Records of RCOG Fellow and Member Administration

Scope and Content

Papers relating to the admission of Members to the RCOG, together with elevation of Fellows, and selection of Honorary Fellows, Fellows ad eundem, and Membership without examination, including signed books, registers, admission ceremony programmes, administrative correspondence, card indexes of Members, Fellows and Diplomates, and MRCOG pass files.

Administrative / Biographical History

Lists of Fellows and Members were kept from the founding of the College in 1929; the Annual Report was also produced from that date. The College membership categories allow all those working in the field of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, worldwide, to have a formal link with the College. A summary of each category follows:

i) Honorary Fellows - Distinguished people outside the medical profession elected by Council.

ii) Fellows ad eundem - Awarded to persons who are not members of the College, who have contributed to the advancement of the science or practice of obstetrics and gynaecology.

iii) Fellows honoris causa - Awarded to persons who are not members of the College, who have demonstrated the highest level of: dedication and achievement in clinical care, support to the development of women's healthcare services, or work/support for the RCOG.iv) Fellows - Fellowship is not merely a reflection of time since passing the

Membership examination but also implies a continued contribution to the specialty and a maintenance of standards and practice. It is a mark of senior status and not a recognition of completion of training. Fellows were elected each year from the Membership and normally have been members for at least twelve years and have made a significant contribution to obstetrics and gynaecology by research, teaching or publications.

v) Members - Members of the College are fully qualified doctors who have passed all parts of the Membership examination. They are subsequently admitted to the Membership at a meeting of Council.

vi) Membership without Examination - Doctors holding a NHS consultant or honorary post at consultant level in the British Isles for a minimum of one year may apply for Membership of the College without Examination, subject to fulfilling strict criteria.

vii) Trainees - Doctors training in obstetrics and gynaecology who have not yet passed the MRCOG examination.

viii) Diplomates - Doctors who have passed the College Diploma examination, which is designed for doctors training to become general practitioners who wish to include obstetrics and gynaecology as part of the service they provide.

ix) Associates - Medical practitioners worldwide who are working in the field of women's healthcare but who do not hold the MRCOG and wish to be linked with, and support, the activities of the RCOG.

x) Affiliates - Those working for the benefit of women's healthcare and who wish to be linked with the activities of the RCOG but do not hold a medical degree.

xi) Junior Affiliate - Medical students, Foundation Doctors, and junior doctors who are seeking to pursue a career in obstetrics and gynaecology but who haven't yet been appointed to a Specialty Training programme.

When the Fellowship Selection Committee was wound up in 1998, the Administration Department took over responsibility for selecting Members for elevation to Fellowship. Production of the Register of Fellows and Members, the Annual Report and programmes of admission ceremonies was undertaken by the Deputy College Secretary/Administration Department (briefly Central Services Department 1995-1997) until 2000. The Membership Services Department of the College took over all fellow and member administration duties until it was disbanded in 2005, when some of its functions reverted to the Administration department and the control of the Administrative Assistant.

After advice received in October 2007, a new Member Records Office was set up under the authority of the Head of the Administration department. To date, Member Records Services are responsible for: administering election processes for Council, Deanery Advisors, Trainees and Overseas Committees; maintaining databases and registers of Fellows, Members, Associates, Affiliates, Diplomates and Trainees; organising admission ceremonies for Fellows and Members; administering the selection procedure for elevating Members to the Fellowship.


A composite arrangement according to subject and function.

Access Information

See individual record descriptions for access restrictions.

Acquisition Information

Internal transfers from the Deputy College Secretary's Office, the Administration Department, and the Membership Services Department.

Other Finding Aids

A list of Foundation Fellows and Members is available in the first Annual Report 1929-1930; there is also a copy in the fifth Annual Report 1934. A database of FRCOG and MRCOG holders is maintained by the Membership Services Department; the database does not include Fellows or Members who died before 1990.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is held by the RCOG.

Custodial History

Unfortunately there are several gaps in the Archive holdings. From 1948-1964 the Register of Fellows and Members was included in the Annual Report and the last printed register was issued in 2001/2.

In June 2010 a further change was made to the catalogue structure in A12, in an effort to streamline access and numbering. This was part of a project to improve cataloguing standards. The structure brought together records of a similar nature, creating composite series and sub-series.

Related Material

References to related records held at the RCOG include:

RCOG/B3 Records of the Fellowship Selection Committee

RCOG/A4 Records of the Presidents relating to admission ceremonies

RCOG/A11 RCOG Members' Declaration Forms

S4 Papers of Sir John Peel relating to Fellows of the RCOG