The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has called for comments on a Concept Note, which considers how the Practice Standards Scheme might develop in the future.
The Scheme is administered by the RCVS and the detailed Standards are decided in consultation with the Practice Standards Group (PSG), which includes representatives from all of the key veterinary organisations.
The PSG is considering the future direction of the Scheme as part of the second five-year review that has been undertaken - the first resulted in a new Manual and Standards in 2010.
The proposal this time is to move to a more modular approach, with greater flexibility and an increased focus on behaviours. The proposals also aim to address some of the perceived shortcomings of the Scheme, for example, that it is a 'box-ticking' exercise; that the Scheme puts too much emphasis on paperwork requirements; and, that it is inflexible, particularly at Hospital level, meaning that to qualify, practices would have to purchase expensive equipment that they would never use.
"Although the fundamental aim of the Scheme remains to raise and maintain high standards, the PSG recognises that it's important to address criticisms that may be acting as barriers to new members joining," says PSG Chairman, Peter Jinman.
"It is hoped that changes can also be made that will provide a pathway for existing members to attain higher, more meaningful standards, which are directly relevant to animal care," he adds.
The Concept Note is available on www.rcvs.org.uk/consultations, and feedback should be sent to Practice Standards Scheme Manager Eleanor Ferguson, on firstname.lastname@example.org, or to a Practice Standards Group member (as outlined in the Concept Note), by 20 December 2012.
This feedback will inform the development of more detailed proposals, which will be put out to full consultation in due course.
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