The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) new Royal Charter has come into effect today (Tuesday 17 February), meaning that the whole of the veterinary nursing profession in the UK is now regulated.

 

Under the changes instituted in the new Charter there are no longer listed veterinary nurses and all those formerly on the List have effectively been moved to the Register and will be able to use the postnominals RVN.

 

As a result they will now be expected to undertake the minimum requirement for continuing professional development (CPD) of 45 hours over a three-year period, will be responsible for adhering to the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses and will be subject to the College’s disciplinary system in cases of serious professional misconduct. Any veterinary nurse removed or suspended from the Register will not be entitled to give medical treatment or carry out minor surgery.

 

The new Charter received the Great Seal of the Realm and was collected from the House of Lords by RCVS Registrar Gordon Hockey and Policy Consultant Jeff Gill. It had previously been approved at a meeting of the Privy Council on 5 November 2014.

 

Gordon Hockey said: “This is a proud day for us and an important day for the profession as a whole. We worked very hard to get to this point and I would like to thank all those who helped us along the way including RCVS and VN Council members, College staff and the members of the profession and representative organisations, in particular the BVA and BVNA, that responded to our consultation on the proposed Charter last year.

 

“This Charter clarifies the role of the College and its aims and objectives while also modernising many of our regulatory functions. This represents another significant step towards the College becoming a first rate regulator. 

 

“Critically, this Charter fulfils one of our long-term ambitions to create a coherent regulatory system for veterinary nurses and to recognise them as true professionals, dedicated to their vocation, their development and proper conduct.”

 

During this year’s renewal period for veterinary nurses (in the autumn), those formerly on the List will be expected to confirm that they are undertaking CPD and will also need to disclose any criminal convictions, cautions or adverse findings when they renew their registration. The annual renewal fee for veterinary nurses remains unchanged.

 

A detailed set of frequently asked questions for former listed veterinary nurses can be found at www.rcvs.org.uk/rvn