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‘Significant changes’ to VN Council approved
Liz Cox, chair of the VN Council.

Council size and composition to be altered 

The RCVS Council has approved substantial changes to the set-up of the VN Council.

Key changes include reducing the term of office for VN councillors, from four years to three years. There will now be a three-term limit for elected members, with a two-year gap before they can stand for election again.

The size and composition of VN Council has also been changed, to six elected veterinary nurses, two appointed veterinary nurses, two appointed veterinary surgeons and four appointed lay members. Previously, council was made up of eight elected vet nurses, four appointed vets and four appointed lay members.

As a result of the reduced number of elected VN councillors, there will be no VN Council elections in 2018, as outgoing members will not need replacing.

VN Council members developed the proposals following a series of workshops at the start of this year.

Liz Cox, chair of the VN Council, said: “When we started to consider the governance of VN Council it became clear that the current arrangements did not accurately reflect the breadth of skills and knowledge amongst veterinary nurses that would be required to meet the challenges confronting the profession and make decisions on its behalf.

“By making the composition of VN Council more flexible by introducing shorter terms and appointed veterinary nurses, we hope that we can widen the pool of potential members, bring in ‘new blood’ to provide a wider range of experience and different perspectives and, as a result, enhance the quality of debate and decision-making amongst the members.”

The council will also make “concerted efforts” to provide additional skills and training on the roles and responsibilities of new members. A mentoring system will pair new members with existing councillors who can “show them the ropes,” Liz Cox added.

Full details on the agreed changes can be found here

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