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Presidential election 2019

Nominations are now invited for the election of a new President for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG).

Nominations will remain open until 5.00pm on Monday 18 March 2019.

For the first time in its history, the RCOG will extend voting in the 2019 Presidential Election to the broader UK and Ireland membership. This is the result of a Resolution passed at a General Meeting of the College on 12 February 2016 to change the process governing the election of the RCOG President from 2019 onwards.

The successful candidate will succeed the current President, Professor Lesley Regan, at the Admission Ceremony for new RCOG Officers to be held on Friday 13 December 2019.

The Electoral Reform Society (ERS) will be running the Presidential election process.


Key Presidential Election dates

Call for nominations for President

14 January 2019

Closing date for receipt of nominations

5pm on 18 March 2019


9 May 2019

Election goes live, voting begins

13 May 2019

Closing date for ballot

7 June 2019

ERS advise of result

13 June 2019


Mid-June 2019 (tbc)

Call for nominations for Vice Presidents opens

Mid-June 2019 (tbc)


The nomination process

  • A Fellow in active practice, from the date of their nomination to the date of assuming office and who has been, or is currently, a voting member of RCOG Council
  • Nominated by three Fellows or Members
  • Nominee and nominators must be up-to-date with their membership subscription
  • Nominations will only be considered valid once the signed nomination form and declaration of good standing, together with the short CV and statement of intent, is received by the Chief Executive’s office.  The closing date is 18 March 2019 at 5pm. 

For a copy of the nomination form, please contact Kim Dawson at or 020 7772 6238.

No Fellow shall canvass for her or his election as President of the College other than in a form approved by Council as set out below.

Each candidate will be asked to provide:

  • A short CV (4 pages maximum)
  • A supporting statement (500 words) outlining their vision for the Presidency
  • Signed declaration of good standing
  • A short video outlining their vision for the Presidency (all logistics to be managed through the RCOG).

A debate or similar event between the candidates will take place at the College, which members will be invited to attend. The event will be live-streamed and a recording made available to all members.

No other canvassing e.g. social media campaigning, speaking at local or regional meetings, face-to-face canvassing, will be permitted. Candidates are permitted to factually announce their candidacy on Twitter if they so wish, once the nomination has been approved.

Purdah will begin when nominations for President open i.e. 14 January and will close when the ballot closes on 7 June 2019.  As this is the first time that the election has been opened to voting outside Council, the period of purdah is important to avoid any suggestion of unfair advantage towards candidates from Council.


About Purdah

‘Purdah’ is used in a political context to denote the pre-election period of time between the announcement of an election and the final election results. The College’s approach to purdah is designed to ensure that College communications over the election period are fair and balanced and do not have an inadvertent impact (positive or negative) on any candidate, whilst ensuring that the College can continue to manage its core business activities. This means:

  • Candidates in current elected positions, including Officers and Councillors, will be restricted on College public platforms, to those activities essential to their roles.  Seminars, workshops etc. will be limited to events which give equal opportunity to all candidates.
  • Candidates will only be named in RCOG communications (website, media statements, social media, member communications) as part of factual RCOG business, as agreed in the RCOG communications plan.
  • The RCOG will not make any new announcements connected to any candidate, unless this is deemed core College business and agreed with the communications team and Executive Director of External Affairs.
  • The media and PR team will ensure balance and parity for any media opportunities that arise during the election period.
  • The above will be kept under review by the Executive Director of External Affairs and Director of Media and PR.


Support from RCOG staff

RCOG staff will provide logistical support, such as managing the arrangements for recording videos alongside ERS, uploading material to the microsite, providing data to ERS to support email communications to members, and managing any direct communications from the College to the membership. College staff will also manage the logistics around the election debate, live-streaming and recording of the event.

Candidates should not ask any College staff for advice or input into their CV, supporting statement, video or preparation for the live debate.