UK council elections

Read about the changes to UK council elections starting from 2022 including available seats, eligibility and how to nominate and vote. 

Location: UK
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Wednesday 12 January 2022
Ballot box article illustration
Nominations are now open

Nominations to the elections to UK council for the 2022-26 session are now open and will close at 4pm on Monday 14 February 2022.

How to nominate yourself

Before completing your form, read:

Nominate yourself

Nomination deadline

The deadline for submitting your nomination is 4pm on Monday 14 February 2022. Late nominations will not be accepted. 

Invalid forms

Nomination forms that are not properly completed and submitted will be considered invalid. It is your responsibility to make sure your form is correct and complete. Amendments to forms will not be permitted after the close of nominations. Nominations must be made via the above website only. Copies received via any other method will not be accepted.


Nomination categories and eligibility

With the changes we have recently implemented, the number of UK council voting members has been increased to 69 (at the point of election). 

Voting members are elected according to the following categories:

  • geographical constituency 
  • branch of practice 
  • ethnic minority.

A gender maxima constraint has been applied to larger constituencies so that not all members elected are of the same gender.

All members are bound by the BMA code of conduct.

Read below how seats are distributed across these categories:

Geographical constituency (40 seats)

Your geographical zone is your region/nation. It is determined by the division you are listed under at the time nominations open.

English regions:

  • Eastern
  • East Midlands
  • North East
  • North West
  • South Central
  • South East coast
  • South West
  • West Midlands
  • Yorkshire

Each region has 3 seats, of which no more than 2 are of the same gender. 

  • London - 4 seats, of which no more than 3 of the same gender.


  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland

Each nation has 3 seats, of which no more than 2 are of the same gender.

Branch of practice (24 seats)

This is determined by the category of medical work in which, at the time the nominations open, you spend the majority of your remunerated medical time (except for medical students and retired members).

  • Academics - 1 seat
  • Armed forces - 1 seat
  • Consultants - 4 seats, of which no more than 3 are of the same gender
  • General practice - 4 seats, of which no more than 3 are of the same gender
  • Junior doctors - 5 seats, of which no more than 3 are of the same gender
  • Medical students - 3 seats, of which no more than 2 are of the same gender
  • Occupational medicine - 1 seat
  • Public health medicine - 1 seat
  • Retired doctors - 1 seat
  • SAS doctors - 2 seats
Ethnic minority (5 seats)

To stand in this election, you must be a BMA member and self-identify as Black, Asian and minority ethnic.


To stand in this election, you must be a BMA member in one of the constituencies and branches of practice listed above.


Get support from your constituency

Canvassing is an integral part of an election. When canvassing, you should make sure you:

  • live by BMA behaviours at all times in the election process
  • highlight your strengths and experience
  • don’t make negative comments about rival candidates
  • don’t put pressure on people to vote for you or ask others to do so
  • don’t make promises you can’t keep – you will be held to account in the next round of elections.

Candidates must not use BMA resources to canvass voters, including:

  • BMA listservers
  • BMA social media accounts
  • BMA email addresses
  • BMA staff resource.

While canvassing through personal social media accounts and emails is allowed, you must ensure that any communication does not breach any policies of any organisation, forum or group. Your communication must also comply with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations).

If you’re not sure what is acceptable, ask for advice from your committee secretary or the elections team.


What has changed

We have listened to your feedback to make the voting process simpler and also want to ensure that all members have a fair opportunity to stand for election. We are introducing important changes approved by the BMA representative body at the ARM 2021:

  • single grid ballot paper - we've implemented a much clearer and streamlined process
  • stronger representation at regional level - UK-wide seats have been replaced with seats for our devolved nations and English regions
  • fairer representation from ethnic minorities - we've introduced five ethnic minority seats to ensure that our structure reflects the diversity within the medical workforce and student body
  • gender constraints have been reinforced - to ensure representational equality for all genders across the constituencies
  • better representation model for medical students - meeting their rapidly changing needs.


Help shape BMA policy

With UK council looking to reform its current membership in full, these elections are the perfect opportunity to get involved with BMA policy-making activities. 

As a voting member of UK council, you will play an active role in representing your specialty and your colleagues' voices. You will be involved in influencing BMA policy on the priorities for the next four years from 2022-2026: 

  • doctors pay and pensions
  • NHS privatisation and the future of healthcare
  • addressing the workforce crisis
  • learning lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Being part of UK council is a great way to develop your medico-political skills - we offer great learning and development opportunities and you will have a hand in making the BMA a fairer and inclusive place.

Read more about the benefits of becoming an active member

How to vote

Voting opens on Thursday 16 March 2022

After the closing of the nomination window on Monday 14 February 2022, ballot papers will be sent via post to voting members on Thursday 16 March 2022. 

We will update this section with step-by-step guidance shortly.  



Results will be published on the website the week commencing 25 April 2022.

Successful candidates

The newly elected members will serve a four-year term for the sessions 2022-23, 2023-24, 2024-25, and 2025-26.

Successful candidates will be expected to attend an induction day taking place on 12 July 2022.

Council meetings will normally be held virtually or at BMA House. Dates for the 2022-23 session are below (starting time is 10am unless otherwise indicated):

  • Thursday 30 June 2022 time TBC (chair election at ARM)
  • Tuesday 12 July 2022 (council induction)
  • Wednesday 13 July 2022
  • Wednesday 14 September 2022
  • Wednesday 16 November 2022
  • Wednesday 25 January 2022
  • Wednesday 15 March 2023
  • Wednesday 17 May 2023


Get in touch

If you have any problems completing or submitting your form, please email Civica Election Services at [email protected] or on 020 8829 8473. 

If you have any questions about UK council please contact Sally-Ann Cole, BMA council secretary, at [email protected] or on 020 7383 6202.