New RCVS Knowledge and University of Nottingham study to create consistent QI language

RCVS Knowledge, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Nottingham, have launched a ground-breaking study to develop a consistent language of improvement, that will help advance the quality of care provided by veterinary professionals.

The findings will provide vital clarification for the profession, including those within practice, education, policy and industry settings, to help to break down barriers to adopting Quality Improvement (QI) within the veterinary sector.

This project is one way in which RCVS Knowledge is actively responding to the recommendations published last year in Assessing the Landscape and Future Actions for Quality Improvement in the Veterinary Sector, a large-scale study of the QI landscape in the veterinary professions, which was commissioned by the charity as part of their commitment to QI.

The report found that a considerable number of veterinary professionals feel that some of the language used in QI can be unclear and difficult to understand, and therefore hard to implement in practice.

Freya Rooke, from the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham, is working with RCVS Knowledge to conduct the QI terminology study, as part of her PhD supported by CVS Equine and the University of Nottingham.

The results from this study will be available as a free resource via the RCVS Knowledge website, presented at conferences and submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

The study is starting with a short questionnaire open to participants from across the veterinary profession, seeking opinions on the definitions of language relating to QI.

The researchers will then ask a smaller number of questionnaire participants to form a panel, also including animal owners, which will help further refine the language used to discuss QI.

Chris Gush, Executive Director of RCVS Knowledge, said:

“This is a great opportunity for the profession to agree on a language of improvement, a common understanding of terms which will help shape the sharing of ideas and information. A common language will also support the development of policy, processes and a standardised approach to looking at how we ensure that our intended actions are carried out thoroughly, efficiently and reliably.

“We would value participation from a large number of veterinary professionals from across the UK, to help give a clear picture of the current language usage and the way forward.

“Please take 10 minutes to complete the questionnaire, and support us in advancing the use of QI in veterinary care, for the benefit of animals, the public and society.”

Freya Rooke (MRes Equestrian Performance, CVS Equine PhD student, University of Nottingham) said:

“We are delighted to be working with RCVS Knowledge on developing definitions for QI and making QI more accessible for the veterinary profession. I would like to thank CVS Equine and the University of Nottingham for their support in enabling my PhD, which is investigating the effectiveness of QI methods in equine practice.

“We are looking forward to hearing from a wide range of veterinary professionals and animal owners to help us produce this vital resource, which will have a wide-reaching impact on the veterinary professions and patient care for years to come.”

To register your interest to take part in this study, please complete the questionnaire, which is now open at Participants are encouraged to share this with veterinary colleagues.

Animal owners are also invited to take part and can register their interest by completing the questionnaire, which is now open at

The deadline to participate is 17 November 2020.

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