The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is seeking the views of the profession regarding its proposals for the future direction of the RCVS Fellowship.

The RCVS Fellowship is one of the College’s highest awards and under the proposals the Fellowship could develop into a learned society, with new routes to entry to enable more veterinary surgeons to join the Fellowship.  

The two current routes to entry – Fellowship by Thesis and Meritorious Contributions to Learning – would be changed to Meritorious Contribution to the Veterinary Profession; Meritorious Contribution to Knowledge; and Meritorious Contribution to Clinical Practice.

Professor Gary England chaired the Fellowship Working Party that was set up in 2013 and developed the proposals in consultation with current Fellows. He explains: “For many veterinary surgeons, becoming a Fellow is considered the ultimate goal of their careers. However, currently, just one per cent of the practising profession are Fellows.

“By widening the routes to Fellowship we want to enable a greater range of veterinary surgeons representing all facets of the profession, including those involved in clinical practice, to have a realistic chance of becoming a Fellow if their contribution to practice and the profession warrants it.

“The aim is that the size of the Fellowship would increase to around five per cent of the practising profession making it more dynamic  and enabling the College to make far more of the collective knowledge and experience than it currently does, to help advance veterinary science, possibly through the structure of the College’s charitable arm, RCVS Knowledge.”

The proposed changes would not affect the status of current Fellows, who would continue as Fellows under the current terms.  Similarly, although the proposals suggest that the award of Honorary Fellowship by the RCVS should be discontinued, all existing Honorary Fellows would retain their titles.

Full details of the College’s proposals for the future of the Fellowship are in the consultation paper, which can be downloaded from www.rcvs.org.uk/newfellowship. Hard copies of the document are also available upon request.

Those who wish to participate in the consultation can either complete an online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/rcvsfellowship or fill out the questionnaire included in the consultation paper. Responses must be received by Friday 4 July 2014.

Queries about the proposals, and requests for hard copy documents, should be directed to the RCVS Education Department on 020 7202 0791 or education@rcvs.org.uk