Background and context
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) works to improve women’s health care across the world. Founded in 1929, we now have over 16,000 members worldwide and work with a range of partners both in the UK and globally to improve the standard of care delivered to women, encourage the study of obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G) and advance the science and practice of O&G.
20th Century: Crown land and first Royal Patron
The College was granted a "royal" title by His Majesty King George VI in 1938 and the Royal Charter was awarded in 1947, after delay caused by the Second World War.
Initially, the College was housed at 58 Queen Anne Street but, when more space was required, a Crown land site was obtained in Regent’s Park – now our current home at Sussex Place.
The foundation stone of the new building was laid in 1957 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, who was then Patron of the College.
The new College building was completed in 1960 and formally opened by Her Majesty The Queen in July of that year. In 2001 the subterranean Education Centre was opened, providing the College with a 21st century conference facility.
The RCOG welcomed Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge, as its new Patron in February 2018.
Her Royal Highness attended a special ceremony at the College to officially accept the patronage. The Duchess is the second Patron in the RCOG’s 89 year history, after Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother in 1947.
Aims, objectives and values
Our aim is ‘to set standards to improve women’s health and the clinical practice of obstetrics and gynaecology in the British Isles and across the world’.
Our charitable objectives are to ‘encourage the study, and advance the science and practice, of obstetrics and gynaecology’.
We value innovation, high standards, inclusiveness, trust and openness.
To achieve our goals, we:
- Work with the RCOG Women’s Network to ensure women’s views on the care they receive are at the heart of everything we do;
- Publish clinical guidelines that set standards for high quality women’s health care, including national clinical guidelines through the NICE-funded National Guideline Alliance;
- Publish patient information leaflets explaining medical conditions in lay terms and the levels of care women can expect to receive;
- Develop the education, training and exam programme for doctors wishing to specialise in O&G;
- Provide a continuing professional development programme for qualified O&G clinicians, including practical skills courses and educational and scientific meetings and conferences, to ensure their skills remain up to date;
- Carry out audit and quality improvement projects to improve women’s health care;
- Promote academic work in O&G, to ensure continued improvement in the service our members offer to women;
- Work with international partners to improve sexual and reproductive health care and reduce maternal morbidity and mortality worldwide, through our global health strategy;
- Contribute to policy development as it affects the O&G profession, the health service and wider women’s health concerns;
- Advise the government and other public bodies on healthcare matters relating to O&G;
- Help employers, commissioners and managers provide safe and sustainable services that improve women's health through our invited review service;
- Publish statements and reports on issues of public importance relevant to O&G;
- Support other organisations with similar objectives to the College, including specialist societies.