Independent governance review

RCN logo for Independent governance review


The report by the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) into the governance of the Royal College of Nursing has been completed and released.  

The review was called for by a resolution from Congress 2019 and was due to be discussed at Congress 2020.

Dee Sissons, Chair of RCN Council, has responded to the report and Jacqui McKinlay, Chief Executive of the Centre for Public Scrutiny, has recorded a short video

The CfPS observed Council, Committee, Board meetings and participated in online discussion groups. CfPS also conducted a survey of all RCN members which received 2,844 responses. 

In the absence of Congress in 2020, Council will be offering more opportunities for direct member engagement, including:

  • Briefings by the Chair of Council, Council members and the Chairs of the Committees;
  • Digital Q&A sessions, led by Council in June and July;
  • A dedicated email inbox for feedback on the report (see below).

RCN Council is determined to hear from the greatest number of members possible, with the broadest range of views. Further information will be added here in the course of the next month about engagement opportunities.

We are very keen to hear the thoughts of all members on the report, in particular:

  • What your three priorities from it would be;
  • How members could be engaged in the implementation and development of the recommendations; 
  • How we keep you informed of the progress made.


Please join one of the webinars over the next three weeks by clicking on the links below which Council members will be hosting to hear your thoughts on the report and answer any questions you have.

We have chosen different times of day to accommodate as many people as possible  You do not necessarily have to join the session with the elected Council member for your country or region or other constituency but the time that works best for you. 

24 June at 20:00 

Dee Sissons, Chair of Council
Geoff Earl, Council Member for Scotland and Chair of Governance Support Committee 
Richard Jones, Vice Chair of Council 

26 June at 08:00 

Dee Sissons, Chair of Council
Jeremy Benton, Council Member for the South East
Richard Jones, Vice Chair of Council
Joan Myers, Council Member for London 

26 June at 09:00

Dee Sissons, Chair of Council
Dave Dawes, Council Member for the North West and Chair of the Finance & Investment Committee
Richard Jones, Vice Chair of Council
Annessa Rebair, Council Member for Northern

7 July at 12:00 noon

Dee Sissons, Chair of Council
Fiona Devlin, Council Member for Northern Ireland
Richard Jones, Vice Chair of Council
Evan Keir, Nursing Support Worker Member of Council

8 July at 13:00

Dee Sissons, Chair of Council and Council Member for East Midlands
Richard Jones, Vice Chair of Council and Council Member for Wales
Rod Thomson, Council Member for West Midlands 

And/or send in your comments to

The RCN continuously strives to improve the way it works for members and to give them confidence in the organisation. 

In anticipation, we would like to thank everybody who will take part and help to set the future direction of the College.

The origins of the review and the process followed

At RCN Congress 2019, members called for a review of RCN governance arrangements.

RCN Council set the terms of reference for the review and appointed the Centre for Public Scrutiny.

The aim of the review was to ensure that the RCN's members:

  • have good oversight of the organisation's strategy and the process for key decisions
  • have the opportunity to influence and shape their organisation
  • are assured of openness and transparency 
  • find its structures fit for purpose.

How we heard from members 

  • From early February, all members of the RCN were invited to complete a survey that closed Monday 16 March. The responses were sent directly to CfPS.
  • Individual members were offered interviews.
  • CfPS heard directly from members at country and regional boards.
  • A cross-section of members holding RCN Council, committee or other governance roles were interviewed.
  • Six online focus groups were offered in March.