Candidate nomination period now open for 2023 RCVS and VN Councils elections

Veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses who want to play their part in determining how the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) regulates professional standards and education, as well as advancing the professions through its Royal Charter activities, can now put themselves forward as candidates in next year’s elections for RCVS Council and Veterinary Nurses (VN) Council.

Prospective members of RCVS Council and VN Council have until 5pm on Tuesday 31 January 2023 to submit their nominations to stand as candidates for the elections, which will take place in March and April 2023.

RCVS Council is the governing body of the College and is responsible for approving major policy decisions concerning both the regulation and advancement of the professions, with Council members also sitting on a number of committees and subcommittees responsible for areas such as standards, education, registration, finance, and the advancement of the professions.

VN Council and its members are responsible for all matters concerning veterinary nurse training, post-qualification awards and the registration of qualified veterinary nurses, as well as the joint RCVS and British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) VN Futures project.

RCVS President Dr Melissa Donald, an elected member of RCVS Council since 2016, said: “I am a general practitioner by background, and so having the opportunity to serve on Council and be at the heart of decision-making that has a real and consequential impact on how we as vets work and conduct ourselves, has been a real privilege.

“In my six years on Council I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in fascinating debates and discussions, to represent the RCVS and its activities at country fairs and congresses, and to talk to and get the views of peers and colleagues from across the UK. Serving your profession in the RCVS is a fantastic opportunity and I would recommend anyone who wants to have a real say and impact on the future of the profession to stand for next year’s Council elections.”

Matthew Rendle, Chair of VN Council and an elected member since 2016, added: “As the stature of veterinary nurses has grown over the years, so too has VN Council and the VN Education Committee, with members taking decisions on the accreditation of veterinary nursing education providers, new qualifications, matters relating to the registration of veterinary nurses, as well as having strategic oversight of the VN Futures project and its mission to ensure that veterinary nursing is a vibrant, rewarding and sustainable profession.

“As a member of VN Council you will have a great opportunity to travel around the UK meeting your fellow nurses and getting fresh perspectives on what it means to be a VN, with a particular highlight being welcoming new veterinary nurses to the profession through our many registration and graduation ceremonies.”

The full eligibility criteria for veterinary surgeons who wish to stand for RCVS Council can be found at:, where prospective candidates will also find further information about the role of the RCVS, RCVS Council and RCVS Council members, guidance notes, and frequently asked questions about standing as a candidate.

All of the equivalent details for veterinary nurses, including the ‘job description’ for prospective VN Council members, can be found at:

Prospective candidates for RCVS Council can also contact Melissa Donald for an informal conversation on what it means to be an RCVS Council member on, while prospective VN Council candidates can contact Matthew Rendle on

There will be one meeting of RCVS Council taking place before the nomination period ends. This meeting, on Thursday 19 January 2023, takes place at the University of Nottingham Veterinary School. Prospective candidates for both Councils are welcome to attend this as observers and should contact Dawn Wiggins, RCVS Council Secretary, on

Unfortunately, there is no scheduled meeting of VN Council before the end of the candidate nomination period, but the agenda of previous VN Council meetings can be found at for those who want to see examples of the kind of business it conducts.

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