The Society has a board of trustees, known as the Council, who are responsible for the Society’s governance and meet three times per year.
On the Council, 21 members are nominated and elected for a three year term of office by the Fellowship of the Society. In addition, up to four members are co-opted onto the Council, including a postgraduate student representative.
The Council members’ expertise and interests represent the main areas of Society activity and bring a breadth of experience from the wider world.
The Council is chaired by the President who is elected for a three year term. The current President is Nicholas Crane.
The Council has committees that consider matters of strategy and implementation relating to their specific areas of expertise and which advise the Council and Society staff. The Council's committees currently include: Education, Expeditions and Fieldwork, Finance, Research and Higher Education.
There are also a small number of specialist sub-committees that advise Council.
The Society’s work is guided by five-year strategic plans which provide the context, focus and aspirations for the Society’s development at each stage. Each strategic plan is supported by implementation, business and fundraising plans, as well as a comprehensive risk review. Annual operating plans are derived from these documents. The Society has recently completed its work under the 2012-2016 plan and will be publishing its ‘2017-2021 Strategic Plan’ over the summer of 2017.