has started a series of discussions about major changes to the profession proposed by the Legislative Working Party in order to help you form your opinion and give feedback to the RCVS.  

If they become law, the changes proposed by the working party will have a profound effect on all practising veterinary surgeons and nurses, so it could not be more important that you express your opinion, whether that is in support of the changes or against them.

The proposals fall under five main headings below, each of which is linked to a discussion thread on the subject. Of particular note is the 'fitness to practise' section which includes proposals for radical changes to the disciplinary process:

  • Embracing the vet-led team
    Giving the College powers to regulate all paraprofessionals. Allowing vets to delegate more to paraprofessionals (and giving the College greater power to define what can be delegated). Protecting the title 'Veterinary Nurse'.
  • Enhancing the VN role
    Extending the VN role in anaesthesia and allowing VNs to perform cat castrations. In the future, looking at nurses becoming 'VN Prescribers' and performing other tasks.
  • Assuring practice regulation
    Making the PSS regulatory and giving the College the power to come and bash the door down (so to speak) if you won't let them in to investigate a failure to maintain practice standards. Giving the College the power to issue improvement notices. 
  • Introduce a modern 'Fitness to practise' regime
    To change the disciplinary process to be forward-looking, considering fitness to practise, as opposed to backward-looking, punishing past misdeeds. Widening the grounds for investigation beyond serious professional misconduct. Introducing new powers so the College can suspend a vet pending a final decision by the Disciplinary Committee. Introducing reviews of suspension orders so that reinstatement is no longer automatic. Introduce a wider range of sanctions. To reduce the standard of proof required by the Disciplinary Committee. To use a Case Examiner model for early stage investigations, as opposed to the Preliminary Investigation Committee (PIC). 
  • Modernising Registration
    To allow limited licensure allowing - for example people with disabilities to practise. To introduce a requirement for vets and nurses to revalidate. To allow the College to refuse re-registration for veterinary professionals who do not undertake the required amount of CPD. 

Do come and join in the discussions. Which of these things do you think will improve the veterinary care of animals? Could any of them have consequences that haven't been thought of? Do you think some of them show the College overreaching itself? Or do they not go far enough?  

Come and tell us what you think. Hopefully the discussions will help you form your response to the RCVS survey. 

The RCVS survey closes at 5pm on 23rd April 2021.

Whilst you're here, take a moment to see our latest job opportunities for vets.