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Who We Are

The British Psychological Society is a registered charity 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 in the UK, and we are governed by a number of democratically-elected boards and committees.

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

To contact the Board of Trustees please email [email protected]

Meetings and Minutes

The Board of Trustees and The Representative Council (which consists of representatives from all of the society's current Member Networks, in addition to our regular trustees) meets every three months to discuss current and future issues affecting the running of the BPS.

Minutes from these meetings are available below.

Please note: you must be logged-in to access these documents):

President (2020 - 2021)

Dr Hazel McLaughlin C.Psychol, CSci, AFBPsS is an HCPC registered Chartered Psychologist, a Chartered Scientist, Practitioner Occupational Psychologist, and a member of the BPS coaching psychology group.

She is an associate fellow of the BPS and co-founder of the Board Effectiveness Group, and has previously served as Deputy Chair of the Professional Practice Board, Deputy Chair for the Publications and Communications Board, and Chair of the Division of Occupational Psychology.

She is also a chartership supervisor, as well as a partner in a psychology consultancy where she heads up the talent management practice and specialises in leadership, change and business transformation. and co-developed and designed the BPS Leadership Programme for Psychologists to enhance leadership capability within the profession.

Hazel has held both Executive and Non-Executive Board positions including Managing Director for Europe for a psychology business. She regularly mentors and develops leaders and psychologists and has over 30 years’ experience as a consultant to many organisations, including the NHS, as well as corporate clients and entrepreneurs.

She is a graduate of the Henley Business School’s Senior Executive Programme and a member of the Institute of Directors.  She is a regular guest lecturer and currently contributes on the Organisational Psychiatry and Psychology Masters programme at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London. She regularly presents at international conferences and provides comment for the media on topics such as leadership, diversity and the psychology of work.

Vice President (2020 - 2021)

Portrait of David MurphyDavid Murphy FBPsS, FRSA is a registered Clinical Psychologist, Health Psychologist and member of the Specialist Register of Clinical Neuropsychologists, and has worked in the NHS for over 30 years, mainly helping patients and their families to cope with serious injury and chronic medical conditions.

David was Head of Psychology Services at Imperial College Healthcare in London for many years and concurrently Honorary Senior Lecturer and lead for psychology teaching at Imperial College Medical School.

In 2001, he was seconded to the Commission for Health Improvement to help develop the national programme of governance inspections.

In 2013, David became Joint Director of the Oxford Institute of Clinical Psychology Training and fellow of Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford. Since leaving Oxford in mid-2018, David has been focussing primarily on leadership research based at the University of Edinburgh Centre for Strategic Leadership, where he is leading a large-scale longitudinal research study into leadership development in NHS clinicians.

David has previously served as Chair of the Professional Practice Board, Director of the DCP Professional Standards Unit and Chair of the Board of Examiners in Clinical Psychology, and has represented the BPS on numerous national and international bodies, including the National Collaborating Centre in Mental Health, the DH Ministerial Advisory Group on Mental Health Strategy, and the International Project on Competence in Psychology.

President-Elect (2020 - 2021)

Portrait image of Dr Nigel MacLennanDr Nigel MacLennan is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, as well as a member of the Division of Occupational Psychology, the Special Group in Coaching Psychology, Chair of the London and Home Counties Branch, and a member of the BPS Senate.

His specialism is harnessing psychology to lead and coach leaders to deliver improved results, and when serving as Director of the Chartered Institute of Management he led the introduction of best-practice corporate governance that helped secure chartered status for the organisation,

In addition to being part of the Regional Board Institute of Management and Secretary of the Birmingham Branch of the the CIPD, Dr MacLennan has led multiple boards of large-scale organisations to make substantial improvements (mainly by focusing the companies on their customers).

Nigel wishes members to hold him to account for what he does and believes that all members have the right to challenge trustees and hold them to account. Accordingly, Nigel here republishes his election statement so that members can measure his performance against his promises.

Read Dr MacLennan's election statement.

Honorary General Secretary (2015-2021)

Image of Dr Carole Allan CPsychol Csci FBPsSDr Carole Allan CPsychol Csci FBPsS is an independent practitioner whose career has spanned a variety of clinical, organisational, and academic roles, including Professional Lead for Psychology in NHS Glasgow and Clyde, and Clinical Director for the Doctorate Programme in Clinical Psychology at the University of Glasgow. 

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 (2019 - 2021)

Dr. Roxane L. Gervais CPsychol AFBPsS is an independent practitioner and consultant. She has worked for many years in diverse teams, in both the public and private sectors, as well as in different countries and has led projects across Europe and internationally.

Her professional and research interests focus on the well-being of individuals within the work environment, inclusive of job stress and strain, mental health, job satisfaction, work-life balance, and diversity within the workplace, inclusive of gender and generational issues.

Roxane’s work and research experience covers also leadership, communication, behaviour change, organisational change, as well as using occupational safety and health policies and practices to promote safe and healthy work conditions.

Roxane has previously served as the Chair of the Division of Occupational Psychology, and as the Chair and Honorary Treasurer of the North East of England Branch. She serves currently as the Division’s Honorary Treasurer.

She is the editor for the Division’s Work-Life Balance working group’s bulletin and was a co-facilitator of the Division’s Leadership Development Programme, which developed volunteers to lead within the Division.

Chair of the Research Board (2015-2021)

Image of Professor Daryl O'Connor CPsychol AFBPsS

Professor Daryl O'Connor CPsychol AFBPsS is a Professor of Psychology  at the School of Psychology, University of Leeds, where he heads the Health and Social Psychology Research Group.

A registered health psychologist with a strong interest in psychobiology research, Professor O'Connor is currently head of the Laboratory for Stress and Health Research (STARlab) and has long been involved in promoting open science and psychology both nationally and across Europe.

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 well 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 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 (including two terms as Deputy Chair).

He is currently serving his second term as Chair of the Research Board and is also Convenor of the Board of Scientific Affairs for the European Federation of Psychology Associations (EFPA).

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), and in 2014 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

In 2015, he was elected a Distinguished International Affiliate of the American Psychological Association's Division 38 (Health Psychology), in 2017 he was elected Fellow to the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, and in 2019 he was elected Fellow of the European Health Psychology Society.

Chair of the Practice Board (2017-2020)

Alison Clarke MBPsS is a Coaching Psychologist working in a busy private practice, where she supports a wide range of clients in achieving transformational outcomes.

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 and, in 2012, was elected to serve as the media and communications spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Branch of the BPS.

Chair of the Education and Training Board

Coming soon.

Chair of the Member Board

Image of Carol McGuinnessProfessor Carol McGuinness is Professor Emerita at Queen’s University Belfast. She graduated from University College Dublin with a 1st class honours BA degree in 1972, and an MA in 1974. She received her PhD from Queen’s in 1979.

Carol's research has been 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.

She was member of the ESRC Research Grants Board from 2002-2004 and her work has been influential in curriculum developments in several countries, especially in Northern Ireland where she was seconded as an advisor to their curriculum authority (CCEA) from 2004-2007.

Carol has been an active member of the BPS since she was a postgraduate. She was Chair of the Special Group for the Teaching of Psychology in the 1990s and Vice Chair of the Division of Teachers and Researchers in Psychology (now DARTP). She chaired the BPS Working Party on A-level Psychology (2003), and edited Psychology Teaching Review (1999-2004). She received a National Teaching Fellowship in 2000 (the first year the fellowships were awarded) and was an elected ordinary member of the Psychology Education Board for two years in 2012.

More recently she has been Chair of the Northern Ireland Branch of the BPS (2010-2016) 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) (2018-2020)

Image of Dr Peter Branney CPsychol AFBPsSDr Peter Branney CPsychol AFBPsS is a Chartered Psychologist and Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University, specialising in Social Psychology and Qualitative Research Methods.

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.

Co-Opted Trustee (2019-2021)

Dr Adam Jowett CPsychol AFBPsS is a Chartered Psychologist and an academic within the School of Psychological, Social Sciences at Coventry University. He is also an Associate Editor of the journal Psychology & Sexuality.

Following completion of his PhD, Adam was a Research Fellow at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Leeds, and since 2012 he has been at Coventry University as a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Associate Head of School.

Adam has also been Course Director of a BPS accredited MSc Health Psychology programme and has served on the committees of several BPS Sections, including as Chair of the Psychology of Sexualities Section. He is also a member of the Division of Health Psychology and the Qualitative Methods in Psychology Section.

Co-Opted Trustee (2019-2021)

Christina Buxton CPsychol AFBPsS is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the BPS, a Chartered Scientist, and a member of the Division of Teachers and Researchers in Psychology, the Division of Occupational Psychology, and the Division of Counselling Psychology.

Christina is also senior practitioner member of the BPS Register of Psychologists Specialising in Psychotherapy, and on the BPS Register of Applied Psychology Practice Supervisors. In addition she is a registered psychotherapist with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), a member of EMDR UK and Ireland, and an accredited member of Emotional Freedom Technique international (EFTi).  

Christina works both academically and clinically with those affected by, or in contact with those suffering from, psychological trauma and, in her current academic post as a senior lecturer at the University of Chester, she has responsibility for two MSc programmes in psychological trauma. Christina also provides training and consultancy to organisations who specialise in this area of work and is currently working on a project in collaboration with Combat Stress on veterans narratives of PTSD.

Christina is the current chair of the BPS Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Section, a member of the BPS Research Board and the Representative Council. Christina a member of the BPS Psychological Testing Centre (PTC) and is on the Register of Qualifications in Test Use (RQTU). She is a member of the PTC Committee on Test Standards (CTS) and a member of the CTS Health and Social Care Contexts Working Group.

Her previous roles at the BPS include serving as a committee member of the Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Section specifically with a responsibility for CPD events, and subsequently as chair elect. She was a member of the BPS North West Branch Committee where she additionally served as chair from 2008-2010.

Co-Opted Trustee (2019-2021)

Dr Esther Cohen-Tovee CPsychol AFBPsS is a registered Clinical Psychologist and is the Director of Allied Health Professions and Psychological Services at Northumberland, Tyne & Wear (NTW) NHS Foundation Trust. Her previous role was Clinical Director for Psychological Services in NTW FT (2010 - 2017).

Esther has worked in the NHS for the past 30 years, combining clinical work with leadership and management responsibilities since taking on her first professional management role in 1996. 

Esther has been a member of the BPS since 1988, and has fulfilled a number of roles for the BPS and Division of Clinical Psychology including representing the BPS on national committees and working groups.

She is currently serving for the second time as Chair of the Division of Clinical Psychology, is a member of the BPS Practice Board and is BPS Co-Chair of the Accreditation Programme for Psychological Therapy Services (APPTS), a joint initiative between the BPS and the Royal Collage of Psychiatrists.

Esther also represents the BPS on the Independent Advisory & Oversight Group for the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health & NHS Long Term Plan.

Co-Opted Trustee (2018-2021)

Image of Chris D Lynch MBPsSChris D Lynch MBPsS is a founding Member of the Section of Community Psychology, with a degree in Psychology from the University of Chester, as well as a long-standing member of the North West Branch of the society.

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.

Our Senior Management Team is made up of a number of directors whose responsibility it is to oversee the smooth and efficient running of the society's internal workings:

Chief Executive Officer - Sarb Bajwa

Image of BPS CEO, Sarb BajwaOur CEO, Sarb Bajwa, joined the society in April 2018.

Over the years, Sarb has worked in the aid sector, in legal and financial services, and the energy industry.

He has continually sought to contribute to the overarching goals of each organisation while also leading these various professional membership bodies through a variety of challenging national and international political environments.

Driven to promote and support positive growth and development in all aspects of the society's work, his goal is to ensure the BPS continues to make a meaningful and positive contribution to the world.

Contact the CEO

Director of IT - Mike Laffan

Mike Laffan joined the society in July 2006.

Prior to joining the society, he 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, which includes IT Services, buildings management, security, data protection, and health and safety.

Contact the Director of IT

Director of Communications and Engagement - Rachel Dufton

Rachel Dufton joined the BPS in September 2018.

As Director of Communications and Engagement she has responsibility for all internal and external communications and stakeholder engagement.

Rachel has worked in senior communications roles for a range of high profile professional bodies, charities and regulators across the health sector.

She led communications functions at the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the children’s charity Ambitious about Autism, and the Royal College of Nursing where she won several UK and international awards including the Chartered Institute of Public Relations ‘Outstanding In-House Team of the Year’.

Contact the Director of Communications and Engagement

Director of Finance and Resources - Harnish Hadani

Harnish Hadani joined the BPS in January 2019 and leads the finance team’s work in supporting the society’s activities.

Prior to this he spent eight years as a Director of Finance for various businesses, and qualified as a chartered accountant with Deloitte.

His primary focus is on ensuring that our finance function is able to support both the society’s day-to-day work and long term objectives, but he also works to support our member networks with their accounts, and provides additional financial accountability to members of the BPS.

Contact the Director of Finance and Resources

Director of Membership and Professional Development - Karen Beamish

Karen joined us in January 2019 as Interim Director of Qualifications and Standards and now oversees the following departments:

  • Membership and Customer Services
  • Professional Development and Assessment
  • Conference and Events
  • Member Networks
  • Partnerships and Accreditation
  • Workforce Education, Training and Standards

Karen has a proven track record, at senior management level, of working on strategic learning and development projects with professional and expert bodies in the UK and abroad, including the Royal Society of Medicine, the General Optical Council, the Chartered Institute of Insurance, the Association of Business Executives, the Association of Corporate Treasurers and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply.

Contact the Director of Membership and Professional Development

Head of Legal and Governance - Christine Attfield

Christine Attfield joined the BPS in January 2019 and leads on all legal and governance issues.

She is a solicitor and part ICSA qualified, and has worked in a variety of roles within private practice, industry and Higher Education.

Most recently she has worked as Director of Legal and Employment Services for Home-Start UK, a leading family support charity and as a commercial lawyer for the University of Birmingham.

Contact the Head of Legal and Governance

Director of Knowledge and Insight - Debra Malpass

Debra Malpass joined the BPS in January 2020.

She leads the research, insight & knowledge management function and oversees the Research and Impact team, the Practice Guidance Team and the History of Psychology Centre.

She has a Ph.D in psychology and a wealth of experience as an academic researcher having worked in psychology departments in the UK and USA for over a decade.   

Prior to joining the BPS Debra worked as a researcher at AQA, the UK’s largest exam board. In this post she carried out mixed methods research with 14-16 year olds.

She also designed GCSE, A-level and vocational qualifications and carried out statistical analysis to set exam grade boundaries every summer.

Debra also led the Research and Analysis team at the Solicitors Regulation Authority, where she pioneered the use of machine learning, behavioural insights and randomised controlled trials to regulate the legal market.

Contact the Director of Knowldge and Insight

The society has four main boards which report to the Board of Trustees, each with a specific area of responsibility.

These boards are made up of society members, and their chairs serve on the Board of Trustees.

Each board also contains a number of sub-committees and working parties.

Please click the appropriate link below for more information on the remit and responsibilities of each individual board:

A number of other bodies also advise the Board of Trustees:

Two standing committees:

And three sub-committees:

  • The Finance Commitee

  • The Risk and Assurance Committee

  • The HR Committee

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