A picture of Bill, Mel and Declan at a committee meeting

Committees & Groups

The following standing committees,in collaboration with their respective sub-committees and groups, are responsible for the development and maintenance of policies and standards in ophthalmology.

Our committees and groups guide priorities and activities that meet the strategic objectives of the RCOphth.

The Lay Advisory Group (LAG) is set up to:

  • support the College in the advancement of the science and practice of ophthalmology;
  • represent lay opinion to the College.

It consists of a maximum of fifteen people. There can be up to ten lay members, the RCOphth President, up to three members nominated from the Council and the Chief Executive.

At least two of the lay members will have experience as a patient with a chronic eye condition or caring responsibilities for a patient with a chronic eye condition.

A lay member cannot be currently employed in an allied ophthalmic profession or be employed in a company that produces ophthalmic instruments or ophthalmic pharmaceutical items. A person who is, or has been, an ophthalmologist cannot be a lay member.

The LAG Chair, Matt Broom, is a co-opted member of Council.

Functions of the lay advisory group will include:

  • To meet three times a year to discuss and offer advice to College officers on issues which directly affect patients.
  • To review College documents as appropriate.
  • To assist in the creation of patient information produced by the College with a view to making these more useful to the general public.
  • To consider the effect of actual or proposed government policy on the delivery of ophthalmic care.

Role of a Lay Assessor – Communication Skills Station

The Lay Advisory Group provides lay members to be assessors at the Communications Skills station of the Part 2 FRCOphth Examination. Members of the group who volunteer for this role must attend an Examiners Training Day.

Reporting and Committee Membership

  • The group shall report to Council.
  • Members of the group may serve on any committee or sub-committee or group approved by Council

The Executive Committee meets regularly to enact College business in a timely manner between Trustee Board meetings.

It contributes to the formulation of the values, mission, vision, goals, objectives and strategic direction of the Royal College.

It provides an opportunity for College clinical and staff leaders to consider issues of importance or which cut across defined committee or departmental boundaries in detail, before they are brought to the Trustees for further debate and a final decision.

It provides a forum for decision making and taking action on areas which do not need to be escalated to the Trustee Board. It should act in accordance with the strategic plan and be cognisant of financial and reputational risks.

It ensures a joined-up approach to College business, policy and strategic decisions, ensuring agreed actions in key or important areas are followed up and completed.

Functions/delivery of aims

  1. It develops policies to make efficient use of the RCOphth’s resources.
  2. It assists in coordinating and focusing the RCOphth’s work, setting goals and developing agendas in line with the Strategic Plan.
  3. It reviews in detail reports, recommendations, proposals and other items from standing committees or other sources as required, which need Board decisions, and makes provisional recommendations for consideration by the Trustee Board.
  4. It ensures all plans for RCOphth projects take due account of the Policy, Communication and ICT and other resource needs.
  5. It advises the Trustee Board on the College’s committee structure.


  • The President
  • The Vice President
  • The Honorary Secretary
  • The Honorary Treasurer
  • The Chair of the Education Committee
  • The Chair of the Examination Committee
  • The Chair of the Professional Standards Committee
  • The Chair of the Scientific Committee
  • The Chair of the Training Committee
  • The Chief Executive
  • The Head of the Education and Training Department
  • The Head of the Examination Department
  • The Head of the Finance and Operations Department
  • The Head of the Professional Support Department
  • The Head of Communications and Engagement
  • In attendance as required: The Policy Manager.


The President will chair the Executive Committee if physically present, otherwise the Vice President will chair the meeting if physically present, otherwise the Chief Executive will chair the meetings.


The Executive Committee will report to the Trustee Board and keep Council informed.


The Executive Committee will meet quarterly; participation may be via teleconference or audio video.  Topics may be discussed by email in between meetings to all members and be clearly defined as executive committee business. Members are expected to read the meeting papers in advance of the meeting and these will be sent a week before by email.

The content of meetings will be minuted by a member of the College staff and minutes circulated aiming to reach attendees within 1 week.

To promote free and open debate the discussions in meetings should be regarded as confidential. The minutes of meetings are a matter of record.

The Education Committee is chaired by Rebecca Ford. It is made up of College Officers, the Lead Postgraduate Dean, a trainee representative, Council Members, and other Fellows of the College (by secondment).

There are several standing sub-committees and groups that report into the Education Committee. These are:

  • Training the Trainers (TTT): Mrs Cordelia McKechnie
  • Mentoring and Buddying: Miss Rahila Zakir
  • New Consultants: Vacant
  • Awards and Prizes: Mr Aman Chandra
  • E-Learning: Ms Rebecca Ford
  • Undergraduate: Dr Michael Williams
  • Research Lead: Mariya Moosajee
  • Lead for Training Multi-Professionals: Ms Carrie McEwan
  • Training the GPs and other specialties: Miss Rajni Jain
  • Mid Career and Senior Ophthalmologists: Miss Andrena McElvanney
  • Leadership and Management Lead: Sudeshna Patra

Each Sub-committee or Working Party is led by a member of the Education Committee and usually has one to four members. The broad purposes of the Education Committee are:

  • To ensure that the principal educational purposes of the College are fulfilled by supporting and developing programmes for undergraduate medical education, postgraduate ophthalmic training and continuing professional development.
  • To ensure, by facilitating the acquisition of appropriate knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes, that patients are treated by safe, competent doctors pursuing successful careers.
  • To promote interdisciplinary education, training and teamworking among the professions in partnership in eye and vision care towards an effective multiprofessional workforce.
  • To sustain the high profile and renown of UK ophthalmic education and training internationally.

The Examinations Committee is chaired by Garry Shuttleworth. It is made up of College Officers, Senior Examiners, Council Members, a trainee representative, a SAS representative, a lay representative and other Fellows of the College (by secondment).

There are a number of sub-committees that report to the Standing Examinations Committee. These are:

  • Part 1 FRCOphth Sub-Committee: Mr Dan Nolan
  • Refraction Certificate Sub-Committee: Mr Luke Clifford
  • Part 2 FRCOphth Sub-Committee: Mr Stephen Winder
  • Certificate in Laser Refractive Surgery Sub-Committee: Mr Mayank Nanavaty
  • Duke Elder Undergrad Prize Com: Mrs Abha Gupta.

Each sub-committee is led by the relevant Senior Examiner and usually has three to eight members. The broad purposes of the Examination Committee are:

  • Developing and updating examinations to test the delivery of Ophthalmic Specialist Training (OST).
  • To monitor the standards of ophthalmic examinations. This is through a process of involvement in the General Medical Council (GMC) process of quality assurance of examinations and workplace based assessments (WpBA).
  • To ensure that, by facilitating the acquisition by ophthalmologists of appropriate knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes, patients are treated by safe, competent doctors pursuing successful careers.
  • To sustain the high profile and renown of UK ophthalmic examinations internationally.

The Professional Standards Committee works to maintain proper professional standards in the practice of ophthalmology for the benefit of the general public. The committee, chaired by Bill Newman and works with stakeholders across the eye care sector covering healthcare policy, commissioning, informatics, quality and safety.

  • Develop guidance to support ophthalmic professionals in providing quality and safe care
  • Work with stakeholders to influence national policy related to the eye care sector
  • Support the development of efficient IT systems for ophthalmic service by working with industry
  • Provide advice and support to organisations providing ophthalmic care via our review service.

For more information contact [email protected].

The Scientific Committee is chaired by Sobha Shivaparsad and works to promote science and research in ophthalmology. We actively promote excellence in patient care though evidence based ophthalmology and the translation of research into innovation in clinical practice via delivery of the RCOphth Annual Congress, seminars and our clinical guidelines.

Our guidelines help clinicians make better decisions about appropriate healthcare for specific eye disorders, enhancing clinician and patient decision making by describing and appraising the scientific evidence and reasoning behind clinical recommendations.

We also support the development of the RCOphth Eye Journal, the official scientific journal of the RCOphth, and the British Ophthalmological Surveillance Unit.

The Training Committee has responsibility for areas of training and is chaired by Ms Sarah Maling.  It is responsible for the development and implementation of:

  • The supervision of the implementation of the curricula for all ophthalmology trainees
  • Assessment of individual trainees’ record of training and formal recommendation to the General Medical Council (GMC) about the award of a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT)
  • Assessment of applications for a Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) for the GMC where a combination of both training and experience are considered when making a recommendation about suitability to be put on the Specialist Register.
  • The Training Committee also has an important role in assessing recommendations for Out of Programme Training/Research, Specialist Overseas Fellowships, Trainee Selected Components (TSCs) and their role in counting towards training in regard to the award of the CCT. Final approval of the posts is decided by the GMC.
  • In addition, the Training Committee provides a system of externality for Deanery ARCP panels.

There are five standing sub-committees and one faculty working under the auspices of the Training Committee. These are:

  1. Curriculum Sub-Committee: Dr Vikas Chadha
  2. Quality of Assessment sub-committee: On hold
  3. Evaluation of Training Sub-committee: On hold
  4. Recruitment Sub-committee: Mr Adam Bates
  5. International Medical Graduates (IMG) Training Sub-committee: Mr Sachin Salvi
  6. Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) Faculty: On hold
  7. Skills Faculty Lead: Mr John Ferris
  8. Simulation Lead: Mr David Lockington and Mr George Saleh

It is the responsibility of the Postgraduate Deans through the regional Specialty Training Committees (STC) to implement the curricula for trainees. An adequate infrastructure in training departments is essential to the success of training.

Programmes of training at the HEE local office/Deanery level are periodically assessed by formal visits from the GMC.

The Training Committee is always available to give advice to trainees at all levels, although the first port of call in every case is the College Tutor, Regional Education Adviser or Training Programme Director in the trainee’s  HEE local office/Deanery (the Education and Training Department will be able to inform concerning the relevant person).

Enquiries to the Training Committee should be addressed to the Chair of the Training Committee and will be treated in confidence.

The Education and Training Department has put together information packs including guides and curricula and these are available on the College website and may be obtained from the Education and Training Department on request.

The Academic Research and Innovations committee is chaired by Jugnoo Rahi and promotes academic education and research in ophthalmology for the benefit of patients and to raise the profile of academic ophthalmology in the UK.

Our work currently focuses on two areas:

  1. Working to support and enable all ophthalmologists to be able to participate and be involved in research, in keeping with the new emphasis on NHS research activity in Care Quality Commission’s assessment framework.
  2. Working to mitigate the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on ophthalmic research and academic ophthalmology.

Our overall aims and objectives are:

  • Protecting ophthalmic and visual sciences research including through working to ensure all ophthalmologists are equipped with skills to undertake, assess and apply research
  • Advancing academic ophthalmology by supporting the development of and access to opportunities for academic ophthalmology training
  • Promoting academic education and research in ophthalmology by influencing and advocating for research funding and support for academic communities and research networks
  • Enhancing ophthalmic research in the NHS by influencing and advocating for training, opportunities and resources for NHS ophthalmologists to participate in research
  • Profiling academic ophthalmology through good working relationships with other academic institutions and funding bodies including the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, NIHR, the Academy of Medical Sciences, and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.
  • Promoting equal opportunities for all in academic ophthalmology.

Visit the Academic & Research and Discover Ophthalmology Careers section for more information.

The British Ophthalmological Surveillance Unit (BOSU) is  a system for national collection of data on rare and important disorders to support research, prevention and epidemiological assessment of ophthalmic disorders across the UK. The unit aims to facilitate research for the advancement of knowledge and improvement of the prevention, treatment and service planning of these disorders.t  The Steering Committee guides the work of the unit.

Name Hospital/Institution Town/City Region
Professor J. Rahi  PhD. FRCOphth (Chair) Great Ormond Street/Institute of Child Health London North Thames
Professor M. R. Stanford FRCS FRCOphth St Thomas’s Hospital London South Thames
Mr Nigel Davies FRCOphth St Thomas’s Hospital London South Thames
Mr David Lockington Tennent Institute of Ophthalmology Glasgow Scotland
Mr B. Foot BOSU, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists London
Mr C. Edelsten MA MRCP FRCOphth The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust Ipswich Anglia & Oxford
Mr M. Burdon MRCP FRCOphth Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham


Birmingham West Midlands
Mr D. Morris FRCOphth University Hospital of Wales Cardiff Wales
Miss G. Silvestri MD MRCP FRCSEd FRCOphth Royal Victoria Hospital, Belsfast Belfast Northern Ireland
Miss Cathy Williams FRCOphth Bristol Eye Hospital Bristol South West
Professor D. Steel FRCOphth Sunderland Eye Infirmary Sunderland North East
Miss Rashmi Mathew FRCOphth Moorfields Eye Hospital


London North Thames
Mr Yun Wong FRCOphth The James Cook University Hospital Middlesbrough North East
Mr Harry Petruskin FRCOphth Moorfields Eye Hospital


London North Thames
Mr Mahi Muqit FRCOphth Moorfields Eye Hospital


London North Thames
Professor P. Shah Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham West Midlands
Mr G. Hunter Salisbury District Hospital Salisbury South & West
Ms S. Hunt Royal United Hospital Bath South & West
Mr Jonathan Park Musgrove Park Hospital Taunton South & West

The Membership Working Group has responsibility for dealing with membership related issues.  Working across the RCOphth, it reviews opportunities to assess issues of retention and increasing membership as well as improving member benefits. The Group reports to the RCOphth Council.  The group is jointly chaired by Honorary Secretaries, Mel Hingorani and Manoj Parulekar.

The Membership Working Group is responsible for:

  • Reviewing and clarifying eligibility criteria for all membership categories
  • Considering additional benefits and services that can be offered to members
  • Contributing to the strategic objectives with regards to membership.

For more information on joining or about your existing membership, email [email protected].

The Remuneration Committee operates under a delegated authority of the Trustees of the College.

It has overall responsibility to set remuneration, with associated terms and conditions of employment, for all staff of the organisation in line with pay policy agreed by the Trustee Board.

It provides a forum for decision making and taking action on areas which do not need to be escalated to the Trustee Board.

The Remuneration Committee is responsible for reviewing and considering:

  • The appointment process for the Chief Executive and the Senior Management Team
  • The College’s remuneration system to ensure the College can recruit and motivate suitably qualified employees.

Email [email protected] for more information.

The Ophthalmologists in Training Group (OTG) represents the voice and interests of ophthalmologists in training and is influential in all aspects of the College with members that sit on all standing committees and Council.  It is represented on the Academy Trainee’s Group of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. Members are registrars elected on a regional basis for a two-year term of office and eligible to stand for re-election for one further two-year terms.

If you wish to contact the OTG for information, advice or to raise issues for College-wide discussion, please email the [email protected].

OTG Terms of reference

The College Staff and Associate Specialist committee are members of the College who work in the SAS grade to represent SAS doctors. We represent the SAS doctors on a wide range of leading committees including the College council, Education, Training, Research and externally for the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. The group reports to Professional Standards currently chaired by Mr Bill Newman.

SAS doctors are the backbone of the NHS providing stability for their patients in a department, especially during the Covid Pandemic. We encourage SAS to be assertive in how they lead, train and teach others based on their experience.

Outline of our Purpose/aims:
1. To represent Staff and Associate Specialist (SAS) ophthalmologists’ opinions to the College.
2. To disseminate information on College matters to SAS members.
3. To support SAS ophthalmologists in their professional roles and their professional development.
4. To enhance SAS ophthalmologists’ contribution to ophthalmology.

Please watch out for our College News articles, do join us if you wish to contribute.  We welcome your comments and article, enhancing your CV at the same time.  We are no longer “Invisible”  and we will be active in the new INSPIRE online platform with the college’s new resources for members.

If you are able to commit your time to promote the role of SAS doctors in Ophthalmology, we are looking for more representatives.  For full responsibilities of the role please refer to the group’s Terms of Reference.

To apply please fill in this Application Form and return it to [email protected].

If you would like to have a chat about our roles please contact Dr Swetha Maddula Batambuze, Chair SAS Committee at [email protected]