RCVS sets up new working group to explore practice regulation ideas

18th January 2024
Industry News

A new RCVS working group has been formed to draw up proposals for the future statutory regulation of veterinary practices.

The group, which is expected to outline its ideas by the end of 2024, will be chaired by the college’s current president, Sue Paterson, and involve veterinary, nursing, lay and external members.

Mandatory practice regulation is a key priority of the fight for reform to the Veterinary Surgeons Act, and Dr Paterson believes the working group’s activities will play a vital role in shaping the future debate.

‘High standards’

Dr Paterson said: “With more than 70% of practice premises currently under its ambit, our Practice Standards Scheme has shown how keen practices are to maintain high standards.

“However, it is a voluntary scheme and, as a result, there is no mechanism to ensure standards across all practices, or to ensure change in those rare situations where it is needed.

“At present, the RCVS only regulates individual veterinary surgeons and nurses, and the veterinary sector does not have an equivalent to the Care Quality Commission, which considers human health care premises.

“This means that the onus for maintaining standards within the workplace falls on regulated individuals rather than the business structure. We will consider what a scheme that puts more statutory responsibility on business owners to maintain standards should look like.”

‘Flesh out’

Dr Paterson added: “I look forward to working with colleagues in RCVS council, VN council and other veterinary organisations via this group to really flesh out what this regulatory system might look like in the future, to make sure it is appropriate, robust, proportionate and enforceable.

“Establishing these details will also prove invaluable in our lobbying work with government, ministers and MPs.”

The announcement of the new working group was made ahead of the first college council meeting of the new year this Thursday (18 January), where ideas for potential reforms of its governance are set to be discussed.


Credit to:  RCVS sets up new working group to explore practice regulation ideas (Vet Times)

Vet Times. (2023).  RCVS sets up new working group to explore practice regulation ideas [online]

Available at:  https://www.vettimes.co.uk/news/rcvs-sets-up-new-working-group-to-explore-practice-regulation-ideas/