The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) celebrated its new Royal Charter, which officially recognises veterinary nursing as a regulated profession, at a sector-wide event at the House of Commons recently.
The event was attended by veterinary nurses, veterinary surgeons, Members of Parliament and Peers to recognise the impact of the new Charter, the first in 50 years, which was passed by Privy Council in November last year and came into effect in February 2015.
Veterinary nurses will now be expected to undertake the minimum requirement for continuing professional development (CPD) of 45 hours over a three-year period. They will also 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 President of the RCVS, Professor Stuart Reid, said: “This is a wonderful occasion and a real example of governance in action. This is an issue that has been developing over 50 years, and there has been an extraordinary effort on the part of many people. I just happen to be the one who is lucky enough to be President on this momentous day.
“This is a significant development in our role as regulator and in terms of protecting the public. Rather than a para-profession, veterinary nursing should now be seen as an allied profession to that of veterinary surgeons. It is a big step forward.”