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RCVS Council Agrees Changes To CPD Requirement Policy

11 months ago

21st June, 2019 13h43


At the June meeting of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Council, members agreed wide-reaching changes to the College’s policies on continuing professional development (CPD), including the hourly requirement and the processes for recording learning and development.

The paper had been brought forward by the RCVS Education Committee, and was previously approved by the RCVS Veterinary Nurses (VN) Council at its May meeting, with six key recommendations for changes to CPD policy:

RCVS Council agreed, by a majority vote, to approve the above recommendations.

RCVS Council member Dr Sue Paterson, who introduced the paper and is the incoming Chair of the Education Committee, said: “While the majority of both veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses do recognise the importance of continuous learning and development for their professional practice, their clients and, ultimately, animal health and welfare, it’s clear that there has been a cohort of people in both professions who take a more lax view of undertaking CPD.

“The changes to our CPD policy are intended to tighten up our processes and are targeted at those who, when challenged about why they have not undertaken sufficient CPD, say that they will meet the requirement one or two years down the line as part of the rolling three-year system. The administration fee also recognises the amount of time and effort spent by staff in the College in contacting and chasing up those people who aren’t compliant.

“However, we also recognise the fact that some members of the profession may have personal circumstances that means they are unable to meet their CPD requirement in a given year – whether that’s because of parental leave or other caring responsibilities, or long-term sick leave. So we will be retaining flexibility within the system and will be considerate and compassionate when taking into account individual circumstances when considering non-compliance.

“Furthermore, in light of the fact that the majority of vets and vet nurses do meet the requirement but also often go above-and-beyond it, we also thought it would be a good idea to introduce a downloadable compliance certificate in recognition of their achievement. This could be displayed, for example, in the practice and would be particularly useful for Practice Standard Scheme assessments.

“Over the coming months we will be fine-tuning the details of these policies and will be making further decisions about how they will work in practice in due course.”

Vets and nurses who feel they will struggle to complete their CPD requirement within a 12-month period due to personal circumstances can contact RCVS confidentially at any time to discuss their difficulties on

For full details about the decision, please download the RCVS Council paper at:

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