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The Institute of Physics is a charity registered in England and Wales and in Scotland. It was established in its current form by Royal Charter on 30 September 1970.

Royal Charter, bylaws, regulations and Code of Conduct

The Royal Charter sets out IOP’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 IOP.

Our Charter is supplemented by a series of bylaws and regulations. We also have a Code of Conduct.

Charitable status and public benefit

IOP is a charity registered in both England and Wales (no. 293851) and in Scotland (no. SC040092). As such, we are regulated by both the Charities Commission and the Office of 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. IOP meets the public benefit test in the following ways:

  • advancement of education
  • advancement of science
  • advancement of community development
  • the promotion of equality and diversity

Annual Report and Accounts

As a registered charity we are required to produce an Annual Report and Accounts.

This explains the aims and objectives set by IOP, and the strategies and activities we undertake to achieve them. It also provides information about our financial position, performance and changes in financial position over the year.


The IOP is governed by our Council of Trustees, which consists of 18 trustees elected from, and by, the membership, and up to three co-opted trustees who are appointed by the Council itself.

Trustees generally serve four-year terms, with the exception of co-opted trustees who are elected annually for a maximum of three years. The President serves a two-year term as President-elect followed by two years as President. The Honorary Treasurer and the Honorary Secretary are eligible for election to a second four-year term.

Our Council of Trustees has the ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of IOP, ensuring that we are solvent, well-run, and delivering the charitable outcomes for which we were set up. The Council sets and monitors IOP’s strategy, which in turn delivers these charitable outcomes.

Trustees give their time voluntarily and are not remunerated for their work on behalf of IOP. Council generally meets four times per year.

For further details, see our Council membership, meeting minutes and meeting summaries.

Executive Team

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.

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 then report back to Council.

Subsidiary undertakings

The IOP has a number of active trading subsidiary undertakings, as follows:

  • IOP Publishing Limited
  • IOP Publishing Inc.
  • IOP Business Publishing Inc.
  • IOP Publishing Consultants (Beijing) Co. Limited
  • IOP Marketing and Promotion Services Private Limited
  • Turpion Limited

For further details, see our group structure.