Royal College of Art (the)

Operating as The Royal College of Art 

Legal address: Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2EU

The main constitutional document of the RCA is the Royal Charter, 2011 (PDF). To download the previous Royal Charter, 2007, click here

The Council

The Council is the governing body of the College. It is empowered by the Royal Charter to nominate to the Court a person for appointment as the Provost, to appoint the Chairman of the Council or Pro-Provost and the Rector, to nominate to the Court a person for appointment as the Treasurer, to appoint, on the recommendation of the Senate, the Pro-Rector and to be involved in the appointment of the Auditors. 

So all the most senior appointments within the College are ultimately made by the Council; Provost, Chair of Council, Treasurer (all on Council), the Rector and Pro-Rector.

In addition the Council is responsible for all matters concerning property and finance, for administrative policy, for overall strategy and for any issues affecting the general welfare of the College. 

The membership of 34 is made up principally of lay (non-College) members but includes a number of staff and students. The Council normally meets four times a year: three termly meetings and one strategy meeting. 

The Council has six committees – Audit & Risk, Buildings and Estates, Finance, Remuneration, Nominations and Staff – which deal with financial, contractual, personnel and other governance issues. If the senior academic body of the College is the Senate, the senior institutional body of the College is the Council.

Click here to see Annual Reports and Accounts Corporate Publications

Click here to see a full list of Council Members.

Click here for biographies of Council Lay Members.

College Mace
College Mace

The Provost, Pro-Provost and Treasurer

The Provost is the Head of the College and presides over meetings of the Court and confers degrees at Convocation.

The Pro-Provost is ex-officio chairman of the Council.

The Treasurer is a lay member of the Council, chairman of the Finance Committee and presents the audited financial statement of the College at each annual meeting of the Court.

Provost: Sir James Dyson

Pro-Provost and Chair of the Council: Baroness Rebuck DBE

The Treasurer: Caragh Merrick

Secretary of the Council: Chief Operating Officer, Richard Benson

The Senate

The Senate is responsible for the academic work of the College. Subject to the powers reserved to the Council by the College Statutes, the Senate promotes and validates the academic work of the College both in teaching and research and regulates the education, welfare and discipline of the students. 

The Senate agrees the appointment of external examiners, new academic developments, syllabi and student numbers and revisions to the Regulations. It approves the final examination results and awards the degrees. The membership of 20 includes Deans of School and representatives of the staff and students. The Senate normally meets four times a year.

The principal committees of the Senate are the Academic Standards Committee, the Research Committee and the Academic Board for Concessions and Discipline. The Academic Board for Concessions and Discipline is responsible for admissions, student course concessions and academic disciplinary matters. The Professorial Board advises the Senate and the Rector.

The Court

The Court is the body empowered by the Charter to appoint the Visitor, the Provost and the Treasurer of the College. The Court also appoints certain members of the Council, being neither members of the academic staff nor salaried officers of the College. The Court which has a membership of around 300 meets annually, and receives a report by the Rector and Vice-Provost on the College during the previous year and the audited financial statement of the College.