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RCVS makes additional EMS changes

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By Gill Harris

The RCVS has made additional temporary changes to its extramural studies (EMS) requirements to support vet students during the current lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The new measures require fourth-year students to carry out only half the clinical EMS they would normally be expected to complete in order to graduate.

Current fourth-year students will need to have completed 12 weeks of preclinical EMS and at least 13 weeks of clinical EMS (50 per cent), in addition to demonstrating that they have achieved the RCVS day 1 competences.

The change has been agreed with the Veterinary Schools Council.

Recognising the impact of the pandemic on all students, the RCVS reports that it will review the situation for students in the third year and below as more information becomes available.

Before the lockdown phase was announced by the government, the RCVS had reduced the number of weeks of EMS that final-year vet students were required to complete their veterinary degree to 30 weeks.

The college also recognises that vet schools may need to introduce alternative assessment methods, particularly for final-year students. Changes will have to be notified to the RCVS to ensure standards are not compromised.

In addition to the changes agreed for vet students, the RCVS veterinary nurses (VN) council will meet this week to consider whether further changes regarding VN students are possible in response to the ongoing pandemic.

A full range of frequently asked questions relating to the Covid-19 pandemic and how the restrictions have impacted the veterinary professions can be found at

• Interested in an EMS placement with Vet Record? We are trialing vitual placements for UK vet students throughout the Covid-19 outbreak. If you are interested, send an email with ‘virtual EMS placement’ in the subject bar to

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