Our role

The Royal College of Physicians' (RCP's) core mission is to drive improvements in health and healthcare through advocacy, education and research. 

We are an independent patient centred and clinically led organisation, that drives improvement in the diagnosis of disease, the care of individual patients and the health of the whole population both in the UK and across the globe.

Our role in shaping health policy

No one knows more about the health service than our member doctors working in hospitals across the UK. We draw on their unique and diverse knowledge and expertise to develop evidence-based policy in key areas of healthcare to champion medical professionalism and leadership, promote person-centred care and drive improvements in clinical practice.

The RCP regularly communicates and meets with government, stakeholders and international organisations such as the European Union, to embed quality improvement across all health policy.

Our role in healthcare

The RCP raises healthcare standards by setting training curricula and exams for physicians, and by developing NICE-accredited guidelines for high-quality care. We also have a wider duty to reduce preventable illness from causes such as smoking and drinking, and to promote evidence-based policies to government to encourage healthy lifestyles.

Our role globally

The RCP has a truly global network, with nearly one-fifth of our members based in over 80 countries worldwide. Our work spans high-, middle- and low-income countries, ranging from accreditation work and guideline development in the Middle East to clinical skills workshops in rural Nigeria.

We develop and coordinate globally-recognised exams, and deliver a wide range of projects aimed at strengthening health systems and improving medical standards across the globe.