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RCVS toughens up on CPD non-compliance
Reasons cited by the respondents for failing to comply include maternity leave, family commitments, lack of time and illness.
Annual audit found 28 per cent of VNs failed to comply with requirements

The RCVS Veterinary Nurses Council is set to toughen up how it deals with cases of non-compliance with CPD requirements.

The move follows the results of its 2018 audit of veterinary nurses regarding their compliance with the Code of Professional Conduct for VNs to carry out a minimum of 45 hours of CPD over three years.

For the audit, the RCVS requested the CPD records of 1,016 veterinary nurses. Of these, 939 responded, 672 (72 per cent) were found to be compliant and 267 (28 per cent) were non-compliant.

Reasons cited by the respondents for failing to comply include maternity leave, family commitments, lack of time and illness.

The audit also revealed that eight members of the profession had been included in a total of seven of the previous annual audits, and each time were found to be non-compliant. VN Council agreed that any veterinary nurses audited and found to be non-compliant in three consecutive years should have their records sent to a CPD Referral Group, which will make decisions on how to follow-up these cases.

The CPD referral group comprises of RCVS and VN Council members who, in the most serious instances, will refer individuals to the Preliminary Investigation Committee.

VN Council chair Racheal Marshall commented: “The issue of CPD non-compliance has been discussed at VN Council for a while and I am glad that members decided to take stronger action on those who continually fail to comply with their professional obligations on learning and development. It is particularly disappointing that eight members of the profession have, for seven years and despite repeated prompting, decided that they do not want to comply with their Code of Professional Conduct.
 
“More generally, it is disheartening that a substantial number and proportion of the profession still aren’t compliant and that this proportion has remained static for the last three years with the same reasons occurring year after year including family commitments and lack of time and opportunity.
 
“However, CPD need not be onerous or expensive and can be done from the comfort of your own practice or home, it could, for example, involve reading relevant clinical papers in a veterinary magazine or journal, reflection on your professional practice, in-house training, participation in webinars and research for presentations as well as organised courses, lectures and webinars.

“The key is that CPD should be relevant to you and your role and should keep your skills, knowledge and competences up-to-date to ensure that you are providing the best possible care to your patients and clients.”
 
Rachael “We do not want to paint an overly negative picture however, and we do recognise that the majority of veterinary nurses do understand the importance of CPD to their development and comply with the CPD requirement which is why, over the coming year, we will be looking to highlight some best practice examples of veterinary nurses undertaking CPD around work, and their home lives.”

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RSPCA braced for ‘hectic hedgehog month’

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 The RSPCA says that it is bracing itself for a ‘hectic hedgehog month’ after calls to the charity about the creatures peaked this time last year.

More than 10,000 calls about hedgehogs were made to the RSPCA’s national helpline in 2018, 1,867 of which were in July. This compares with just 133 calls received in February of the same year.

Evie Button, the RSPCA’s scientific officer, said: “July is our busiest month for hedgehogs. Not only do calls about hedgehogs peak, but so do admissions to our four wildlife centres as members of the public and our own officers bring in orphaned, sick or injured animals for treatment and rehabilitation.” 

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