Select Committee on Science and Technology Written Evidence

Annex C


  1.1  The British Psychological is the learned and professional body, incorporated by Royal Charter, for psychologists in the United Kingdom. The Society, which has a total membership of over 40,000, is a registered charity. It celebrated its centenary in 2001.

  1.2  The key Charter object of the Society is "to promote the advancement and diffusion of the knowledge of psychology pure and applied and especially to promote the efficiency and usefulness of members by setting up a high standard of professional education and knowledge".

  1.3  The Society is authorised under its Royal Charter to maintain the Register of Chartered Psychologists. It has a Code of Conduct and investigatory and disciplinary systems in place to consider complaints of professional misconduct relating to its members. The Society is an examining body and grants certificates and diplomas in specialist areas of professional applied psychology. It also has in place quality assurance programmes for accrediting both undergraduate and postgraduate university degree courses.

  1.4  As a learned scientific society, The British Psychological Society publishes 10 scholarly refereed journals and maintains an extensive library of scientific periodicals. Two main Society conferences are organised each year, and many of its over 30 specialised sub-groups organise sectional conferences throughout the year.

  1.5  The Society has 14 Sections representing the main scientific fields of study and it has nine Divisions representing the different areas of professional applied psychology in which services are provided to members of the public, namely clinical, counselling, forensic, educational, health, occupational, teaching and research, and neuropsychology.

  1.6  Divisions and other sub groups advise on issues from the perspective of the particular specialist group, but only the Board of Trustees of the Society or one of its main Boards (Professional Practice, Research, Publications and Communications, Psychology Education, and Membership and Professional Qualifications) has authority to determine corporate policy and speak or respond to consultations for the whole Society.

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Prepared 11 April 2005