As of the beginning of next year, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) will no longer be allowing veterinary surgeons or veterinary nurses to enter undocumented continuing professional development (CPD) on their records.

On Monday 29 June, the Veterinary Nursing Education Committee decided to discontinue the annual allowance of five hours of ad hoc, undocumented private study for veterinary nurses. This is in line with a decision made by the RCVS Education Committee in May to discontinue the equivalent allowance for veterinary surgeons of 10 hours per annum.

It is a requirement of the RCVS Codes of Professional Conduct that veterinary surgeons record a minimum of 105 hours of CPD over a three-year period; while veterinary nurses are expected to carry out 45 hours of CPD over the same period.

Julie Dugmore, RCVS Head of Veterinary Nursing, says: “As with the veterinary surgeons, this decision was made because it was felt that all CPD, including private study, should be properly documented on the CPD records of veterinary nurses.

“This change, however, is not intended to discourage private study which we recognise extends across a range of different types of learning, including reading, and can be very valuable for personal development, but merely that it should be properly documented.”

Furthermore, it is hoped that the changes will clear up uncertainty around the respective allowances for veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses, as some were under the impression that private study, even if it was documented, could only be classed within that category.

The Education Department is also in the process of reviewing the information available to veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses regarding what counts as CPD, in order to clear up uncertainty and provide more specific examples for each learning category.

Information about CPD for veterinary surgeons can be found at www.rcvs.org.uk/cpd, while for veterinary nurses the information is available at www.rcvs.org.uk/vncpd