Veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses who wish to have a say in the future of their respective professions have until the end of January to put themselves forward as candidates for RCVS Council and VN Council respectively.

Each year six RCVS Council seats are contested while two seats are available for VN Council. Successful candidates will serve four-year terms.

The nomination period runs until 5pm on Saturday 31 January and, in order to stand, candidates for either RCVS or VN Council will need to complete a nomination form, submit a short biography, write a short personal statement and supply a high resolution digital photo.

Each candidate will also need to provide two nominations – for RCVS Council candidates this should be two veterinary surgeons on the RCVS Register who are not current RCVS Council members; for VN Council candidates nominators must be registered or listed VNs who are not current VN Council members.

Gordon Hockey, RCVS Registrar, says: “By standing for election, veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses can have a real and tangible impact on the future direction of their professions through the work and decisions of the two main Councils, their committees and the various subcommittees and working groups set up to consider particular issues.

“For example, they can play a part in setting and advancing the standards for veterinary education in the UK and professional conduct for veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses.”

The election period commences in early March and runs until Friday 24 April. Successful candidates for either Council will take up their seats at RCVS Day on Friday 10 July 2015.

Nomination forms, guidance notes and frequently asked questions for RCVS Council candidates can be found at www.rcvs.org.uk/rcvscouncil15. The equivalent documents for VN Council candidates can be found at www.rcvs.org.uk/vncouncil15.

Last year the RCVS also produced two short videos outlining what is involved in being a Council member, the benefits it can bring and the amount of time it requires. These can be found at www.youtube.com/rcvsvideos

Those in need of further guidance about standing as a candidate for RCVS Council should contact Dawn Wiggins, Council Secretary, on d.wiggins@rcvs.org.uk or 020 7202 0737. Those considering standing for VN Council should contact Annette Amato on a.amato@rcvs.org.uk or 020 7202 0713.