Examinations deemed unsafe under the current conditions
The RCVS Veterinary Nurses Council is writing to veterinary nurse educators asking them to defer all forms of practical assessment for student veterinary nurses for at least three months.
The decision comes in response to the government's lockdown announcement to curb the spread of COVID-19. It also follows concerns raised by the VN Education Committee regarding the practical Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs), required for student veterinary nurses to complete their training, and the fact that they would no longer be possible.
The RCVS is now in the process of informing all higher and further education institutions asking that they defer OSCE assessments for up to three months. The situation will be reviewed by the RCVS again in June.
“Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of stricter lockdown measures at the beginning of the week, it has become clear that holding practical examinations would be unsafe for student veterinary nurses and examiners, as well as not being possible under the conditions announced,” explained Julie Dugmore, RCVS director of veterinary nursing.
“This was not a decision we took lightly as OSCE assessments are embedded into all veterinary nursing licence to practise qualifications, meaning all student veterinary nurses need to pass them in order to join the Register. VN Council did look for alternatives means of delivering the assessment but, having considered a number of options, none was possible under the current circumstances and the health and welfare of the students and examiners are paramount."
Further to VN Council's decision on the OSCE's, it is also calling on further and higher education institutions to ensure students can continue to progress academically even during lockdown.
Julie continued: “To this end, it has requested that these institutions use secure systems to deliver any unseen assessments or defer these assessments until such time as they can be appropriately and safely delivered.”