The governing body of the RHS is Council. This is made up of the President, Treasurer, 15 members – all of whom are elected by the RHS membership - and up to two co-opted members. The members of Council also act as the trustees of the Society. The President acts as the Chairman of Council.
Find out more about the members of Council
Election and appointment to Council
The President and Treasurer are elected annually by RHS members at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The other 15 elected members of Council usually serve for five years with at least three retiring each year and their replacements being elected at the AGM.
Find out more about elections
Co-opted members are appointed by Council to serve for up to one year to the date of the AGM, with the opportunity of re-appointment for one further year. Co-option provides an opportunity to recruit additional members to Council who offer particular skills and knowledge.
In the event of a vacancy arising during the year, Council has the power to appoint a new trustee. An appointed trustee will serve until the date of the next AGM, after which the post will be filled by election.
All members of Council must be members of the RHS and eligible under charity law to serve as a trustee. No ordinary member of Council may serve for longer than 10 years, unless made eligible to stand for election for one further term of up to five years in accordance with the Bye-laws.
A Nominations and Appointments Committee including both serving trustees and other members of the RHS is responsible for identifying candidates for election to Council after having regard to the role description and person specification and the skills, knowledge and experience of existing trustees. They also make recommendations on the candidates that should receive Council’s support at elections.
Responsibilities of Council
Council is responsible for:
- the future direction of the Society;
- the investment and disposal of Society assets;
- The strategic management and performance of the Society.
Its duty is to ensure that the RHS carries out the charitable purpose set out in the RHS Charter, namely: “The encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture in all its branches”.