Veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses are being given a unique opportunity to help improve the way the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) regulates their professions, as part of its First-Rate Regulator initiative.

Members of the veterinary team are being asked about their recent interactions with the RCVS, what they think the organisation does well, and what can be improved upon, through a confidential online survey.

It is one of several activities underway as part of the First-Rate Regulator initiative. Others include a survey amongst those who have made complaints; research amongst RCVS staff and Council / VN Council members; in-depth phone interviews with veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses and practice managers; and, questionnaires aimed at stakeholder organisations that work regularly with the College.

Desk-based research is also being carried out, to see how the RCVS shapes up when compared to other similar regulators, both in the UK and overseas.

Following this evidence-gathering stage, an assessment will be made about where gaps exist between how the College performs and what it ought to be achieving, together with recommendations for change.

"Becoming a first-rate regulator is the aim, building on the good things we do, and challenging ourselves to be better where we fall short," says Nick Stace, RCVS CEO.

"Although the RCVS has a long and proud history, we also need to have a sustainable future. Careful scrutiny of what we do, and how we can improve, will ensure this. I would urge all members of the veterinary team to take this unique opportunity to help improve the regulation of their professions."

The survey closes on 4 January 2013. All veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses for whom the RCVS holds unique email addresses will be sent a link to the survey. Others are invited to visit www.rcvs.org.uk/firstratesurvey to take part. Practice managers, and student vets and VNs are also encouraged to complete the survey. Individuals who are not veterinary surgeons, nurses, students or practice managers, and who have views about how the College could improve, are invited to contact Nick Stace on nick@rcvs.org.uk.

(Source: rcvs.org.uk)