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Who we are

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.

For more information on our Boards and Committees, 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]

For legal advice on the question of remuneration please consult the document below:

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.

President (2017 - 2018)

Nicola Gale CPsychol AFBPsS currently works in the Department of Psychology at City University London, where her teaching focuses on professional standards of practice in psychology, diversity, equality and inclusion, and clinical practice and supervision.

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's Office

President Elect (2017 - 2018)

Professor Kate Bullen CPsychol FBPsS was originally trained as a therapeutic radiographer, before moving on to undertake an undergraduate degree in psychology, followed by a PhD and a post-doctoral fellowship, at The University of Wales, Swansea.

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)

Carole AllanDr 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 (2016 - 2019)

Professor Ray MillerProfessor Ray Miller CPsychol FBPsS graduated in Psychology from Strathclyde University in 1975 before moving to Liverpool to complete his postgraduate training in Clinical Psychology.

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)

Professor Daryl O'Connor

Professor Daryl O'Connor CPsychol AFBPsS is a Professor of Psychology and Senior Lecturer at the School of Psychology, University of Leeds, where he heads both the Health and Social Psychology Research Group and the 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 Mark ForshawDr Mark Forshaw CPsychol CSci FBPsS FIHPE is a Health Psychologist at Liverpool John Moores University, as well as the author, co-author, or editor of ten books and numerous research articles, covering topics such as Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome, kidney disease, and tanning behaviours, to name but a few.

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)

Alison ClarkeAlison 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. 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 (2017-2020)

Carol McGuinness

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, and her research has focussed primarily on the application of cognitive psychology to education, including designing and evaluating classroom interventions to develop children’s thinking skills as well as 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)

Peter BranneyDr 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.

Council Representative on the Board of Trustees (2016 -2019)

Helen Nicholas

Dr Helen Nicholas CPsychol AFBPsSb is a chartered psychologist, EMDR practitioner, and a senior lecturer in counselling psychology at the University of Worcester, with a PsychD in psychotherapeutic and counselling psychology from the University of Surrey.

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)

Professor Jill WilkinsonProfessor Jill D. Wilkinson CPsychol CSci FBPsS is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist, Chartered Health Psychologist, and registered psychologist with the Health Practitioners Council, who receivered her PhD from the University of Surrey.

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)

Chris LynchChris 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.

Director of Corporate Services - Mike Laffan

Mike LaffanMike Laffan joined the Society in July 2006 as Operations Processes and Systems Manager.

In 2007, following an internal reorganisation, this role was renamed Director of Corporate Services.

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, 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.

Director of Policy & Communications - Kathryn Scott

Kathryn ScottKathryn 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.

Director of Qualifications and Standards - Andrea Finkel-Gates

Andrea Finkel-Gates 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 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.

She is passionate about education and is driven to ensure that a high quality learning experience is at the heart of all decisions, while also seeking to ensure and maintain 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.

Director of Membership Services - Annjanette Wells

Annjanette WellsAnnjanette joined the Society in April 2004 as Member Network Services Manager.

In September 2017 she we seconded to be Director of Membership Services.

She has spent the last 16 years working at a senior management level. She has significant experience in enhancing service delivery, building on her time in banking, where she worked in business banking and in the commercial sector.

Annjanette leads the teams of staff supporting the Society’s Member Networks and Professional Development Centre. She is responsible for delivering a high standard of service to our members and developing strategies for maximising income streams associated with the Professional Development Centre.

A key focus of her work is supporting the Structural Review of the Society. Annjanette is committed to making a positive change that will result in making a stronger, more agile Society a reality.

Annjanette has enjoyed supporting the members in contributing to the Society’s impact statement and is committed to ensuring they have the opportunity to continue this so their voices are sought, heard and responded to.

Director of Finance - Russell Hobbs

Russell HobbsRussell 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, to a organisation of nearly 60,000 members.

The growth and the influence of the Society over the years has been significant and 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.

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