Our Policies

Our policies provide framework for the way we manage our services and deal with enquiries about opportunities to work with RCOphth.

They cover a wide range of operational matters, from sponsorship to advertising external content on our site; how we work to be open and inclusive with our staff and College officers.

Advertising Educational & Training Resources, Awards, Seminars, Courses & Events

Our purpose is to advance the science and practice of ophthalmology, which we do by supporting excellence in the training and continuing professional development of ophthalmologists.

The RCOphth collaborates with a wide range of organisations to deliver services, events and information which influences national eye health policy and benefits patients and the profession of ophthalmology.

We recognise that there are high quality external educational resources, awards, seminars/courses and events that may benefit our members and affiliates and wish to share these on appropriate RCOphth communication and publication channels. These are primarily College News, the membership quarterly magazine, Eye-mail,the enewsletter and this website.

Advertising Educational & Training Resources (such as but not limited to, papers and electronic resources)

We use the following criteria to assess suitability of resource materials on and offline:

  • There is likely to be an educational or professional development benefit to members or affiliates
  • Publication must have no conflict of interest, or perceived conflict of interest, with the values, aims and role of the RCOphth
  • No inappropriate personal information is present and publishing would not breach data protection laws
  • The information is in a format we can publish, such as PDF document or web link
  • Satisfactory permission to publish has been given by the creator, author or copyright holder

All educational resources submitted for publication will be considered by the Vice President, Policy & Communications and in consultation with any other relevant individuals, committee chairs and departments. We aim to respond within 20 working days of receipt of the request to [email protected]. There is no guarantee that a request will be approved for publication.

Advertising Seminars, Courses & Other Event Types

Each event and course is considered on a case-by-case basis. In some instances, seminars and courses which have not been awarded CPD points, may not be approved for publication on our website. Please fill in the request form on our Events & Courses page and return to [email protected].

Please contact [email protected] if you wish to enquire about CPD approval for your event.

Advertising Awards

The RCOphth endeavours to promote all relevant awards and grants to our members and requests are considered on a case by case basis. Please contact [email protected] for more details.

We undertake to publish seminars/courses and awards within 10 working days of receipt of the request on approval by the relevant department within RCOphth. There is no guarantee that a request will be approved for publication.

Keeping Content Current

The RCOphth endeavours to keep all content relevant and up to date on our website. Authors and those who submit material/information for publication are advised to keep any material they share with us under review, to provide a suggested review date which we may alter, and to inform us of any changes that become necessary before that date if appropriate.

We may remove material from the website without notice to maintain currency.

Please note we do not advertise external job roles.

We endeavour to advance the science and practice of ophthalmology, which we do by through maintaining excellence in training, education and assessment; providing high quality standards and the promotion of research to maintain patient safety; and the continuing professional development of ophthalmologists.

The RCOphth collaborates with a wide range of organisations to develop services, initiatives and guidance which influences national eye health policy and benefits patients and the profession of ophthalmology.

Third parties* request endorsement for activities** in whose development we may or may not have been directly or indirectly involved with. We carefully consider the use of our name and branding (crest) to safeguard our reputation and independence.

Endorsement & Permission by RCOphth

Endorsement and permission to use our crest, name and/or the form of a written statement or wording is only provided for a specific purpose and for an agreed period of use.

No endorsement can be assumed and each request will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We can only endorse activities in which there has been direct involvement by RCOphth and the conditions of our involvement, including permission to use our name and branding, has been agreed at the beginning of the activity. Permission is very rarely given retrospectively.

In all cases, RCOphth will consider requests on the following basis:

  • We are satisfied and in agreement with the quality, sustainability, relevance and aims of the activity
  • The organisation, group or individual leading the work is of good reputation and standing
  • There is no conflict of interest, or perceived conflict of interest with the aims, values and role of the RCOphth


Please contact the Head of Communications & Engagement at [email protected] with details of the activity with a minimum lead time of 25 working days prior to publication or launch of the proposed activity.

All requests will be considered by the Vice President, Policy & Communications and in consultation with other relevant individuals, the trustee board, the executive and departments heads. All decisions are final.

* external organisation or individual (including RCOphth members)
**initiatives, projects, events, documents, websites/pages, awards or policies and other opportunities

We set the curriculum and examinations for trainee ophthalmologists, provide training in eye surgery, maintain standards in the practice of ophthalmology, and promote research and advance science in the specialty. Ophthalmologists are at the forefront of eye health services because of their extensive training and experience in the field of ophthalmology.

To help guarantee the availability of ongoing funds to pay for this work, RCOphth aims to maintain a broad base of different sources of funding. The purpose of this policy is to ensure clarity and openness to all stakeholders in the eye health sector.


We actively seek opportunities to work together with organisations and individuals to achieve shared objectives. However, it is vital that RCOphth maintains its independence and does not allow any partnership to bring the name of RCOphth into disrepute. RCOphth therefore accepts financial support from, and partnership working with, companies and individuals on the following conditions:

  • There are strong grounds for believing it will result in a benefit to the aims and objectives of the College.
  • The Chief Executive and Trustees are satisfied that no serious adverse publicity will result from accepting such support
  • There is no attempt on the part of the company or individual to influence RCOphth policy or actions either explicitly or implicitly
  • That initiatives do not compromise the independent status of RCOphth

Cause Related Marketing, Affinity Marketing & Product/Service Endorsement

We do not endorse medical products or devices, nor do we promote other services knowingly linked to Eye & Visual Conditions. Endorsement or Commercial Partnerships involving services of benefit to our members i.e. insurance, credit cards etc will be assessed by the Board of Trustees on a case by case basis with analysis of the merit of the service as well as risk attached. With lower value relationships these will be similarly assessed for merit and risk but with any endorsement only extending to the value of the purpose of the product/service rather than the individual product itself.

Only RCOphth will have direct access to our database, patient groups and beneficiaries. In order to ensure that all of our cause-related promotion reflects our charity’s values any potential initiative must come to the Chief Executive and relevant governance committee for approval

Avoidance Criteria

RCOphth will not accept financial support or partnerships with companies involved with the manufacture of tobacco.

Acceptance Criteria

When deciding whether to accept any particular donation, the Chief Executive and the Trustees have a duty to demonstrate to the Charity Commission that they have acted in the best interest of the charity, and that association with any particular donor does not compromise RCOphth’s ethical position, harm our reputation or put future funding at risk.

RCOphth complies with all relevant legislation including money laundering rules, the Fundraising Code of Practice, the Bribery Act and Charity Commission guidance, including terrorism and political activity.

RCOphth therefore would not accept any of the following where the donation:

  • Was known to be associated with criminal sources
  • Would help further a donor’s personal objectives which conflict with those of RCOphth
  • Would lead to a significant decline in support for RCOphth and so risk a fall in the resources available to fund our work
  • Was from an individual/business who did not have the mental/corporate capacity to freely and willingly give a gift at the time they agreed to make the donation
  • Would otherwise significantly damage our reputation

Returning Donations

In accordance with the law, the charity does not refund donations after the gift is made, except in exceptional circumstances. This may include a breach of this policy, where accepting or retaining the gift is contrary to law or where there is an extreme ethical issue in retaining the gift. In accordance with law, a gift will only be returned at the clear written instruction of the board of trustees or charity commission.

Other Issues

Any additional ethical concerns not outlined in this policy should be reported to the Chief Executive for consideration.

The trustees have delegated decisions on fundraising to a fundraising panel, consisting of two staff members, three committee chairs and an OTG representative, however the trustees remain the ultimate decision-making body in relation to this policy and fundraising matters.

For all internet-related policies such as Confidentiality & Data Protection, Subject Access Requests, Legitimate Interests, Privacy & Cookies and more, visit our Privacy Notice page.

The RCOphth leads on the development of eye health policy and clinical information regarding examination, diagnosis and treatment of eye disease and hospital eye services. We endeavour to engage with the media on a range of issues relating to ophthalmology and the wider health agenda.

As an independent charity and membership organisation, we seek to provide content that is accurate and informative and in a way that the general public can easily understand. Where possible, we provide data and statistics from a variety of sources that we believe to be accurate and relevant.

We assess and respond to media based on the urgency and relevance of the enquiry and if aligned with our aims and if we are best placed, or able, to respond effectively.

We undertake to assess and, where appropriate, action media requests in a timely manner in order to maintain positive media relations, endeavouring to be proactive and responsive in our communication activities. All inquiries should be directed in the first instance to the Communications Manager, Liz Price, at [email protected].

Press releases and statements are published on the News section of our website so that they may be easily accessed by the media and the general public.

For Members & Charities

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists is keen to help facilitate and support those who want to carry out surveys of the membership to obtain information that will ultimately be of benefit to our members or the broader ophthalmology community.

If you have an idea for a survey that you wish to undertake please submit this to the College using this Survey Application Form. This form requests:

  • A brief summary of your motivation to carry out the survey
  • Aims and Objectives
  • Intended Survey Population
  • Proposed analysis and dissemination of results

Please return the completed form along with all questionnaires and associated documentation (such as covering letters etc.) or links to online questionnaires by email to [email protected].

Applications will be reviewed and assessed to ensure that they are requesting meaningful information and the aims are achievable. Wherever possible the College will support requests for surveys, however we may limit the survey sample where considered appropriate. The review process will take three weeks.

The College will administer the electronic distribution of questionnaires and, where agreed, send out further reminders. Everyone carrying out a survey of College members will be required to provide a report detailing response rates and outcomes from the survey including how the information was disseminated.

A summary of all surveys accepted for distribution will be published on our website.

The College will charge a £100 administration fee for all surveys carried out.

We will not:

  • Share personal contact information
  • Send out surveys on behalf of commercial companies.
  • Send out postal questionnaires
  • Provide address labels

For further information or to discuss a survey proposal please contact [email protected].