RCVS Council approves pathway for RVNs to become Practice Standards Scheme Assessors

At the January meeting of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Council, members approved a pathway for registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) to become Assessors for the Practice Standards Scheme (PSS) and also approved a new Equine Emergency Services Clinic accreditation.

The change to the Practice Standards rules means that RVNs, as with veterinary surgeons, who have at least five years’ experience within the profession are eligible to apply to become PSS Assessors. PSS Assessors are employees of the RCVS who are responsible for conducting visits to practices that wish to join the scheme, are undergoing their re-accreditation assessment or have applied for one or more of the PSS Awards to ensure they meet all the relevant standards and criteria.

The decision to allow RVNs to become PSS Assessors had previously been approved by both the Practice Standards Group, the steering committee for the Scheme comprising representatives from all of the major veterinary and veterinary nursing organisations in the UK, and the RCVS Standards Committee.

Matthew Rendle is the Chair of VN Council and also sits as a member of RCVS Council. He said: “I am delighted to see that there is now a pathway to recruit veterinary nurses as PSS Assessors and hope that many of my VN colleagues will take up this opportunity to apply to join the excellent team responsible for ensuring that the Scheme’s stringent standards are met.

“We know that, on a practice-by-practice basis, veterinary nurses often play a big role in helping to coordinate and ensure that the requirements of the Practice Standards Scheme are met, for example, by preparing their team for the assessment, liaising with the RCVS and the Assessor and making sure all standards are complied with in advance. It is great to see that the crucial role they often play in meeting standards is reflected in opening up the ability to become PSS Assessors.”

Mandisa Greene, RCVS President and Chair of the Practice Standards Group, added: “This is such an important development for the veterinary nursing profession whose role in the Practice Standards Scheme has long been recognised as invaluable. This decision also opens up new career advancement opportunities for the profession as well, which I’m sure is very welcome.”

When the next recruitment round for PSS Assessors takes place, RVNs will be welcome to apply to join the roster of Assessors.

In addition to approving the role of RVNs as PSS Assessors, Council also approved a new Equine Emergency Services Clinic accreditation to help incorporate the emerging business model of veterinary practices that provide ambulatory emergency services for equids.

The new accreditation would require these practices to meet the applicable PSS Core Standards, plus the requirements contained in an additional Equine Emergency Services module. The full details of the requirements will be published in due course.

For more information about the Practice Standards Scheme visit: www.rcvs.org.uk/pss

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