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Rights and permissions policy 2023

The College’s policy on permitting use of our logo and other RCOG-copyrighted material, and copyright and permissions issues around images of people.

Purpose and scope

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG or the College) receives requests from individuals and external organisations to reuse RCOG publications and material. This Policy sets out the College’s terms and conditions for permitting third party use of the RCOG logo and other RCOG copyrighted material, and the collection of photographs and video containing images of individuals. The College also receives requests to reuse the Library and Heritage collections of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), which are held by the RCOG under a Service Level Agreement (SLA).

This Policy applies to:

  • all staff responsible for the creation and licensing of RCOG intellectual property
  • all third parties requesting permission to reuse RCOG copyrighted material
  • Members, Fellows and Affiliates of the RCOG

The scope of this Policy includes:

  • all content published by the RCOG
  • all RCOG Library and Heritage collections for which the RCOG owns the copyright
  • all RCM Library and Heritage collections that are held by the RCOG and for which the RCM owns the copyright
  • all formats, e.g. eLearning material, patient information leaflets, RCOG logo

Out of scope are:

  • material for which the copyright holder is unknown (‘orphan works’)
  • material for which copyright ownership and licensing rests with a third party


The Policy’s objectives are to:

  • protect the intellectual property of the RCOG and RCM
  • facilitate the reuse of RCOG clinical guidance within the UK and worldwide
  • protect the rights of our employees, officers, trainees, members, College representatives, suppliers, clients, customers and public users with regards to the collection and use of images

Roles and Responsibilities

The Head of Information and Governance is responsible for this policy and accompanying procedures.

The Copyright Administrator is part of the Information Governance team and is responsible for handling all requests for permission to reuse RCOG copyrighted content.

The Archivist and Curator are responsible for approving requests to reuse material from our Heritage Collections, including material from the Royal College of Midwives.

The RCOG Library Manager and RCM Librarian are responsible for the document delivery service and ensuring compliance with copyright law and this policy.

The Marketing team are responsible for issuing licences for use of the RCOG logo.

The Clinical Guidelines and Patient Information Committees are responsible for reviewing and approving requests to reproduce and adapt RCOG guidelines and patient information leaflets.

The Head of Midwifery Information & Research Services (Royal College of Midwives) is responsible for setting fees and processing payment for requests to reuse RCM material for commercial purposes.



All materials (including, but not limited to: journals, guidelines, working party reports, eLearning, electronic documents, Heritage Collections and website content) created or published by the RCOG are copyright protected. Material must not be adapted, reproduced, or translated without the written permission of the RCOG.

Conditions for reuse

Terms and conditions for reuse are dependent on the material and intended purpose, including duration of licence requested and scale of distribution. All requests for reuse are reviewed and assessed, and permission given in writing if the request is approved.

If any part of the material to be used has appeared in an RCOG publication with credit or acknowledgement to another source, permission must also be sought from that source by the individual making the request. If such permission is not obtained then that material may not be reproduced.

If the requested material is protected by third-party copyright, any fees payable to external rights holders are separate from RCOG permission fees. The RCOG accepts no liability for any infringement caused by reuse of third-party copyrighted material.

Charges for reuse

Non-commercial use

Permission for reuse of RCOG material for charitable, non-commercial and educational purposes is usually granted free of charge. The RCOG considers the following to be non-commercial uses:

  • Reproduction in patient information resources to be made available free of charge
  • Reproduction in training content to be delivered free of charge
  • Reproduction in dissertations and academic papers

Commercial use

The College exercises its right to charge a reproduction fee for requests to reuse RCOG material for commercial purposes, profit or other monetary compensation. The RCOG considers the following to be commercial uses:

  • Reproduction in a book, journal or other publication that is charged for
  • Reproduction in educational products or content that are charged for
  • Use in or for broadcasts or television shows (online or otherwise)

The College assesses applications on a case-by-case basis, and will advise of any applicable charges before issuing the permission documentation. The RCOG reserves the right to adjust or waive reproduction charges according to the circumstances of the request. A full pricing schedule is included within the RCOG Image Supply and Reproduction Services.

Reprographic charges (separate from any permission fees) may also be incurred if high-resolution copies of heritage material are requested. Fees for the reuse of RCM Library and Heritage Collections are aligned to those of the RCOG (in consultation with the RCM) and are payable to the RCM directly.


Where permission is granted for the reuse of RCOG material, acknowledgement of the source must be included in all copies and versions of the publication. For example:

© Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists - reproduced with permission of the College.

© Royal College of Midwives - reproduced with permission of the College.

International use of RCOG material

The RCOG welcomes requests from health providers and other organisations based around the world. However, RCOG guidance and publications are developed for the UK NHS and therefore may not be applicable outside of the United Kingdom.

The RCOG cannot accept any liability for the use of its guidance and/or publications outside of the United Kingdom. This includes in respect of the content, quality, publication, adaptation or translation of the guidance and/or publications.

RCOG logo

The RCOG name and logo are UK registered trade marks. To protect the reputational integrity of its brand, the College places strict control on third party use of the RCOG logo and its constituent parts. Use or reproduction of protected trade marks is subject to the express written permission of the College.

Adaptations of RCOG guidance or leaflets must not be published under the RCOG logo, and the publishers of adapted content must not assert or imply an endorsement by the College.

Permission to use the RCOG logo is granted only for official RCOG business or where the College has participated in an event or publication where use of the logo is specifically agreed and a licence is issued. More information is available in the College Endorsement Policy and brand guidelines.

Requests to use the RCOG logo must be submitted to the Marketing team:

RCOG designations

Member and Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (indicated by their designations MRCOG and FRCOG) are titles conferred on medical practitioners who have fulfilled all the conditions set out in the College Regulations. Medical practitioners who pass the Diploma examination are awarded the DRCOG qualification.

No individuals other than registered Members and Fellows shall use the College’s designations or otherwise present themselves as being connected to or endorsed by the RCOG without prior written agreement.

Photography and filming

The RCOG complies with Data Protection legislation, namely the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018. Because a person can be identified by their image, the collection and use of photographs and video is governed by this legislation.

The RCOG respects the rights of individuals in the collection and use of photographs and video. If photographs or videos are supplied to the College by third parties for publication in print or online, the provider of the images must be able to confirm that any clearly identifiable individuals have consented to the distribution and subsequent use of the photograph or video. If children under 18 are clearly recognisable in an image, consent from a parent or guardian should always be obtained.

Where images are captured at an event, appropriate signage or printed warnings must be clearly displayed.

Consent forms and sample wording for printed warnings are set out in the appendices to this policy.

More information about how the College stores and uses personal data, including images, is available in the RCOG Privacy Policy and Data Protection Policy and Procedures.

Guidance for applicants

Obtaining permission for reuse

We are committed to making RCOG resources and guidelines accessible for educational purposes. Patient Information Leaflets may be downloaded, printed out, photocopied and distributed free of charge as long as the College is properly credited and no profit is gained from their use. Leaflets must not be reposted on third party sites, but you may link directly to material on our site provided this does not suggest any form of association, approval or endorsement on our part where none exists.

Please see our advice on reproducing RCOG guidance and patient information leaflets for more information.

Permission to reproduce or adapt material in any other way must be sought from the College copyright administrator. Examples of reuse requiring our written permission include:

  • Adapting patient information leaflets for local use
  • Adopting tables or figures from RCOG clinical guidance for publication in books or articles
  • Translating RCOG patient information leaflets or clinical guidance into other languages
  • Reproducing RCOG or RCM Heritage Collections in presentations or lectures.

To submit a request, please complete our online form or email

For Heritage Collections, please complete our Heritage Collections Image Reproduction and Publication request form and email to

To request permission to reproduce excerpts from BJOG articles published by Wiley, please use the Wiley rights and permissions portal.

How your request will be managed

  • Copyright permission requests received by the College will be acknowledged within 5 working days. We aim to provide responses to requests within 10 working days of receipt. However, requests to adapt or translate material requiring approval from our Clinical Quality committees may take up to 20 working days.
  • Requests received from our members will be prioritised, and members receive a 25% discount on any applicable fees – please see our pricing schedule for more information.
  • If your request is approved, permission will be granted in the form of a letter stipulating our terms and conditions and the appropriate form of acknowledgement. Depending on the type of request, you may be required to sign a licence agreement.
  • For commercial requests where a charge is applicable, all fees must be paid before permission will be granted.
  • If your request is denied, we will advise you of our decision via email.
  • We will keep a copy of your request and a record of our decision in line with our retention schedule.


If you are granted permission for the use of any requested guidelines and/or publication, you will indemnify and keep indemnified RCOG on demand from and against all and any claims, losses, charges, liability, damages, fines, financial impositions, compensation or costs (including legal costs) suffered or incurred by RCOG arising out of or in connection with your use and/or distribution of the guidelines and/or publication including any adoption, adaptation or translation you make.

The College reserves the right, at our sole discretion, to refuse any copyright request for any reason and to enforce our copyright if material is used without permission. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information.