RCVS publishes updated set of standards for how VNs are educated and trained

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has published an updated set of standards that detail the professional values, knowledge, skills and behaviours that need to be met by those responsible for training student veterinary nurses (SVNs).

The updated standards document (available from www.rcvs.org.uk/publications) applies to the awarding organisations and higher education institutions that set the veterinary nursing curricula, the centres (such as further education colleges) that deliver the courses, and the affiliated RCVS-approved training practices where SVNs undertake their placements.

The updated standards were approved by RCVS Veterinary Nurses (VN) Council in February 2021 following feedback from stakeholders. As with the previous version, there are six key overarching standards within the framework, which also provide guidance on how the individual standards can be evidenced. The overarching standards are: learning culture; governance and quality; student empowerment; educators and assessors; curricula and assessment; and effective clinical learning.

The Standards Framework, which draws together all the previous separate guidance for awarding organisations, centres and training practices and allows greater flexibility for how the training can be delivered, was approved by VN Council in November 2019. This update reflects the feedback received from stakeholders after the new standards were first applied last year.

Julie Dugmore, RCVS Director of Veterinary Nursing, explains: “During 2020, accreditations and quality monitoring audits were conducted against the RCVS Standards Framework for Veterinary Nurse Education and Training. Feedback from all involved was positive but reflected a need for clarification in some areas and further examples to assist with evidencing compliance.

“Since February 2021, four accreditations have been conducted against the updated standards, the results of which demonstrate a positive move towards the outcomes based approach to accreditation and quality monitoring.”
The full set of standards can be read online at www.rcvs.org.uk/standards-framework-vn/or downloaded in PDF form from www.rcvs.org.uk/publications

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