Made up of 13 RAs, Council is a committee that is responsible for the direction and management of every major aspect of the Royal Academy. The Four Officers also attend each meeting. Various Committees report to Council on each area of the RA’s activities and recommend policy. The current committees cover Architecture, Collections & Library, Audit, Finance, Exhibitions, Learning, Schools and Works. An RA, appointed by the Council, presides over each committee. They are helped by a senior member of staff from that department, as well as other staff, a number of Academicians and up to four external members.
The RAs that sit on Council consist of four Members who are elected annually by the General Assembly to serve a two-year term, six members selected by rotation, and three newly elected Academicians, appointed to sit on the Council for their first year. In addition, three External Members who are not RAs are approved by Council and General Assembly and appointed for a term of two years in order to provide expert professional advice. The RAs who sit on Council each year delegate the direction and management of the Summer Exhibition to the Summer Exhibition Committee, which consists of 13 Academicians, and is chaired by the President.