Wednesday, August 20, 2014

From the beginning of September, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) will start to accept the first applications for Advanced Practitioner status, its new accreditation for veterinary surgeons.

The new accreditation status represents a ‘middle tier’ between veterinary surgeons holding an initial veterinary degree and RCVS Specialists and will demonstrate that the veterinary surgeon has advanced knowledge and experience in a designated field of veterinary practice.

Practising veterinary surgeons with at least five years’ experience and a relevant postgraduate qualification are eligible to apply to be recognised as RCVS Advanced Practitioners. Accepted qualifications include the Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice (CertAVP) with a designation; the RCVS Certificate awarded up to 2012; postgraduate clinical qualifications awarded by universities or recognised awarding bodies; and other relevant clinical postgraduate master’s degrees. Full details of eligible qualifications can be found at

Advanced Practitioners will be expected to undertake at least 250 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) over each five-year period of accreditation, of which 125 hours should be in their designated field.

Dr Kit Sturgess is Chair of the Advanced Practitioner Assessors Panel and was involved in the development of the scheme. He says: “I am very proud that we will soon be accepting applications for the Advanced Practitioner status, just two years after the need for such an accreditation was highlighted by Professor Sir Kenneth Calman’s Specialisation Working Party, set up to look at the whole specialisation framework. 

“Being an Advanced Practitioner is more than just a status – it will demonstrate to members of the public and colleagues alike that a veterinary surgeon is working at an advanced level in their field and has made an ongoing commitment to career development and lifelong learning through engaging with CPD over and above the RCVS minimum requirement.”

Applications from holders of the RCVS Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice (CertAVP) with a designation can apply from 1 September 2014 while those holding any other relevant qualifications can apply from 13 October 2014. The deadline for all applications during this first round is 30 November 2014.

Applications can be made online at where further information about eligible qualifications, CPD requirements and other details can be found. The application fee for this year is £50 - from next year it will be £80. Thereafter there will be an annual fee to remain on the list (£80 by direct debit; £90 otherwise, at current rates).

All eligible applications will be assessed by the Advanced Practitioner Assessors Panel. The first list of Advanced Practitioners is due to be published, alongside the updated Specialist list, in spring 2015 subject to approval by the RCVS Education Committee in February 2015.

If accepted on to the list, practitioners will be able to use ‘RCVS Advanced Practitioner in [designated field]’ after their names. The accreditation and its designation will also be a primary search field on the RCVS Find a Vet practice database as well as appearing after an individual’s name on the Check the Register search tool.

Once the first list has been published, the status of Advanced Practitioner will be promoted to the public.

A free webinar about Advanced Practitioner status, hosted by the Webinar Vet, will take place on Tuesday 30 September at 8.30pm. To register for the webinar visit

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