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How we work

The society's conduct and strategy is dictated and maintained by a number of rules and statues.

Issues of structure, financing, and membership are dealt with and ratified by our Annual General Meeting.

These are laid out in the following documents:

Along with our Code of Ethics:

Which together set out the requirements and codes of conduct to which our members and subscribers are expected to adhere.

Our Review of the Year 2018 gives an overview of the BPS’s achievements and illustrates how we have delivered on our objectives for the year.

Our Trustees' Annual Report and Consolidated Financial Statement provides a comprehensive overview of what the society has achieved in 2018 and how this has been accounted for financially.

For information about previous years please use the link below:

The Royal Charter & Statutes are the governing documents of the society from which its aims and objectives are derived.

The BPS was granted its Royal Charter in 1965 and recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of this event.

The full document can be accessed below:

We have developed a plan which aims to take the British Psychological Society forward and strengthen its work over the next phase of the society’s development.

This plan has been developed through consultation with our membership and other key stakeholders and its primary aim is to make the society more strategic and focused, and its work more visible and more effective in benefiting and supporting our members.

We will do this through working on six strategic goals:

1. Promote advancements in psychological knowledge and practice

We will promote psychology, building on the success of our conferences, journals and grant schemes. We will give members the opportunity to access wider audiences in the UK and internationally to share their expertise. We will support enhanced access to professional development. We will invest in our grants and bursary schemes to encourage new developments in psychological science, education and practice.

2. Develop the psychological knowledge and professional skills of our members

We have a made a commitment to ensure that services for our membership are at the heart of the society. The BPS recognises the importance of providing excellent Continuing Professional Development opportunities and will update members on the latest psychological knowledge at every career stage. As well as continuing to provide quality CPD courses and events, we will expand our portfolio of professional guidelines and publications.

3. Maximise the impact of psychology on public policy

We will ensure that external audiences, and particularly public policy makers, have better access to the excellent research and insight psychologists can offer. We will strengthen relationships with partner organisations to help achieve our aims of increasing the impact of psychological knowledge and practice on policies which enhance society.

4. Increase the visibility of psychology and raise public awareness of its contribution to society

The society is already recognised by the UK and international media as a key source of information about psychology. We will continue to develop our capacity to give timely and authoritative comment on matters relating to our discipline, and use spokespeople to ensure we present a clear, evidence-based and responsive voice.

We will build on our successful programme of public engagement through lectures, talks, exhibitions and information stands at public science fairs. Growing use of our Public Engagement Grants will help members to reach out to wider audiences to promote the value of psychological research and practice.

5. Attract new members and broaden our membership

Our future rests in the strength of our membership and so we aim to grow this. We have already embarked on partnerships to open up national and international routes to membership. We also need to promote progression through the grades of membership and support our members at every career stage. The new subscriber grades for those with a broad interest in the subject will help us to build a wide audience for our other key objectives.

6. Develop our organisation to support change

We appreciate and welcome the engagement of our members with the society and want to further harness their collective power. We will continue to ensure there are opportunities for our members to be active within the organisation. To achieve this we will continue to review, simplify and strengthen the society’s governance structures and provide them with support and training. We will review and improve our ways of working to ensure the society is flexible, co-ordinated and an effective communicator to ensure all our efforts are focused on achieving our goals. Our member network review is part of this work.

The full 2015-2020 BPS Strategic Plan can be accessed here

The British Psychological Society is a signatory to several Memoranda of Understanding aimed at promoting increased cooperation and collaboration with like-minded organisations around the world.

Currently we have signed memoranda with the following organisations/countries:

  • The Psychological Society of South Africa - June 2001
  • The Slovenian Psychological Association - 2004
  • The Australian Psychological Society - April 2008
  • The American Psychological Association - April 2008
  • The Psychological Society of Ireland - April 2008
  • The National Academy of Psychology (India) - December 2008
  • The Japanese Psychological Association - April 2013
  • The Russian Psychological Society - July 2015
  • The Psychological Society of Ireland - November 2015
  • The Swedish Psychological Association - April 2016
  • The New Zealand Psychological Society - April 2016
  • The Ordem Dos Psicologos Portugueses - May 2018
  • The Academy for Healthcare Science - May 2018
  • The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie - September 2018

In addition in 2010 the BPS signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Psychological Society of Ireland and the BPS Northern Ireland Branch concerning the International School Psychology Association (ISPA).

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