The British Psychological Society is a registered charity and is responsible for the development, promotion and application of psychology for the public good.
Through our Royal Charter we are charged with overseeing psychology and psychologists around the UK, and our governance is overseen by a number of democratically-elected boards and committees.
For more information on our Royal Charter, our Rules, and Statutes, please click here.
The Board of Trustees
This is the Society’s primary governing body, with responsibility for the management and control of the Society's affairs and transactions, which ensures that we conform to the terms of our Charter and that we observe our legal obligations as a charitable body.
The Board of Trustees is made up of:
- The Presidential Team
- Honorary Officers
- The Chairs of our four main boards
- Council Representatives
If you wish to contact a member of the Presidential team please email the Chief Executive's Office at [email protected]
The Representative Council
The Representative Council provides a mechanism for our members to directly advice the Board of Trustees.
It consists of representatives from all of the Society's Member Networks, in addition to our regular Trustees.
The Senior Management Team
Our Senior Management Team is made up of six directors, whose responsibility it is to oversee the smooth and efficient running of the Society's internal workings.
The Society has four main boards which report to the Board of Trustees, each with a specific area of responsibility to develop policy for approval by the Trustees.
Our boards are:
- Membership and Standards
- Professional Practice
- Education & Public Engagement
The Chairs of each of these four Boards serve on the Board of Trustees.
To find out more about the function and remit of our boards, please click here.
A number of other bodies also advise the Board of Trustees
Two standing committees:
- Psychologist and Digest Editorial Advisory Committee (PDEAC)
- Ethics Committee
And two subcommittees and working groups:
- Audit and Risk Committee
- Personnel Committee
President (2017 - 2018)
Nicola's early career involved work in organisational development and training, as well as in professional services as a management consultant and an accountant, before going on to train as a counselling psychologist in mental health in the voluntary sector.
Following this she went on to serve as clinical lead and head of services for an occupational health psychology service in the NHS, and has also served on the Organising Professional Committee for Psychology at Unite.
Her professional interests include the provision of psychological services in the workplace, as well as the mental health and welfare needs of staff (including the management of work related stress and the provision of adjustments to support access/inclusion), and the nature and establishment of professional working relationships (including mediation and conciliation, critical incident management, and consultation/supervision support for workplace teams).
Prior to her appointment as President Nicola has acted as chair for the Representative Council of the Society, and has also served on both the Professional Practice Board and the Ethics Committee (where she contributed to revising the Society’s Code of Ethics and Conduct), along with chairing various Society working groups - including the working group responsible for revising the Society's Professional Practice Guidelines.
President Elect (2017 - 2018)
She was appointed as a lecturer at Swansea University in 2003, and awarded an MEd from the Open University in 2005, and has, over the years, also served as an NHS clinical tutor and an associate lecturer for the Open University.
In 2007 she left Swansea to establish a psychology department at Aberystwyth University, where she remained until 2015, undertaking various academic leadership roles (Head of Department; Institute Director, University Director of Ethics and Equality) as well as acting as the university’s Athena SWAN Champion.
Since 2015 she has been Head of the School of Applied Social Science at the University of Brighton, where she chairs the University Ethics and Integrity Committee and provides support for the Athena SWAN charter.
As a member of the BPS Kate has served as a member of the undergraduate accreditation team, vice-chair of the Education and Public Engagement Board, and chair of the Social Justice, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Working Group, and for the last five years she has served as chair of the Ethics Committee.
Kate was awarded Fellowship of the Society in 2017, and next year will see the 25th anniversary of her becoming a member of the BPS.
Vice President (vacant)
Honorary General Secretary (2015-2018)
Dr Allan has aso held a variety of roles within the Society, including Chair of the new Special Group of Independent Practitioners, Chair of the Professional Practice Board, and BPS President (2011-12).
She is currently a member of the Division of Clinical Psychology, the Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Section, and the Special Group of Independent Practitioners.
Her primary interests are in the fields of mental health, addiction, trauma, and occupational health, along with the importance of education and training in ethical and professional approaches to practice.
Honorary Treasurer (2016 - 2019)
Now (mostly) retired, Professor Miller was previously employed in the NHS as a Clinical and Health Psychologist and worked in England for 20 years, before returning to Scotland for a further 15, where his final position before retirment was as Professional Advisor for Psychology to NHS Lothian.
He is a Chartered Member of both the Division of Clinical Psychology and the Division of Health Psychology, as well as a member of the Division of Occupational Psychology, and currently enjoys an Honorary Professorship awarded by Heriot Watt University.
Over the years has has served as both Honorary Treasurer and Chair of the Division of Clinical Psychology, Chair of the Professional Practice Board, and President of the Society.
Chair Research Board (2015-2018)
Laboratory for Stress and Health Research (STARlab).
Along with being a registered health psychologist, Daryl is also the joint Editor-in-Chief of the journal Psychology & Health, and has been actively involved in the business of the Society for over fifteen years.
During this time he has served as Chair-elect, Chair, and Deputy Chair of the Division of Health Psychology Committee, as well as Chair-elect, as well as a member of the BPS Psychobiology Section Committee (serving as Chair from 2004-2006), and has been an elected member of the Research Board since 2004, where he recently served two terms as Deputy Chair.
Daryl has also acted as an Expert Advisor to the WHO's Department of Reproductive Health & Research and has been asked to advise upon research strategy at the National Institute of Aging and National Institutes of Health in the United States. In 2011 he was elected a Fellow by the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) in recognition of his significant contribution to the Social Sciences, and in 2014 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).
Professor O'Connor is currently the Board Representative on the European Federation of Psychology Associations (EFPA) Board of Scientific Affairs, and his work has been published and featured extensively both nationally and internationally.
Chair Membership and Standards Board (2015-2018)
Dr Forshaw is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, a Chartered Scientist, and both a Fellow and President Elect of the Institute for Health Promotion and Education.
He is also past Chair of the Division of Health Psychology Training Committee, past Chair, Chief Supervisor and Registrar of the BPS Health Psychology Qualifications Board, and past Chair of the BPS Qualifications Standards Committee.
In 2011 he was awarded the British Psychological Society Division of Health Psychology Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Advancement of Health Psychology.
Chair Professional Practice Board (2017-2020)
For over twenty years Alison has pursued a career in training, development, and management consultancy in Britain, Ireland and Europe, helping to implement organisational, procedural, and service-level changes in both corporate entities and in the NHS and Irish health services.
While working in Brussels she created a number of ground breaking career development programmes for students from British, Irish and European universities and colleges. The success of this work was founded on a commitment to excellence, openness, and psychological coaching which she continues in her private practice.
Alison was elected to serve as the media and communications spokesperson for the British Psychological Society (Northern Ireland Branch) in 2012. Since then she has continually encouraged the branch to engage with local media to highlight the value of of psychology in the lives of all people.
Chair Education and Public Engagement Board (2016-2019)
Professor Carol McGuinness is a Chartered Psychologist and Professor Emerita at Queen’s University Belfast, where she has worked for most of her professional life. She graduated from University College Dublin with a BA in Psychology in 1972, and an MA in 1974, followed by a PhD from Queen’s in 1979.
Her research has focussed primarily on the application of cognitive psychology to education, designing and evaluating classroom interventions to develop children’s thinking skills and evaluating the long-term effects of early interventions.
Her work has been influential in curriculum developments in several countries, particularly Northern Ireland where she was seconded as an advisor to their curriculum authority (CCEA) from 2004-2007.
Professor McGuinness served as Chair of the Special Group for the Teaching of Psychology in the 1990s and was a committee member and then Vice Chair of the newly formed Division of Teachers and Researchers in Psychology (1996-2002). She chaired the BPS Working Party on A-level Psychology (2003), and edited Psychology Teaching Review (1999-2004), and was was member of the ESRC Research Grants Board from 2002-2004.
More recently she has been Chair of the Northern Ireland Branch of the BPS (2010-2016) where she played a significant role in co-ordinating the activities of the Branch to influence public policy at Stormont, and is currently leading a project on the evolution and impact of the science and practice of psychology in Northern Ireland, funded by the BPS Public Engagement Fund.
Chair of The Representative Council (Observer on the Board of Trustees) (2017-2018)
Following the completion of his PhD Peter joined the Centre for Men’s Health at Leeds Metropolitan University, and in 2009 he was promoted to the position of Senior Research Fellow. In 2012 he transferred to the School of Social, Psychological and Communication Studies as a Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology.
Peter is currently a member of both the Qualitative Methods in Psychology section and the Standing Conference Committee of the British Psychological Society, and also acts as an External Examiner for the psychology degree programmes at Cardiff Metropolitan University and Edinburgh Napier University.
Council Representative on the Board of Trustees (2016 -2019)
Helen has a wealth of experience across a wide range of settings, including old age psychiatry, NHS adult mental health, research, and academia, and has a particular interest in depression, anxiety, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Her research publications and interest areas are primarily focussed around Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, personality traits, and work-life balance.
Since 2010 Dr Nicholas has been involved in volunteering within the BPS and the Division of Counselling Psychology, and her previous roles include chair of the BPS South West of England Branch and chair of the Division of Counselling Psychology.
Council Representative on the Board of Trustees (2016 -2019)
From 1985 to 1999 she was a Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer, in the Department of Psychology at Surrey, where she played a major part in establishing the MSc programme in Health Psychology and in setting up the first BPS accredited course in Counselling Psychology.
Over the years Professor Wilkinson has served on a number of BPS Committees and Boards, including the Counselling Psychology Division Committee (Chair 2002 - 2003), the Board of Examiners for Counselling Psychology (Chief Examiner 1994-1997, Chair 1997-2000), the Membership and Professional Training Board, the National Occupational Standards Steering Committee, the Representative Council and the Investigatory Committee.
Jill currently works mainly in independent practice, but also continues to teach part-time as a Visiting Professor of Psychology at the University of Surrey.
Council Representative on the Board of Trustees (2015-2018)
Her teaching and research is centred around exploring atypical differences in children, with a particular focus on neurological and developmental aspects, as well as differences in cultural identity, geographical location, gender, and ethnicity.
In addition to serving on the BPS Board of Trustees, Lindsay has also been a member of the University of Brighton’s Committee for Diversity and Widening Participation, as well as acting as the Education Liaison Officer at the University of Luton.
Council Representative on the Board of Trustees (2015-2018)
Chris is a Service User Governor for Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust, where he also chairs the Membership and Development subcommittee, and also helps to run Chester PLUS, a local Mental Health charity in Chester which specialises in Peer Support.
He has helped to found a number of Rethink Mental Illness support groups in the local Cheshire area, while also helping to run the West Cheshire Mental Health Forum, and is currently Co-Chair of the newly formed West Cheshire Mental Health Partnership Board.
In addition, Chris is also a member of Time to Change's Senior Management Group, a Trustee of Rethink Mental Illness, and an Expert Advisor for the Royal college of Psychiatrists.
Chief Executive - role currently vacant
Mike Laffan - Director of Corporate Services
Mike Laffan joined the Society in July 2006 as Operations Processes and Systems Manager, which was renamed Director of Corporate Services in 2007 following an internal reorganisation.
Prior to joining the Society, Mike worked in operations, IT, and auditing in a number of commercial, retail, and entertainment organisations, including Bupa, Eurostar, Granada, and Mecca Leisure.
Mike leads the underlying operational services of the Society, including the help desk (which provides first line support for members, staff and the public), IT services, preparation for publication (including graphic design, print and reproduction), mass mailing management, buildings management, security, data protection, and health and safety.
With a strong cross-section of operational knowledge and experience, Mike has enjoyed being part of the Senior Management Team, which has led the significant changes and advances within the Society over the years, and he looks forward to being a part of the future progression of the Society’s aims and its continual success.
Andrea Finkel-Gates - Director of Qualifications and Standards
Andrea Finkel-Gates joined the Society in 2016 having started her career within professional training, before moving into teaching and then progressing into senior management within the Further Education Sector.
Andrea is passionate about education and is driven to ensure a high quality learning experience is at the heart of all decisions.
Andrea has responsibility for the Society’s membership function, ensuring that the service we provide continues to meet the needs of the membership, and is also responsible for education and training within the Society, including the Society’s internal qualifications and the accreditation of education and training programmes. Andrea wishes to ensure a psychologically informed curriculum that is evidence based, from early years, through into secondary, pre-tertiary, undergraduate, postgraduate professional training and beyond.
Andrea is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management and is a graduate of Durham University, Northumbria University and the University of Sunderland.
Kathryn Scott joined the BPS in March 2016 and leads the Society’s work to raise public awareness and maximise the impact of psychology on key areas of public policy.
Her department includes the Policy Unit, the Communications, Press, PR, Website and Social Media functions, The Psychologist and Research Digest, the History of Psychology Centre, and Academic Resources.
She also oversees implementation of the work of the Research, Professional Practice and Education and Public Engagement boards.
Much of Kathryn’s policy experience was gained during her time at Save the Children UK, where she led several high-profile international health campaigns to influence policy decisions in the UK, EU, UN and developing countries. Prior to joining the BPS Kathryn also worked in local government as a Public Health Strategist, designing and commissioning public services and delivering behavior change communications.
Kathryn holds a Masters in International Politics from Newcastle University and a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Psychology from City University.
Annjanette Wells - Acting Director of Membership Services
Russell Hobbs - Director of Finance
Russell is currently the longest serving member of staff having seen the organisation grow from a membership of 5,000, a staff of 10 and a net worth of just £500,000. Now there are nearly 60,000 members and a significant workforce. The growth and the influence of the Society over the years has been significant and this is reflected in the healthy finances of the organisation.
He was originally appointed as the Society accountant, which developed into the Finance Directorate Managers role. He was appointed Director of Finance in 2007.
Russell has overseen some of the largest finance projects that the Society has been involved with. The decision to buy St Andrews House, Leicester in 1993, and the purchase and sale of John Street, London in 1999 and 2006 respectively. He was also actively involved in the purchase of the present London office in Tabernacle Street.
Russell is a passionate believer in the charity sector within the UK and feels that it fulfils an important role within society in general. He is particularly proud of what the Society has achieved over the years in term of influence and development. Also the fact that it provides direct employment for so many people within the Leicester area and beyond is a particular area that pleases.
Russell has a first degree in Business Studies from De Montfort University and an MA in Human Resource Management. He is also a member of the Chartered Management Institute.