members of Council are Charity Trustees and have the responsibilities as set out in the Charities Act 2011.

We are now looking to appoint a new Council member with significant digital experience who can help shape and lead our digital strategy to ensure the best learning experience for healthcare professionals and an engaging and efficient organisation for members, staff and partners.

The RSM has a track record of delivering medical education for over 200 years and it is uniquely placed to support the sharing of learning and experience across different branches of medicine and across all healthcare professions. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of this and the need to be able to provide continual learning for all healthcare professionals whether in person or online. With a new strategy being developed and significant momentum behind online learning, this is an opportunity at a key time to influence how the RSM develops its digital capability.

Specific responsibilities

Key responsibilities of Council members include:

  • To contribute actively to the development of strategy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against these;
  • To ensure compliance with governing documents and the Law;
  • To safeguard the good name and values of the RSM;
  • To ensure effective and efficient administration of activities;
  • To ensure financial stability;
  • To identify, understand and ensure the appropriate management of risks to the RSM;
  • To protect and manage the property of the RSM and to ensure the proper investment of funds; and
  • To agree the appointment of the Chief Executive
  • In addition, the Council member with digital experience will be expected to:
  • Chair the RSM’s Digital Working Group, helping build the vision and strategy for digital capability across all areas of activity;
  • Highlight the opportunities and risks of digital development;
  • Explain the risks and opportunities of digital for other Council members, to enable informed decisions to be made;
  • Support the RSM’s Digital Working Group in evaluating proposals and making recommendations to Council;
  • Champion the use of data in discussions and in driving the delivery and improvement of performance across all activities; and
  • Support the Senior Management Team in determining the necessary resources and capabilities to implement the RSM’s digital strategy.

Experience, skills and understanding

Essential criteria for the role include:

  • Experience of operating at a senior management/leadership level;
  • An understanding of the respective roles of the President, Members of Council (Trustees), Chief Executive and Senior Management Team;
  • An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of being a Trustee;
  • Ability to work at a strategic level whilst understanding the detail and complexities of delivery;
  • Successful track record in leading and developing digital strategy development;
  • Demonstrable and practical experience of delivering transformational digital change to deliver service improvements and cost savings;
  • An ability to evaluate the benefits and costs of digital development proposals;
  • Good communication and influencing skills;
  • Ability to work as part of a team and a willingness to take collective responsibility for decisions;
  • Ability to analyse risks and opportunities and take a balanced approach to both;
  • A proven track record of sound judgement;
  • A track record of commitment to promoting equality and diversity;
  • Extensive networks and a willingness to draw on contacts as appropriate; and
  • Commitment to the work of the RSM and a willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to the role

Desirable criteria for the role include:

  • Successful experience of operating as a board member in a charitable, public sector or commercial organisation;
  • Experience of the provision of online education and learning resources, including knowledge of online learning management systems;
  • Knowledge of the landscape for continual learning for healthcare professionals; and
  • Experience of membership organisations.

Time commitment and location

  • Council meets a minimum of four times a year, with other ad hoc meetings as required;
  • The postholder will be a member of the Business Development Committee, a sub-Committee of Council, which meets four times a year and will also Chair the Digital Working Group which meets as required throughout the year; and
  • All meetings will be held at the organisation’s premises at 1 Wimpole Street, London W1G 0AE or by videoconference.

How to apply

Please send a CV and covering letter explaining why you are interested in the role and how you meet the relevant criteria to Joanna Rose at by 12 noon on Monday 8 February 2021. Shortlisted candidates will be notified in the week commencing 15 February 2021 and be invited to a meeting with Ms Michele Acton, Chief Executive, ahead of a Panel Interview on Thursday 25 February 2021. Both will take place via videoconference. If you would like further information, please contact Ms Michele Acton at

The RSM is committed to equal opportunities. Equal opportunities are provided to all applicants for roles without regard to race, religion, colour, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic disposition, neurodiversity, disability or any other protected category.

The RSM is also committed to the safeguarding and fair processing of information received from candidates applying for opportunities and fully complies with the spirit and regulations of the GDPR. For a full statement about the type of data that the RSM keeps about role applicants and the purposes for which it is kept, please read our fair processing notice for job applicants.