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Practice standards
RCVS to take forward plans for a modular practice standards scheme

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THE RCVS Council gave the go-ahead last week for plans to be taken forward for a new modular format for the Practice Standards Scheme (PSS). Outline proposals for changes to the existing scheme were presented to the Council and other interested parties at a meeting at the RCVS's headquarters in London on June 6.

At the meeting, the RCVS President, Jacqui Molyneux, explained that the College's Practice Standards Group (PSG) believed that the changes would demonstrate to the public and to veterinary surgeons that the RCVS continued to ‘set, uphold and raise the standards of the profession as a whole’ and also that it was prepared to adapt and evolve with the times. The changes, she said, addressed some of the most common complaints about the PSS and were laying a foundation for the future.

Giving some background to the PSG's discussions, Peter Jinman, the group's outgoing chairman, said that some 2700 practice premises were currently accredited by the scheme, amounting to 52 per cent of the total in the UK. This suggested that, for many practices, the scheme did not appeal. ‘While the scheme is widely considered to be a success and is popular with many, it is clear from this statistic that it still doesn't work for a large number of practices,’ he said, adding, ‘We want to give practices every reason to be in the scheme and no reason not to be.’

He said the PSG had been monitoring feedback from the profession to help it understand what was wanted from the scheme. Problems highlighted by comments received in response to a concept note circulated by the College last year (VR, November 17, 2012, vol 171, p 488) had mainly focused on a ‘box ticking, bureaucratic culture of inspections; a lack of flexibility sometimes preventing certain …

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