The emergence of the Royal Colleges (and particularly the two older ones) as policy-making bodies within the National Health Service obscured but in no way replaced their primary role as educational institutions. Indeed, the war had come at a critical stage in postgraduate educational development, for it interrupted the process of fragmentation of specialties into new pro­ fessional groups, each with its own status and its own control over specialty standards. The specialist caste system did not only affect the role of the gen­ eral practitioner; it also had a profound impact on the traditionally generalist cultures of the older Royal Colleges. The Colleges, assailed by the de­ mands of growing specialty groups, had to come to some decision on their future organization both as educational and as representative bodies in the NHS structure.