In May we published new handbooks which provide information about our role as a regulator for all those providing veterinary nurse training and qualifications.

There are three handbooks in total aimed at awarding organisations and higher education institutions; centres and colleges delivering veterinary nurse qualifications on behalf of awarding organisations; and training practices, respectively.

Each handbook contains information covering all aspects of regulation of VN education including our accreditation process, approval criteria, visitation teams and Day One Skills and Competences, among other topics.

The three handbooks, which also include sections on the Veterinary Surgeons Act and international VN accreditation, are available to download from

Reviewing clinical skillsets for new VNs

Recently, we launched a consultation asking members of the profession and those involved in veterinary nurse training and education to comment on a revised set of Day One Skills for veterinary nurses.

The current Day One Skills document was developed by RCVS Awards in 2010 and provides a list of those skills we expect student veterinary nurses to have gained by the end of their training and to be competent and confident in when they first go into practice.

As RCVS Awards will be defunct by the end of this year we are taking the opportunity to review the Day One Skills to bring them closer into line with our recently revised Day One Competences and to reduce the number of required skills in order to make it more relevant to clinical practice.

Julie Dugmore, Head of Veterinary Nursing, explains: “The current document was developed from an awarding body perspective and not that of the regulator and so it specifies a large number of non-clinical skills, for example handling and moving equipment safely, that, while important, are somewhat out of our regulatory remit.

“The new Day One Skills we will be proposing will be more focussed on making sure that new veterinary nurses have safe and effective clinical skills and an understanding of Schedule 3 of the Veterinary Surgeons Act, its implications and the activities covered by it.

“A Day One Skills Working Party was set up following the VN Education Subcommittee meeting in March and has now produced a draft list of skills. We are consulting on this list and would very much welcome the opinions of higher education institutions, awarding organisations, centres, and training practices as well as student and registered veterinary nurses."

You can respond to the survey by visiting

Changes to student training requirements

In April we sent letters to all colleges and higher education institutions that offer veterinary nurse training to inform them of a VN Council decision to remove the requirement to undertake 60 weeks of practical training in response to HM Revenue & Customs National Minimum Wage Regulations (NMWR).

Under the current NMWR, work experience undertaken by students as part of UK-based higher or further education courses is exempt from the national minimum wage provided that the work experience placement does not exceed a period of one year.

Although the 60 weeks requirement has now been removed the requirement to complete 2,100 hours will, however, remain in force and students will still be required to complete the Day One Skills for Veterinary Nurses as assurance of their competency at the point of registration.

Students close to the end of their training will not be expected to work unreasonable hours to complete the requirement of 2,100 hours of practical training. If a student completes the Day One Skills in less than 2,100 hours, this will not necessarily preclude them from joining the Register and applications will be assessed on a case-by- case basis.

If you have any other questions about the changes to veterinary nurse training please contact Julie Dugmore, Head of Veterinary Nursing, on

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 30 • July 2015 •