Go to main content

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 further details about our governance, trustees, and senior management, please consult the appropriate tab(s) below.
 

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]
 

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)

Image of Nicola Gale CPsychol AFBPsSNicola Gale CPsychol AFBPsS is a practitioner and academic psychologist who currently works in the Department of Psychology at City, University of London.

Her professional interests include the provision of psychology services in the workplace (encompassing mental health, wellbeing, support for access and inclusion, working relationships, and support for teams), while her teaching focuses on professional standards of practice in psychology, diversity, equality and inclusion, and clinical practice and supervision.

Nicola has worked in the NHS and was clinical lead and head of service for an occupational health psychology service, with both a clinical mental health and organisational focus, and also has a background in HR development and organisational development and training, as a management consultant and as an accountant. She has consulted to organisations in different industries and sectors, working on projects across Europe and internationally.

Nicola has previously chaired the Representative Council of the Society, the Division of Counselling Psychology, served on the Professional Practice Board and the Ethics Committee, and chaired various Society working groups including for the Practice Guidelines. Nicola has also served on the Organising Professional Committee for Psychology at Unite the Union.
 

President Elect (2017 - 2018)

Image of Professor Kate Bullen CPsychol FBPsSProfessor 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.

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.
 

Honorary General Secretary (2015-2018)

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 (2016 - 2019)

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

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)

Image of Professor Daryl O'Connor CPsychol AFBPsS

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).

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 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).

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). He is currently the Board Representative on the European Federation of Psychology Associations (EFPA) Board of Scientific Affairs.
 

Chair Membership and Standards Board (2015-2018)

Image of Dr Mark Forshaw CPsychol CSci FBPsS FIHPEDr 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)

Image of Alison Clarke MBPsSAlison 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 Society.
 

Chair Education and Public Engagement Board (2017-2020)

Image of Professor 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.

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 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 a 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)

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.
 

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

Image of Dr Helen Nicholas CPsychol AFBPsSb

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)

Image of Professor Jill Wilkinson CPsychol CSci FBPsSProfessor Jill 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, she 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)

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.

Chief Executive Officer - Sarb Bajwa

Image of BPS CEO, Sarb BajwaSarb Bajwa joined the Society in April 2018 and will lead the staff in driving the BPS forwards to achieve our mission.

Over the years, Sarb has worked in the aid sector, in legal and financial services, and the energy industry, where he has continually sought to contribute to the overarching goals of each organisation while also leading these various professional membership bodies through challenging national and international political environments.

Sarb has always been driven by a strong desire to promote and support positive growth and development and to ensure that his work continues to make a meaningful and positive contribution to the world, and intends that his tenure with the BPS will be no different.

To contact the CEO please email [email protected]
 

Director of Policy & Communications - Kathryn Scott

Image of Kathryn Scott, Director of Policy & CommunicationsKathryn 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.

To contact the Director of Policy & Communications please email [email protected]
 

Director of Qualifications and Standards

This position is currently vacant.
 

Director of Membership Services - Annjanette Wells

Image of Annjanette Wells, Director of Membership ServicesAnnjanette 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, with a focus on 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.

To contact the Director of Membership Services please email [email protected]
 

Director of Corporate Services - Mike Laffan

Image of Mike Laffan, Director of Corporate ServicesMike 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 Customer Support (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.

To contact the Director of Corporate Services please email [email protected]
 

 

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:

  • Psychologist and Digest Editorial Advisory Committee (PDEAC)

  • Ethics Committee

And two subcommittees and working groups:

  • Audit and Risk Committee

  • Personnel Committee

Top of page