Who we are

Find out about our key people, boards, committees and our annual reports.

About

We are a registered charity, responsible for the development, promotion and application of psychology for the public good.

Through our Royal Charter we are tasked with overseeing psychology and psychologists in the UK, and we are governed by a number of democratically-elected boards and committees.

Rules and statutes

The following documents set out the requirements and codes of conduct to which our members and subscribers are expected to adhere.

In addition, our Royal Charter & Statutes (granted in 1965) serve as the governing documents of the society from which its aims and objectives are derived.

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

Meetings and minutes

The Board of Trustees and The Representative Council (which consists of representatives from all of the society's current Member Networks, in addition to our regular trustees) meets every three months to discuss current and future issues affecting the run

Board of Trustees Minutes - November 2021
Board of Trustees Minutes - September 2021
Board of Trustees Minutes - July 2021
Board of Trustees Minutes - June 2021
Board of Trustees Minutes - May 2021
Board of Trustees Minutes - March 2021
Board of Trustees Minutes - February 2021
Board of Trustees Minutes - December 2020
Board of Trustees Minutes - October 2020
Board of Trustees Minutes - September 2020
Board of Trustees Minutes - June 2020
AGM Minutes - June 2020
Board of Trustees Minutes - May 2020
Board of Trustees Minutes - April 2020
Board of Trustees Minutes - December 2019
EGM Minutes - October 2019
Board of Trustees Minutes - September 2019
Board of Trustees Minutes - June 2019
Board of Trustees Minutes - March 2019
Board of Trustees Minutes - December 2018
Board of Trustees Summary - September 2018
Board of Trustees Minutes - July 2018
Board of Trustees Minutes - March 2018

These downloads can only be accessed by members

Trustees

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

Contact the Board of Trustees via email.

Meet the team

President (2021-2022): Katherine Carpenter

Katherine Carpenter CPsychol FBPsS is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with a 30 year track record within the NHS in acute Neurosciences, which combined clinical work, teaching and training, and research, together with a wide clinical leadership and management remit.

During her time at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust she served terms of office as Lead Clinician for Neurosurgery, Clinical Director for Neurosciences and Specialist Surgery, and Co-Director for Psychological Medicine.

At the same time, Katherine also served as Head of Psychological Services and an Honorary Senior Lecturer within Oxford University.

Her main areas of specialism were epilepsy surgery, functional neurosurgery and neuro-oncology.

She is currently in her second term of office as Chair of the Division of Neuropsychology’s Executive Committee, and since February 2020 has also been deputy chair of the society’s Practice Board and a member of the Ethics Committee.

President-Elect (2021-2022): Nicky Hayes

Nicky is a member of the Division of Occupational Psychology, Division of Academics, Researchers and Teachers of Psychology, Qualitative Methods Section, and Scottish Branch Register of Qualifications in Test Use.

In addition, she is currently the Chair of the BPS Committee on Test Standards, serves on the editorial committee of Assessment & Development Matters, and is a council member of the International Test Commission.

Honorary General Secretary: Christina Buxton

Christina Buxton CPsychol AFBPsS is a Chartered Psychologist, Associate Fellow of the BPS, and a Chartered Scientist.

She is a member of the Division of Teachers and Researchers in Psychology, the Division of Occupational Psychology, and the Division of Counselling Psychology.

Christina is also senior practitioner member of the BPS Register of Psychologists Specialising in Psychotherapy, and on the BPS Register of Applied Psychology Practice Supervisors.

In addition she is a registered psychotherapist with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), a member of EMDR UK and Ireland, and an accredited member of Emotional Freedom Technique international (EFTi).  

Christina is the past chair and treasurer of the BPS Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Section, a member of the BPS Research Board and the Representative Council. Christina is a member of the BPS Psychological Testing Centre (PTC) and is on the Register of Qualifications in Test Use (RQTU). She is a member of the PTC Committee on Test Standards (CTS) and a member of the CTS Health and Social Care Contexts Working Group.

Honorary Treasurer: Roxane Gervais

Dr. Roxane L. Gervais CPsychol AFBPsS is an independent practitioner and consultant. She has worked for many years in diverse teams, in both the public and private sectors, as well as in different countries and has led projects across Europe and internationally.

Her professional and research interests focus on the well-being of individuals within the work environment, inclusive of job stress and strain, mental health, job satisfaction, work-life balance, and diversity within the workplace, inclusive of gender and generational issues.

Roxane’s work and research experience covers also leadership, communication, behaviour change, organisational change, as well as using occupational safety and health policies and practices to promote safe and healthy work conditions.

Roxane has previously served as the Chair of the Division of Occupational Psychology, and as the Chair and Honorary Treasurer of the North East of England Branch. She serves currently as the Division’s Honorary Treasurer.

She is the editor for the Division’s Work-Life Balance working group’s bulletin and was a co-facilitator of the Division’s Leadership Development Programme, which developed volunteers to lead within the Division.

Chair of the Education and Training Board: Niamh Stack

Professor Niamh Stack is a professor of developmental psychology and Deputy Head of the School of Psychology at the University of Glasgow, where she has worked for over 19 years and where she progressed to Professor on the Teaching and Scholarship track, a reflection of her consistent focus on education, teaching and learning throughout her career.

Prior to taking on the role of Deputy Chair of the Education and Training Board in 2019, Niamh had extensive involvement in the Undergraduate Education committee.

She first served as a committee member, then Deputy Chair and then Chair which included overseeing a root and branch review of the standards for Undergraduate Education. As part of this role Niamh also served on the Partnership and Accreditation Committee. Niamh was also the Deputy Chair of the Review Group for the 2016 QAA Psychology Subject Benchmark Statement. These roles collectively reflect her commitment to enhancing educational provision across the discipline.

She has extensive experience of undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum design and delivery in her roles as programme lead and then Director of Teaching and Learning in the School of Psychology at the University of Glasgow. Integral to this latter role has been a focus on curriculum enhancement for skills development for psychology graduates of the future and a commitment to the development and dissemination of Open Teaching practices and resources. Niamh also has an extensive track record of external examining at other HE institutions in terms of both annual review processes but also periodic subject reviews.

Her research interests are focused around difference and diversity in development. She is the Research Director of the Scottish Network for Able Pupils based at the University of Glasgow and she primarily researches and publishes in the area of gifted/highly able learners. She is also actively involved with a number of community partners to facilitate research partnerships. These research collaborations support community partners by providing an evidence base for the voluntary work of these community partners and in parallel provide applied research settings for psychology student dissertation projects.

Chair of the Member Board: Carol McGuinness

Professor Carol McGuinness is Professor Emerita at Queen’s University Belfast. She is a Chartered Psychologist, member of the Division of Academics, Researchers and Teachers in Psychology, the Cognitive Section, and the Northern Ireland Branch.

She graduated from University College Dublin with a 1st class honours BA psychology degree in 1972, and an MA in 1974. She received her PhD from Queen’s in 1979, where she has worked for most of her professional life, teaching and researching.

She has been a passionate advocate for teaching psychology, both locally in Northern Ireland and UK wide, and was awarded a National Teaching Fellow in 2000 (the first year the fellowships were awarded).

With a background in cognitive psychology, Carol's research has a strong educational focus. Her work on designing interventions to enhance children’s classroom learning and evaluating early years interventions has a sharp policy/impact focus, being influential in several educational systems, as well as specifically informing changes to statutory curriculum requirements in Northern Ireland.

Carol has been an active member of the BPS since she was a postgraduate and has worked with many different membership networks and working groups. For example, she was Chair of the Special Group for the Teaching of Psychology in the 1990s and Vice Chair of the Division of Teachers and Researchers in Psychology (now DARTP). She chaired the BPS Working Party on A-level Psychology (2003), edited Psychology Teaching Review (1999-2004), and was an elected ordinary member of the Psychology Education and Public Engagement Board for two years in 2012.

More recently she has been Chair of the Northern Ireland Branch of the BPS (2010-2016) where she worked closely with the leads of local BPS divisions to influence public policy. She continues to act as policy co-ordinator on the NIBPS committee. 

Carol first became a Trustee for the Society in 2017 when she was appointed as Chair of the Education and Public Engagement Board.  She stepped down when that Board was discontinued. In 2020 she was appointed as Chair of the newly created Member Board.

Chair of the Practice Board: Alison Clarke

Alison 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 BPS.

Chair of the Research Board: Andy Tolmie

Professor Andy Tolmie CPsychol is Chair of Psychology and Human Development at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London, where he has been based since 2007. He is also Deputy Director of the joint Birkbeck/UCL Centre for Educational Neuroscience.(link is external)

Andy is a developmental psychologist with longstanding interest in the neurocognitive and social factors underpinning the growth of children’s conceptual representations and behavioural skills, and the relationships between these, particularly in the primary school age range. Most of his work has focused on educationally-relevant topics and settings, with a substantial emphasis on primary school science, but also on the acquisition of road-crossing skills among children, the use of educational technology to support learning, and most recently the role of motor control in the development of executive function. His research has made extensive use of both quantitative and qualitative techniques.

He was Editor of the British Journal of Educational Psychology from 2007-12, and is currently an Associate Editor for Brain Sciences and Frontiers in Psychology. He has been actively involved in the Society’s affairs for over 20 years, serving on the Books and Special Projects Group, the Developmental Psychology Section Committee, the Scientific Affairs/Research Board, the Journals Committee, and the Editorial Advisory Group, of which he was Chair from 2010 to 2018. He is the BPS Representative on EFPA Standing Committee on Traffic Psychology, and was Deputy Chair of the Research Board from 2019 to 2021.

Andy was a member of a Royal Society working group in 2010, reporting on science and mathematics education 5-14; and of a UNESCO Expert Group on Girls’ Education in Science and Mathematics in 2016. He was a founding member of ESRC Grant Assessment Panel D (secondary data initiatives/large cohort resources), has been a reviewer for the ESRC’s Research Centres competition, was Panel Deputy Chair for the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship scheme, and was Director of three IOE-led ESRC Doctoral Training Centres/Partnerships between 2011-18. He has been an Assessor for the Australian Research Council since 2013, and more recently for similar agencies in Canada, Mexico and Switzerland.

Co-opted Trustee: Peter Branney

Dr Peter Branney CPsychol AFBPsS is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Professor in Social Psychology at the University of Bradford.

Peter has undertaken a programme of award winning, internationally leading work exploring to improve experiences of healthcare through interventions that are local, proximal and distal to patients' interactions with services. 

Peter held an Economic and Social Research Council studentship at the University of Leeds and was a visiting doctoral student at Massey University, Aotearoa/New Zealand. He holds a BSc in psychology and philosophy international, an MSc in psychological approaches to health and a PhD in psychology. After completing his PhD in 2006, he joined the Centre for Men’s Health, Leeds Metropolitan University.

In 2012, Peter transferred to the School of Social, Psychological and Communication Studies, Leeds Beckett University before joining the Division of Psychology at the University of Bradford in 2017. A student-focused educator, Dr. Branney has received awards from student bodies for his teaching in social psychology.

Additionally, Dr. Branney has been an external examiner for undergraduate single and joint honours psychology programmes in the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore, and regularly receive invites to be an external expert for periodic reviews and an external examiner for doctorates.

Co-opted Trustee: Adam Jowett

Dr Adam Jowett CPsychol AFBPsS is a Chartered Psychologist and an academic within the School of Psychological, Social Sciences at Coventry University. He is also an Associate Editor of the journal Psychology & Sexuality.

Following completion of his PhD, Adam was a Research Fellow at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Leeds, and since 2012 he has been at Coventry University as a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Associate Head of School.

Adam has also been Course Director of a BPS accredited MSc Health Psychology programme and has served on the committees of several BPS Sections, including as Chair of the Psychology of Sexualities Section. He is also a member of the Division of Health Psychology and the Qualitative Methods in Psychology Section.

Co-opted Trustee: Esther Cohen-Tovee

Dr Esther Cohen-Tovee CPsychol AFBPsS is a registered Clinical Psychologist and is the Director of Allied Health Professions and Psychological Services at Northumberland, Tyne & Wear (NTW) NHS Foundation Trust. Her previous role was Clinical Director for Psychological Services in NTW FT (2010 - 2017).

Esther has worked in the NHS for the past 30 years, combining clinical work with leadership and management responsibilities since taking on her first professional management role in 1996. 

Esther has been a member of the BPS since 1988, and has fulfilled a number of roles for the BPS and Division of Clinical Psychology including representing the BPS on national committees and working groups.

She is currently serving for the second time as Chair of the Division of Clinical Psychology, is a member of the BPS Practice Board and is BPS Co-Chair of the Accreditation Programme for Psychological Therapy Services (APPTS)(link is external), a joint initiative between the BPS and the Royal Collage of Psychiatrists.

Esther also represents the BPS on the Independent Advisory & Oversight Group for the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health & NHS Long Term Plan.

Management 

Our Senior Management Team (SMT) is made up of a number of directors whose responsibility it is to oversee the smooth and efficient running of the society's internal workings. 

Meet the team

Chief Executive Officer - Sarb Bajwa

Our CEO, Sarb Bajwa, joined the society in April 2018.

Over the years, Sarb has worked in the aid sector, in legal and financial services, and the energy industry.

He has continually sought to contribute to the overarching goals of each organisation while also leading these various professional membership bodies through a variety of challenging national and international political environments.

Driven to promote and support positive growth and development in all aspects of the society's work, his goal is to ensure the BPS continues to make a meaningful and positive contribution to the world.

Contact the CEO

Director of IT - Mike Laffan

Mike Laffan joined the society in July 2006.

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, which includes IT Services, buildings management, security, data protection, and health and safety.

Contact the Director of IT

Director of Communications and Engagement - Rachel Dufton

Rachel Dufton joined the BPS in September 2018.

As Director of Communications and Engagement she has responsibility for all internal and external communications and stakeholder engagement.

Rachel has worked in senior communications roles for a range of high profile professional bodies, charities and regulators across the health sector.

She led communications functions at the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the children’s charity Ambitious about Autism, and the Royal College of Nursing where she won several UK and international awards including the Chartered Institute of Public Relations ‘Outstanding In-House Team of the Year’.

Contact the Director of Communications and Engagement 

Director of Membership, Professional Development and Standards - Karen Beamish

Karen joined us in January 2019 as Interim Director of Qualifications and Standards and now oversees the following departments:

  • Membership and Customer Services
  • Professional Development and Assessment
  • Conference and Events
  • Member Networks
  • Partnerships and Accreditation
  • Workforce Education and Training
  • Quality Assurance and Standards

Karen has a proven track record, at senior management level, of working on strategic learning and development projects with professional and expert bodies in the UK and abroad, including the Royal Society of Medicine, the General Optical Council, the Chartered Institute of Insurance, the Association of Business Executives, the Association of Corporate Treasurers and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply.

Contact the Director of Membership and Professional Development

Change Programme Director and Deputy Chief Executive - Diane Ashby

Diane Ashby joined the society in March 2019 to lead the BPS Change programme.

She started her career in retail and worked in store management for Marks and Spencer and a number of senior roles in The Body Shop.

She has experience in both the private and public sector and has managed a diverse set of customer-facing services including contact centres, shops, warehouses, libraries, highways operations and waste services.

She has also driven a number of major transformational change programmes, implementing new operating models, business systems, process improvements and cultural change.

Contact the Change Programme Director

Director of Knowledge and Insight - Debra Malpass

Debra Malpass joined the BPS in January 2020.

She leads the research, insight & knowledge management function and oversees the Research and Impact team, the Practice Guidance Team and the History of Psychology Centre.

She has a Ph.D in psychology and a wealth of experience as an academic researcher having worked in psychology departments in the UK and USA for over a decade.   

Prior to joining the BPS Debra worked as a researcher at AQA, the UK’s largest exam board. In this post she carried out mixed methods research with 14-16 year olds.

She also designed GCSE, A-level and vocational qualifications and carried out statistical analysis to set exam grade boundaries every summer.

Debra also led the Research and Analysis team at the Solicitors Regulation Authority, where she pioneered the use of machine learning, behavioural insights and randomised controlled trials to regulate the legal market.

Contact the Director of Knowledge and Insight

Director of Finance and Resources - Phil Hodgett FCCA

Phil joined the BPS in August 2021 and is responsible for Finance, HR and procurement.

Phil has senior management experience gained with a number of large and medium-sized charities in the areas of cancer support, cancer research and professional membership, each of which had trading subsidiaries.

Before returning to his home town in Stamford, Phil was fortunate enough to have worked with a group comprising social businesses and charities providing services for those who are less fortunate or with fewer opportunities, which included mental health, homelessness and working with schools and nurseries.

Phil has recently completed six years on the board of a housing association in the North West of England, specialising in social housing, learning disabilities and independent living.

Contact the Director of Finance and Resources

Boards and committees

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.

Find out more about each individual board: 

A number of other bodies also advise the Board of Trustees, these are:  Two standing committees:
And three sub-committees:
  • The Finance Committee
  • The Risk and Assurance Committee
  • The HR Committee

Reports and reviews

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

2021 Annual Report and Consolidated Financial Statements 

The trustees are pleased to present their Report and the Group Financial Statements of The British Psychological Society for the year ended 31 December 2021

Download

2021 Review of the Year

Download our Review of the Year for 2021, which looks back on yet another exceptional year.

Download

2020 Annual Report and Consolidated Financial Statements 

We also provide information on previous reports and reviews.

Download

2020 Review of the Year 

The trustees are pleased to present their Report and the Group Financial Statements of The British Psychological Society (‘the society’) for the year ended 31 December 2020.

Download

Previous reports and reviews

2019

2018

2017    

2016    

2015    

2014    

2013    

2012    

2011    

2010    

2009    

2008    

For more information about any of these documents, contact the Communications team.  

Strategic Framework

This strategy aims to define the purpose, vision, values and initiatives of the BPS until the end of 2022, to what we all hope will be a post-Covid era.

It captures our aim to grow as an organisation – in reach, influence, impact – so that we can work collaboratively across the society to provide high quality guidance, support and services for psychologists and the wider psychological workforce, support the advancement of psychology, and place psychology at the centre of tackling wider societal issues.

Six strategic goals make up this strategy which bridge the gap between where we are now and where we want to be:

  • We will promote and advocate for diversity and inclusion within the discipline and profession of psychology and work to eradicate discriminatory practice.
  • We will strive to create a vibrant member-centred community with a meaningful membership identity.
  • We will promote the value of and encourage collaboration in interdisciplinary development and engagement.
  • We will be the home for all psychology and psychologists and uphold the highest standards of education and practice.
  • We will increase our influence and impact and advance our work on policy and advocacy.
  • We will strive to be more innovative, agile, adaptive and sustainable.

Find out more about the interim strategy.

Memoranda

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:

Memoranda of Understanding

  • Memorandum of Understanding between the British Psychological Society and the Psychological Society of South Africa. South Africa - 24 May 2001 - 15 June 2001
  • Copy Memorandum of Understanding between the British Psychological Society and the Slovenian Psychological Association. Slovenia - 2004
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the British Psychological Society and the Australian Psychological Society. Australia - 3 April 2008
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the British Psychological Society and the National Academy of Psychology (India). India - December 2008
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the British Psychological Society and the American Psychological Association. America - 3 April 2008
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Psychological Society of Ireland and British Psychological Society Northern Ireland Branch concerning ISPA [International School Psychology Association] Dublin 2010 conference Ireland - 2010
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the British Psychological Society and the Japanese Psychological Association. Japan - 9 April 2013
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapies - October 2014
  • Declaration of Intent to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between The British Psychological Society Russia and the Russian Psychological Society. - 28 May 2015
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the British Psychological Society and the Russian Psychological Society. Russia - 11 July 2015
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the British Psychological Society and the Psychological Society of Ireland. Ireland - 11 November 2015
  • Memorandum of Understanding with The Swedish Psychological Association. Sweden - 26 April 2016
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the British Psychological Society and the New Zealand Psychological Society. New Zealand - 26 April 2016
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy in the UK version 2. Conversion Therapy - October 2017
  • Society signs Memorandum of Understanding with our Portuguese counterparts to develop reciprocal access arrangements to research for their members; develop work exchange programmes and other experiential learning opportunities; organise collaborative events; share best practice and provide grants to encourage collaboration. Portugal - 4 May 2018
  • The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependency (APPG), British Psychological Society (BPS), British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry (CEP), have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in order to be able to work together collaboratively All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence and British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and the The Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry (CEP) - 3 May 2018
  • BPS Memorandum of understanding with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie. Germany - 18 September 2018
  • BPS and Association of Clinical Psychologists non binding Memorandum of Understanding Association of Clinical Psychologists - 2020
  • The British Red Cross and British Psychological Society memorandum of understanding. Allowing clinical and counselling psychologists to join a team of Psychosocial Reserve Volunteers (PRV) to assist the public after major incidents and disasters. British Red Cross - 2020

Memoranda of Cooperation

  • Memorandum of Cooperation between the British Psychological Society and the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI). Ireland - 3 April 2008
  • Memorandum of Cooperation with the Mental Health Foundation (MH). Mental Health Foundation - 17 January 2018
  • Memorandum of Cooperation with the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS) - agree to exchange knowledge and achieve mutual recognition of modernising psychological and scientific careers; identify areas of joint career and professional development opportunities; develop reciprocal access arrangements; speak with a united voice on items of mutual interest. Academy for Healthcare Science - 2 May 2018
  • BPS Division of Occupational Psychology and the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology (EAOHP), Memorandum of Cooperation European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology (EAOHP) - 2018
  • BPS Memorandum of Cooperation with Nuffield Health. Nuffield Health - 25 January 2019