Royal Charter and Bylaws
The Royal Charter sets out the Institute’s charitable purpose and the framework within which we operate. The Royal Charter states that our object is:
- to promote the advancement and dissemination of a knowledge of and education in the science of physics, pure and applied, for the benefit of the public and the members of the Institute.
Our Charter is supplemented by a series of bylaws and regulations.
Charitable status and public benefit
The Institute is a charity registered in both England & Wales (no. 293851) and Scotland (no. SC040092). As such, we are regulated by both the Charities Commission and the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).
To be a charity, an organisation must have purposes that are exclusively charitable (as defined by the Charities Act 2011) and that are for the public benefit. The Institute meets the public benefit test in the following ways:
- advancement of education
- advancement of science
- advancement of community development
Annual report and accounts
As a registered charity we are required to produce an annual report and accounts.
The annual report explains the aims and objectives set by the Institute, and the strategies and activities we undertake to achieve them. The accounts or financial statements provide information about our financial position, performance and changes in financial position over the year.
The Institute is governed by our Council, which consists of 18 members elected from, and by, the membership, and up to three co-opted members who are appointed by the Council itself.
Council members serve four-year terms, with the exception of co-opted members, who are elected annually for a maximum of three years. The Honorary Treasurer and the Honorary Secretary are eligible for election to a second four-year term.
The Institute’s Council is our board of trustees and so Council members are the trustees of the charity. As such, Council has the ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of the Institute, ensuring that we are solvent, well-run, and delivering the charitable outcomes for which we were set up. Council sets and monitors the Institute’s strategy, which in turn delivers these charitable outcomes.
Council members give their time voluntarily and are not remunerated for their work on behalf of the Institute. Council currently meets four times a year, normally in January, April, July and November.
For further details, see our Council terms of reference, membership and meeting minutes.
The Executive team leads the organisation and the staff team in the delivery of the strategy and programmes, and reports on performance to the Council. They advise and support the Council in the development of the organisation’s strategy and their governance responsibilities.
Find out more about the Executive team
Our Council has a number of standing committees with delegated powers, to ensure that the necessary time and attention can be devoted to specific areas of interest.
The terms of reference, delegated powers and membership of these committees are set by Council. Committee membership is not limited to Council members, which allows for both wider representation from the membership and specialist external advice where appropriate. These committees are required to report back to Council.
Standing committees are also empowered to set up sub-committees or their own mechanisms for wider consultation. The terms of reference, delegated powers and membership of sub-committees are normally set by the parent committee.
For further details, see our Committee Terms of Reference
The Institute has eight subsidiary companies which carry out trading on our behalf.
- IOP Publishing Ltd
- IOP Publishing Inc.
- IOP Enterprises Ltd
- IOP Business Publishing Inc.
- IOP Educational Publishing Ltd (dormant)
- IOP Publishing Consultants (Beijing) Co. Ltd
- IOP Marketing and Promotion Services Private Ltd
- Turpion Ltd
For further details, see our Subsidiaries.