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RCVS conducting annual VN CPD audit

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is currently undertaking its annual audit of veterinary nurses’ compliance with continuing professional development, with requests sent out this week.

Under the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct, all veterinary nurses are expected to maintain and develop the knowledge and skills relevant to their professional practice and competence, demonstrating this by carrying out at least 45 hours of CPD over a rolling three-year period. 

This year, 1130 registered veterinary nurses have been asked to share their CPD records for 2016 to 2018 with the RCVS to demonstrate that they have complied with the CPD requirements. Some 773 of the nurses contacted were from a random sample across all UK postcodes, 180 were nurses who were found to be non-compliant during the 2018 audit, 58 nurses did not respond to the 2018 audit and 119 nurses declared they were non-compliant during the annual renewal for nurses at the end of last year.

This year’s audit comes on the back of a decision by VN Council in February 2019 to expedite the referral process for veterinary nurses who have continuously not complied with their CPD requirement for three or more years nor responded to requests to share their records.

In the 2018 VN CPD Audit, 28% of respondents were found to be non-compliant and, particularly concerning to members of the VN Council, was the fact that eight members of the profession had been included in a total of seven of the previous annual CPD audits and, each time, were found to be non-compliant.

As a result, VN Council decided that any veterinary nurse who was audited and found to be non-compliant in three consecutive years should have their records sent to the CPD Referral Group, a subcommittee comprising members of RCVS and VN Council who review cases of CPD non-compliance for both vets and VNs.

The CPD Referral Group makes decisions on how to follow-up these cases including, in the most serious instances, referring individuals on to the College's Professional Conduct Department for further investigation.

“The main thing with CPD is that it is relevant to your role and supports you to provide the best care to your patients. It can involve easily accessible options such as webinars, lectures, reading relevant clinical papers or reflecting on your development. It’s really important for us to get this point across – CPD is incredibly important for a flourishing profession but it doesn’t need to be expensive, stressful or demanding” says RCVS Director of Veterinary Nursing Julie Dugmore.

“Whilst we recognise that the majority of veterinary nurses understand the importance of CPD to their development and comply with the requirement, a substantial proportion of the profession has remained consistently non-compliant in previous years. We are hoping to see these numbers improve, with increased CPD compliance in this year’s audit.”

The deadline for nurses sending through their records is Friday 28 June 2019. Nurses can either share their PDR with RCVS Senior Education Officer Jenny Soreskog-Turp at, email their records or send by post to the RCVS offices at 62-64 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 2AF.

For more information about the CPD requirement for both vets and vet nurses, what activities might count as CPD, how to record your CPD and a series of frequently asked questions about CPD please visit our dedicated

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