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The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) is the governing body for surgery in Ireland and a third level institution focusing on health care, education and research.
Since its foundation in 1784, the RCSI has developed an international reputation for innovation in Medical Health Sciences, Education and Research. RCSI is an independent, not-for-profit institution, with charitable status and this year RCSI celebrates 200 years at its St Stephens Green campus.
A renowned centre of excellence RCSI has developed an international reputation for innovation in medical undergraduate and post graduate education and research. Almost 20,000 doctors have been educated at, or trained by RCSI, including students from over 60 countries. More recently, nursing, physiotherapy and pharmacy students have been added to the community of graduates from RCSI. RCSI has campuses in Ireland, Bahrain, Dubai and Penang. At a national level, in addition to Surgery, RCSI has the national responsibility for providing postgraduate training and education in emergency medicine, radiology, dentistry, sports and exercise medicine and ophthalmology.
There are almost 4,000 students currently participating in RCSI undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. There is also a cohort of salaried researchers.
These international and diverse activities are embodied in RCSI's noble purpose, which is:
'Building on our heritage in surgery, we will enhance human health through endeavour, innovation and collaboration in education, research and service.'
The governing body of the College is its Council, composed of twenty-one surgeons who are Fellows of the College and are elected by the College's Fellows and Members. Council meets 10 times during the year and meetings are chaired by the President. Council delegates a number of its main functions to various boards and committees. The significant activities of these boards and committees are reported to Council on a regular basis.
In keeping with the RCSI's commitment to continuous quality improvement a Governance Working Group was established by Council during 2009 to examine how RCSI governance could be enhanced to continue to meet the changing needs of the College and its stakeholders. In Spring of 2010 this group provided Council with some recommendations.
One of the key recommendations that Council has adopted is that a board/committee for each of the College's two key areas of activities will be established. Furthermore whilst retaining decision making on reserved matters, the Council will delegate specific functions that are relevant to each of these areas to these boards/committees.
The two key areas of the College are: Surgery and the Postgraduate Faculties of Radiology, Dentistry and Sports and Exercise Medicine, and the Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and related Departments and Schools
These two new boards will be called the Surgery and Postgraduate Faculties Board and the Medicine & Health Sciences Board.
Each of these boards will be composed of key stakeholders and a specified number of Council members. The President RCSI will chair both boards / committees and all Council members may attend either board/committee in an ex officio capacity.
To enable RCSI's board/committees to leverage external perspectives and experience, the Council has adopted the working committee's recommendation that external members be appointed to these two proposed boards and, when relevant to the College's key subcommittees. These external members are to be appointed for a period of two years.
External members should provide an independent, external perspective and infuse RCSI's boards/committees with fresh, new thinking on all aspects of activities. The external members are not required to have a healthcare background however they should be able to demonstrate how their skills and experience will bring value to the College. They should be committed to pro-actively contributing to and working with the College to advance medical education and healthcare in Ireland and Internationally.