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RCVS Council approves CPD overhaul
Dr Sue Paterson, incoming chair of the Education Committee, speaking at the recent RCVS Council meeting.

Six key changes approved to tackle non-compliance 

The RCVS has approved six key changes to the college’s CPD policies for vets and nurses, including changing the hourly requirements and introducing an admin fee for those who continually fail to comply.

From the start of 2020, CPD requirements, as stated in the Codes of Professional Conduct, will change to 35 hours per calendar year for vets and 15 hours a year for veterinary nurses.

This replaces the previous requirement of 105 hours and 45 hours of CPD over a rolling three-year period for vets and nurses respectively.

From 2022, it will also be compulsory to use a new CPD platform – which is currently in development – for recording learning and development. Vets and nurses who confirm their compliance with CPD requirements on renewing their registration, will be able to download a certificate.

The college is set to introduce an administration fee, the value of which is yet to be determined, for vets and nurses who continually fail to confirm their CPD compliance. The RCVS CPD Referral Group, which meets to consider further steps to be taken for those who continually fail to comply, will also continue to operate.

Finally, the college has changed the words of the Code to include the fact that CPD should be ‘regular’ and ‘relevant’.

RCVS Council member Dr Sue Paterson, who is the incoming chair of the Education Committee, said: “While the majority of both veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses do recognise the importance of continuous learning and development for their professional practice, their clients and, ultimately, animal health and welfare, it’s clear that there has been a cohort of people in both professions who take a more lax view of undertaking CPD.
“The changes to our CPD policy are intended to tighten up our processes and are targeted at those who, when challenged about why they have not undertaken sufficient CPD, say that they will meet the requirement one or two years down the line as part of the rolling three-year system. The administration fee also recognises the amount of time and effort spent by staff in the College in contacting and chasing up those people who aren’t compliant.

However, Dr Paterson said the college recognises the fact that some professionals may have personal circumstances that prevent them from meeting their CPD requirements for the year - whether it be because of parental leave, long-term sick leave or other factors. She said the college will remain flexible and show consideration and compassion when taking these factors into account.
The RCVS will fine-tune the policies over the coming months and make further decisions about how they will work in practice.
Those who feel they will struggle to complete their CPD requirement within 12 months due to personal circumstances can contact the RCVS on

Image © RCVS

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