RHS Council is the governing body of the Society and, in accordance with the Charter and Bye-laws, is responsible for:

  • The future direction of the Society
  • The investment and disposal of Society assets
  • The strategic management and performance of the Society

Boards and committees

Although RHS Council takes all major strategic decisions and those expressly reserved to it, some decision-making powers are delegated to a number Boards and Committees:

Horticulture Board – responsible to Council for all activities relating to the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture in all its branches within the Society.

Commercial Board – responsible for advising Council in relation to the Society’s commercial and financial affairs and resources and is responsible for representing the Society as the “employer” in the funding and support of the RHS (1974) Defined Benefit Pension Scheme and the provision of alternative pension arrangements if appropriate.

Audit and Risk Committee – responsible for making, and monitoring, recommendations to Council relating to the effectiveness and appropriateness of all aspects of the Society’s financial and risk management procedures and controls.

Nominations, Appointments and Governance Committee – responsible to Council for governance of the Society and identifying and recommending candidates for election and appointments to Council and advisory, governance and decision-making boards and committees. 

Remuneration Committee – responsible to Council for making recommendations on the remuneration and benefits for the Director General and all Executive Directors of the Society.

Investments Committee – responsible for the review and maintenance of the Society’s investment portfolio including bursary funds.

Plant committees

There are seven specialist RHS plant committees, some of which are operated jointly with the relevant plant society. They are responsible to the Horticulture Board for encouraging excellence in cultivation, the introduction of new plants and the maintenance of selected plant material and trials.

  • Bulb Committee
  • Fruit, Vegetable and Herb Committee
  • Herbaceous Plant Committee
  • Joint Rock Garden Plant Committee
  • Orchid Committee
  • Tender Ornamental Plant Committee
  • Woody Plant Committee

Other committees

There are five other committees, reporting to the Horticulture Board and providing advice on specialist areas:

  • Awards Committee
  • Bursaries Committee
  • Education Committee
  • Gardens Committee
  • Science Committee

Advisory groups

Council also appoints advisory groups, reporting to committees but sitting outside the formal governance arrangements of the Society. These include:

  • Narcissus Classification Advisory Group
  • Nomenclature & Taxonomy Advisory Group
  • Orchid Hybrid Registration Advisory Group
  • Qualifications Advisory Group

For more information about the governance arrangements of the Society, please contact: secretary@rhs.org.uk

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We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.