As previously reported in VNJ (November and December 2011 issues), RCVS Council has decided to close the Colleges Awarding Body, in order to avoid a potential conflict of interest between the RCVSs role as regulator of veterinary nurse education and assessment, and as an awarding organisation.

A decision has now been made about the future of the intellectual property and equipment relating to the RCVS Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing. This will transfer to City & Guilds, effective from the 2012 academic year.

The transfer of information and materials to City & Guilds – an awarding organisation well established in the land- based sector and with whom most veterinary nurse colleges already have a relationship – will ensure that there remains a choice of awarding institutions in the veterinary nursing sector.

“In November last year, the RCVS Council agreed a list of criteria that any awarding organisation taking over the VN Diploma must meet, including a demonstrable track record in awarding, experience of awarding veterinary-related qualifications and a diverse portfolio of qualifications. City & Guilds fits the profile well,” says Neil Smith, chairman of the RCVS Awarding Body Board.

“Co-operation with VN training centres and the wider veterinary profession will take place over the coming months, to ensure a smooth transition for those current RCVS candidates who wish to move to City & Guilds,” he adds.

Commenting, John Yates, product development director for City & Guilds, said, “City & Guilds is delighted that we shall be offering the Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing. It’s a welcome addition to our portfolio of land-based qualifications and will enable further progression for our learners who are already working towards our Animal Care qualifications.”

Meanwhile, those students still in the process of completing the old NVQ qualifications, the accreditation of which is due to expire in 2013, will continue to be serviced by the RCVS.

As the professional regulator, the College will continue to issue RCVS certificates and badges to those who have successfully completed a registerable qualification – such as an RCVS- approved vocational qualification, or veterinary nursing degree.

The Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing will be unaffected by the change, as the qualification is awarded by the College under its Royal Charter powers.

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 27 • February 2012 •